Dany Gaillard, PhD
Dany has always been interested in how what we eat can regulate our metabolism, how the body regulates food intake to modulate its own metabolism and maintain homeostasis, and how that impacts our health. This interest first lead Dany to complete a Master degree in Food Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Burgundy in Dijon (France) in 2005 where he studied the physiological impact of high cholesterol diet on the enterohepatic cycle of bile acids and its contribution to resistance to hypercholesterolemia in mice.
Dany started studying the taste system for his PhD thesis at the University of Burgundy. His thesis focused on the function of the lipid receptor FAT/CD36 in the gustatory perception of dietary fatty acids, which he defended in 2009, supporting the existence of fat taste as a sixth basic taste modality in addition to sweet, bitter, umami, salty and sour.
He then joined the Barlow lab as a postdoctoral fellow to explore the functions of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in taste bud cell renewal in adults. Taste bud cells are continuously renewed throughout adult life to maintain a relatively constant taste sensitivity; however, taste cell homeostasis is disrupted upon various types of injury, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now an Instructor, Dany has focused on the mechanisms underlying functional taste loss in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy by employing a mouse model of fractionated head and neck irradiation.
Interests outside the lab:
Enjoying the great outdoors (hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing).