Roger Cone Lab

We investigate how the central nervous system regulates energy storage, and the role of these neural circuits in obesity, disease cachexia, and anorexia nervosa. 

Our Research

Our group works on understanding the central control of energy homeostasis. The laboratory concentrates on the central melanocortin system, a complex set of neural circuits they have demonstrated to regulate a variety of physiological processes important to energy storage.

The melanocortin system plays a critical role in the long-term regulation of body weight, and has profound implications for human health and disease — including in obesity and the wasting that occurs in cancer patients. 

Roger Cone, Ph.D.

Mary Sue Coleman Director & Research Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute
Vice Provost and Director, U-M Biosciences Initiative
Professor, Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology, U-M Medical School
Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, LSA

Publication Highlights

The melanocortin-3 receptor is a pharmacological target for the regulation of anorexia

Sweeney PW, Bedenbaugh MN, Maldonado J, Pan P, Fowler K, Williams SY, Gimenez LE, Ghamari-Langroudi M, Downing G, Gui Y, Hadley CK, Joy ST, Mapp AK, Simerly RB, Cone RD (2021)

G-protein-independent coupling of MC4R to Kir7.1 in hypothalamic neurons

Ghamari-Langroudi M, Digby GJ, Sebag JA, Millhauser GL, Palomino R, Matthews R, Gillyard T, Panaro BL, Tough IR, Cox HM, Denton JS, Cone RD, Nature (2015)

Melanocortin-4 receptor signaling is required for weight loss after gastric bypass surgery

Hatoum IJ, Stylopoulos N, Vanhoose AM, Boyd KL, Yin DP, Ellacott KL, Ma LL, Blaszczyk K, Keogh JM, Cone RD, Farooqi IS, Kaplan LM, J. Clin. End. Metab. (2012)

Targeted disruption of the melanocortin-4 receptor results in obesity in mice

Huszar D, Lynch CA, Fairchild-Huntress V, Dunmore JH, Fang Q, Berkemeier LR, Gu W, Kesterson RA, Boston BA, Cone RD, Smith FJ, Campfield LA, Burn P, Lee F, Cell (1997)

Role of melanocortinergic neurons in feeding and the agouti obesity syndrome

Fan W, Boston BA, Kesterson RA, Hruby VJ, Cone RD, Nature (1997)

Agouti protein is an antagonist of the melanocyte-stimulating-hormone receptor

Lu, D, Willard, D, Patel, IR, Kadwell, S, Overton, L, Kost, T, Luther, M, Chen, W, Woychik, P, Wilkison, W.O, and Cone, RD, Nature (1994)

The cloning of a family of genes that encode the melanocortin receptors.

Mountjoy KG, Robbins LS, Mortrud MT, Cone RD, Science (1992)

Lab Contact

Kacey Womeldorf
Room 6115
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216

Administrative Support

Natalie Bartolacci
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216