Daniela Cota M.D. in Medicine and Surgery

Course and current status

Education and Professional positions:

Since 2008: INSERM Team leader, Team Energy Balance and Obesity, INSERM U1215 Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France; INSERM Avenir Team from 2008 to 2010; permanent INSERM team since 2011

Since 2022: Deputy Director Neurocentre Magendie

Since 2018: DR2 INSERM

Dec 2015: HDR, University of Bordeaux

2009-2015: Deputy director NeuroCentre Magendie

2008-2013: clinical researcher contract Inserm/CHU hospital Bordeaux

2008-2018: CR1 INSERM permanent position

2004-2007: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cincinnati, OH, USA with Profs. R. J. Seeley and S. C. Woods

2001-2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany with Profs. G. K. Stalla and U. Pagotto

2001-2003: Medical School of Specialization in Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders, Univ. of Bologna,  Italy (Director Prof. R. Pasquali)

2000 : Medical License, Univ. of Bologna, Italy

1999 : M.D. Magna cum Laude in Medicine and Surgery, Univ. of Bologna, Italy

Other professional activities:

Since 2020: Member Editorial Board of Metabolism

2014-2019: member Editorial Board of Endocrinology

Since 2013: Academic Editor for Plos One

Since 2011: member  of  French HCERES (AERES) evaluation committees

Since 2014: member of the animal ethical committee, University of Bordeaux

Member of the Endocrine Society (ENDO), French Society of Neuroscience, French Society of Endocrinology (SFE), the French Diabetes Society (SFD), the French Society of Neuroendocrinology (SNE), the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and European Society Endocrinology (ESE)

2017-2020: Focus area lead in Obesity and Diabetes for the European Society of Endocrinology; 2017-2021: part of the CA of the French Society of Neuroscience

Consultant activity:

2005-2008:scientific consultant for Sanofi-Aventis, USA

2008 and 2010: consultant for SRone, Glaxo-Smith Kline

Since 2014: Consultant for the start-up Aelis Farma (Founding member of the start-up)

Reviewer activity:

· Reviewer for several international journals (Cell, Cell Metabolism, Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nature Metabolism, Molecular Metabolism among others).

· In 2007 and 2008, reviewer for the North Carolina (USA) Biotechnology Center.

· In 2008, reviewer for the Hungarian scientific research fund.

· In 2009, reviewer for the Welcome Trust (UK), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research Council (BBSRC), and for the French ANR (French national research agency).

· 2010, reviewer for the BBRSC

· In 2012, reviewer for the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF); reviewer for the Inserm-PEPS initiative (multi-discipline exploratory project grants)

· In 2013, reviewer for European ERC-starting grants

· In 2015, reviewer for Canada Excellence Research Chair – Laval University (full professor) and Idex Paris Sorbonne.

· In 2017, reviewer for Canadian PSI Foundation supporting clinical research; Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation;

· In 2017, expert evaluator for the professorship positions in Neurobiology of Diabetes and in Nutritional programming for TUM (Technische Universität München), Munich, Germany

· In 2018, grant reviewer for BBRSC, Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation and Swiss National Science Foundation

· In 2019, grant reviewer for Prader Willy Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, ERC 

2019 and 2020: Member of scientific committee ANR CE16

2020: Member of scientific committee LS4 ERC advanced grants

Selected Honors and Awards:

2021-2024: INSERM prize for excellence in science

2014: nominated, HeIDi Award, raising star in Diabetes research (Helmholtz-Nature Medicine)

2013: Prize Biovision Catalyzer (Biovision meeting-World Life Science Forum)

2011-2021: Partner in French EquipEx OptoPath and French LabEx BRAIN

2010-2013: Inserm prize for excellence in science

2009:Prize FRM Aquitaine

2008-2010: Inserm AVENIR-ATIP prize/Chair of Excellence Region Aquitaine/Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant

2005: Ethan Sims Young Investigator award of the Obesity Society


- Antagonists of CB1 receptor. PV Piazza, M Vallée, G Marsicano, FX Felpin, L Bellocchio, D Cota, JM Revest, S Vitiello, U Spampinato, R Maldonado. Patent Publication N° WO/2012/160006. International Application N°: PCT/EP2012/059310. Publication date 29 November 2012.

- Emodis, Novel behavioral test for the screening of emotional responses in humans to food images. B Aouizerate, D Cota; PV Piazza, L Demany, C Semal.  (PC program protected by the French “Agence de Protection des Programmes”, PDA12216/AOUIZERATE/AF).

- 3beta-(4-methoxybenzyloxy)pregn-5-en-20-one for use in the treatment of Cannabinoids-Related Disorders. Piazza PV, Fabre S, Metna M, Monlezun S, Busquet-Garcia A, Cota D, Marsicano G, Revest JM, Vallée M. PCT/EP2019/054217

- 3beta-(benzyloxy)-17alpha-methyl-pregn-5-en-20-one for use in the treatment of cognitive disorders. Piazza PV, Fabre S, Monlezun S, Metna M, Vallee M, Revest JM, Cota D, Marsicano G, Marighetto A, Ozaita A, Maldonado R. WO2020127468-A1

Scientific summary

Obesity represents a global epidemic lacking efficient therapeutic options. This highlights the insufficient knowledge of the biological mechanisms regulating energy balance and the lack of therapeutically relevant targets. The brain and in particular the hypothalamus plays a key role in the regulation of energy balance. Hence, the main scope of our research is to understand how exactly hypothalamic cells and related circuits adapt and respond to energy availability in order to control food intake, body weight and peripheral metabolism. To address our research questions we use an integrated approach spanning from the generation and in depth metabolic characterization of genetic animals models to the use of state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques for the investigation of neuronal circuits of interest. Our work has so far critically contributed to understanding the roles of lipid-based, energy-related signaling systems, such as the endocannabinoid-CB1 and, more recently, the bile acids-TGR5 systems, and the energy sensor mTOR, in the brain-periphery crosstalk regulating energy balance. In addition, we perform clinical research studies aimed at characterizing obese phenotypes in humans, which are expected to lead to better, personalized therapies.

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