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Groundhog Day always special at CSU thanks to biology professor

February 2, 2012

Professor Greg Florant gets lots of media attention around the same day every year: Groundhog Day.

Studying marmot hibernation

Florant, a professor in the Department of Biology at CSU, 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.

Marmot research published

Most recently, he has published a literature review with Jessica Healy in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B titled "The regulation of food intake in mammalian hibernators: a review."

"We’re still investigating what causes animals to stop eating in the winter," Florant says.

For more information about his research, visit Florant's website.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336