Dr. Joshua Cordeira recognized by the BOR with the Campus-Based Research Award for WCSU
Dr. Joshua Cordeira
Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Cordeira
Dr. Joshua Cordeira, an associate professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences and director of the Neuroscience Research Lab, has been selected to receive the campus-based BOR Research Award given annually to the WCSU faculty member who demonstrates superior quality in research.
Cordeira joined the WCSU biology faculty in 2014 after pursuing post-doctoral studies as a fellow at Harvard Medical School in the Research Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology. He earned his B.S. in Biology with minor in Psychology at Stonehill College and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Tufts University. His doctoral research examined hypothalamic control of the physiological need to eat and the reward system in the brain that promotes consumption of fattening food in excess of dietary need, yielding findings that have helped to identify new therapeutic targets for prevention of metabolic disease. He has coauthored 14 articles in Current Biology, Physiology and Behavior, The Journal of Neuroscience and other professional publications.
Studies in Cordeira’s Neuroscience Research Lab at WCSU have explored various aspects of the biological mechanisms in the brain that regulate behavior. “I love to sleep, eat and exercise, so I channel my enthusiasm for these activities into my research,” he observed.
In collaboration with professional colleagues at Harvard, Cordeira has used sleep deprivation to model cognitive and behavioral impairments observed in mental health disorders. Another line of research exploring the effects of exercise in reducing high-fat food intake has opened new avenues of neurobiology investigation that hold the promise of more effective intervention strategies to address obesity. He noted this research is important because nearly one-third of adults in the United States face increased risk of mortality from diabetes and cardiovascular disease due to excessive weight and obesity.
“In my lab, we use mice fed high-fat food as a model for diet-induced obesity,” he said. “By giving the mice running wheels for exercise, we study the biological basis for the benefits of exercise in feeding behavior and body weight regulation. We’ve recently shown that low-intensity exercise, for as little as 30 minutes daily, can reduce the temptation to overeat.”
As the mentor for 12 WCSU students who have conducted, presented and published their own research projects in his lab over the past five years, Cordeira has discovered a passion for scientific discovery much like his own when he first engaged in biological research as an undergraduate.
“Now I enjoy offering similar opportunities to inspire the next generation of scientists,” he said. “I’m proud to say these young scientists have gone on since graduation to pursue careers as nurses, doctors, physician assistants, veterinarians, teachers, researchers and even a lawyer. Watch out world!”
Cordeira expressed gratitude to his mentors, faculty colleagues and students “who each have inspired and worked with me in the pursuit of research. Research is fun! What could be more exciting than using science to experiment, to learn and to make sense of the world within and around us?”
Past BOR Campus-Based Recognitions
Dr. Howell Williams recognized by BOR for campus-based Teaching Award