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Gregory Morton, Ph.D.

Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Research Associate Professor of Medicine


Studies the role of the brain in the regulation of energy balance and glucose metabolism. Research focuses on the action of the adiposity signals insulin and leptin in the hypothalamus and examines the mechanisms and pathways by which they mediate their effects on food intake, body weight and peripheral insulin sensitivity using physiological, molecular biological and histochemical approaches.


Niswender KD, Morton GJ, Stearns WH, Rhodes CJ, Myers MG Jr, and Schwartz MW:  Intracellular signalling. Key enzyme in leptin-induced anorexia. Nature 413:794-5, 2001.

Morton GJ and Schwartz MW:  The NPY/AgRP neuron and energy homeostasis. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 25 Suppl 5:S56-62, 2001.

Morton GJ, Niswender KD, Rhodes CJ, Myers MG Jr, Blevins JE, Baskin DG and Schwartz MW:  Arcuate nucleus-specific leptin receptor gene therapy attenuates the obesity phenotype of Koletsky (fak/fak) rats.  Endocrinology 144:2016-2024, 2003.

Morton GJ, Mystkowski P, Matsumoto AM and Schwartz MW:  Increased hypothalamic melanin concentrating hormone gene expression during energy restriction involves a melanocortin-independent, estrogen-sensitive mechanism.  Peptides 25:667-674, 2004.

Morton GJ, Blevins JE, Williams DL, Niswender KD, Gelling RW, Rhodes CJ, Baskin DG and Schwartz MW:  Leptin action in the forebrain regulates the hindbrain response to satiety signals.  J Clin Invest 115:703-710, 2005.

Morrision CD, Morton GJ, Niswender KD, Gelling RW and Schwartz MW:  Leptin inhibits hypothalamic Npy and Agrp gene expression via a mechanism that requires phosphatidylnositol 3-OH-kinase signaling.  Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 289:E1051-E1057, 2005.

Morton GJ, Gelling RW, Niswender KD, Morrison CD, Rhodes CJ, Schwartz MW:  Leptin regulates insulin sensitivity via phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase signaling in mediobasal hypothalamic neurons.  Cell Metab 2:411-420, 2005.

Morton GJ, Cummings DE, Baskin DG, Barsh GS, Schwartz MW: Central nervous system control of food intake and body weight. Nature 443:289-295, 2006.

Gelling RW, Morton GJ, Morrison CD, Niswender KD, Myers MG Jr, Rhodes CJ, Schwartz MW:  Insulin action in the brain contributes to glucose lowering during insulin treatment of diabetes.  Cell Metab 3:67-73, 2006.

Wisse BE, Ogimoto K, Morton GJ, Williams DL, Schwartz MW: Central interleukin-1 (IL1) signaling is required for pharmacological, but not physiological, effects of leptin on energy balance.  Brain Res 1144:101-106, 2007.