Michael J. Beyak
B.Sc. (Queen’s), M.D. (Toronto)
Associate Professor
Departments of Medicine and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences


to the
Beyak Lab

Our lab is interested in the function of the primary afferent nerves innervating the GI tract and liver, with a particular focus on vagal afferents, and their role in detecting food intake. We study both the basic mechanisms by which satiety signals (both mechanical stimuli as well as chemical stimuli) activate vagal sensory nerves innervating the gut and liver.

Our recent work has shown that in obesity, the function of these important meal sensing nerves is impaired. Our ongoing efforts are focused on elucidating the causes and consequences of these changes. The techniques we use include whole cell patch clamp recordings from isolated neurons, recording from afferent nerve fibers innervating the gut and liver and behavioral measures of food intake in live animals. These physiological measures are complimented with anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques and immunohistochemistry.