• Tooru Mizuno headshot
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Physiology and Pathophysiology
    Room 415 – Basic Medical Sciences Building
    745 Bannatyne Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0J9

    Phone: 204-789-3765 
    Fax: 204-789-3934

Research themes 

  • Metabolic physiology
  • Neuroendocrinology

Research interests 

  • CNS regulation of metabolism
  • Hormonal regulation of metabolism


  • Feeding
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Central nervous system
  • Nutrients
  • Hormone
  • Environmental factors
  • Gene expression

Research summary

The central nervous system (CNS) plays a major role in the regulation of whole-body metabolism. Dr. Tooru Mizuno’s laboratory is interested in how the CNS, in particular the hypothalamus, controls metabolism and neuroendocrine function. Specifically, we investigate how hypothalamic neurons and glial cells regulate metabolism by responding to changes in nutrient (such as glucose and lipids) and hormonal (such as insulin, leptin and gastrointestinal hormones) signals and environmental changes. Techniques being utilized in these studies include animal models, pharmacological treatment, comprehensive analysis of metabolic parameters and behavior, in vitro and ex vivo cell/tissue culture, and molecular and biochemical analysis.


Dr. Mizuno began his studies in animal husbandry at Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Japan followed by the University of Miyazaki where he investigated the relationship between endogenous satiety factors, feed intake and digestion in ruminants.

He then went to Yokohama City University School of Medicine in Japan to broaden his interest to neuroendocrinology of aging and received his PhD in physiology.

Afterwards, he went to Fishberg Center for Neurobiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York where he worked as a research associate, instructor and research assistant professor.

In 2003, he took the post of instructor at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

In 2004, after being offered a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair, he joined UM’s physiology and pathophysiology department.

He is currently a professor and head of the endocrinology and metabolic disease division. His research focuses on metabolic diseases such as obesity. More specifically, he studies CNS mechanisms of metabolic regulation by nutrients and hormones and investigates how dysregulation/dysfunction of these mechanisms contributes to the pathogenesis of obesity.

Notable discoveries include:

  1. Glucose regulation of leptin gene expression
  2. Nutritional regulation of melanocortin gene expression
  3. Anti-diabetic effect of central melanocortin
  4. Metabolic action of the gastrointestinal hormone xenin
  5. Environmental enrichment-induced suppression of aggressive behavior and changes in neurotrophic factor expression
  6. Regulation of microglial neurotrophic factor genes expression by glucose


  • PhD (physiology), Yokohama City University School of Medicine (1994)
  • Master of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki (1990)
  • Bachelor of Agriculture, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (1988)
  • Exchange student in Ruminant Nutrition, Kon-kuk University (1986-1987)


  • Best Graduate Paper Award, Yokohama City University School of Medicine (1994)
  • New Investigator Travel Awards, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2005)

Contact us

Physiology and Pathophysiology
432 Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada