Teresa M. Reyes, PHD

Associate Professor;
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience;
University of Cincinnati

  • Effect of diet on brain development; focus on pre-natal and adolescent time periods

  • Influence of diet on executive function (attention and impulsivity)

  • Focus on neuroimmune interactions and epigenetic modifications as mechanistic links between diet and brain function

Dr. Reyes’ research is focused on how diet influences brain development across different critical developmental time windows. Maternal diet during pregnancy is a focus of much of her laboratory’s research, and they study both maternal undernutrition (protein malnutrition), as well as over-nutrition (high fat diet) They examine how maternal diet changes gene expression in the offspring’s brain, and investigate epigenetic markers that may link early diet to changes in gene expression. Chronic consumption of highly palatable diets during adolescence can also affect gene expression within the circuits of the brain that are important for coding reward-related stimuli, and Dr. Reyes' laboratory finds that the same epigenetic markers may play an important role in responding to post-natal dietary changes as well.

Across all studies within their laboratory, they are also interested in studying how diet can impact resident immune cells within the brain, and how the brain’s immune system plays a critical role in maintaining a happy, healthy brain.

"As a scientist, I am driven to uncover the biological mechanisms that link what we eat with how our brain functions. Communicating these scientific findings to a wider audience, is important and necessary as it has the power to broadly improve health and well being through relatively lower cost behavioral modifications. Further, focusing nutritional advice on brain function is a shift in how nutritional advice is typically provided, and represents an opportunity to more effectively communicate this health message."

— Teresa M. Reyes, PHD

Society for Neuroscience

American Society for Nutrition

Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS)

Editorial Board Member, Brain Behavior and Immunity

Editor, Special Issue, Physiology and Behavior, Stress Neurobiology 2012 Workshop

Guest Editor, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Named Series 2014: Obesity, Nutrition and Neuroinflammation

  1. Vucetic, Z., Kimmel, J., Totoki K., Hollenbeck, E and Reyes, T.M. (2010). Maternal high-fat diet alters methylation and gene expression of dopamine and opioid-related genes. Endocrinology, 151(10), 4756-4764.
  2. Vucetic, Z., Totoki, K., Schoch, H., Whitaker, K.W., Hill-Smith, T., Lucki, I. and Reyes, T.M. (2010). Early life protein restriction alters dopamine circuitry. Neuroscience, 168(2),359-370.
  3. Vucetic, Z., Kimmel, J. and Reyes, T.M. (2011). Chronic high fat diet drives postnatal epigenetic regulation of µ-opioid receptor in the brain. Neuropsychopharmacology, 36(6),1199-1206.
  4. Carlin, J., George, R. and Reyes T.M. (2013). Methyl donor supplementation blocks the adverse effects of maternal high fat diet on offspring physiology. PLOS One, 8(5), e63549.
  5. Grissom, N.M., Herdt, C.T., Desilets, J., Lidsky-Everson, J. and Reyes, T.M. (2015). Dissociable deficits of executive function caused by gestational adversity are linked to specific transcriptional changes in the prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(6),1353-1363.