Note to Reporters: Groundhog Day is Thursday, Feb. 2. This information is intended for reporter use only and is not meant for publication.
Greg Florant, professor in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University, has spent a large part of his career studying how marmots and ground squirrels use fats and other nutrients to hibernate and what causes those animals to stop eating in the winter. Florant has identified a molecule that, when activated, makes marmots hungry during their hibernation phase. This molecule, named AMPK, is common to all living things. Knowing how to manipulate this molecule could open the door to understanding human obesity and eating disorders. To speak with Florant about his research, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu.