Dr. Catherine Hume
Research. I am interested in the neuronal control of homeostatic and hedonic feeding behaviours and the modulation of these circuits by environmental factors that alter behaviour. I am currently investigating how cannabis stimulates food intake (a phenomenon commonly known as ‘the munchies’) with the aim of deciphering the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these cannabis-induced motivated feeding behaviours. This research involves the use of specialized cannabis vapor administration chambers combined with various behavioural paradigms (including operant conditioning), as well as pharmacological and circuit-based manipulations.
Hobbies. I like to cook, pet dogs, watch true crime documentaries and drink margaritas :)
Favourite paper. ‘AGRP neurons are sufficient to orchestrate feeding behavior rapidly and without training’ (Aponte et al 2011 Nat Neurosci; PubMed link). This paper has a special place in my heart as after reading it, I decided to carry out a PhD in feeding behaviour research. It is an exceptional study showing for the first time that feeding behaviours can be driven by the specific activation of a single hypothalamic circuit.
Pharmacokinetics and Central Accumulation of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its Bioactive Metabolites Are Influenced by Route of Administration and Sex in Rats
Baglot SL, Hume C, Petrie GN, Aukema RJ, Lightfoot SHM, Grace LM, Zhou R, Parker L, Rho JM, Borgland SL, McLaughlin RJ, Brechenmacher L, Hill MN. (2021)
Scientific Reports 11(1):23990
High-Sugar, but Not High-Fat, Food Activates Supraoptic Nucleus Neurons in the Male Rat
Hume C, Sabatier N, Menzies J. (2017)
Homeostatic responses to palatable food consumption in satiated rats
Hume C, Jachs B, Menzies J
Obesity (Silver Spring) 24(10):2126-32 (2016)
Full list of publications
After completing my BSc in pharmacology, I remained at the University of Edinburgh (UK) to carry out my PhD in the Centre for Integrative Physiology with Professor Gareth Leng and Dr John Menzies. I investigated how the homeostatic energy balance system compensates for the hedonic consumption of palatable, high-sugar food to maintain body weight.
Following a short postdoc in the lab of Professor Mike Ludwig (Centre of Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh (UK)) investigating how retinal vasopressin regulates hypothalamic circuits controlling circadian rhythms, I moved to Dr. Matthew Hill’s lab at the University of Calgary to continue pursuing feeding behaviour-based research.