Obesity is a highly heritable medical condition, with 70-80% of variations in body weight explained by genetic factors. In the 1990s, Jeffrey Friedman and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate the genetic basis for obesity when they identified and cloned leptin, a hormone secreted by fat tissue, as the responsible factor for maintaining normal body weight. Friedman’s research has played a major role in our understanding of human obesity and the hormonal pathway that controls food intake.
Jeffrey Friedman is a Professor at the Rockefeller University and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His work on leptin and body weight regulation has been key for our understanding of how genetics control human obesity. Friedman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has received numerous awards for his research, including… Continue Reading