Dr. Tregellas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus. He also holds an appointment at the Denver VA Medical Center, and is Director of the Anschutz Medical Campus Brain Imaging Center. He is an NIH- and VA-funded investigator and has authored 85 manuscripts.
A primary focus of Dr. Tregellas’ research career has been understanding the neurobiology of food intake behavior and energy expenditure. Much of this work examines the neuronal effects of alterations in these processes, either by modifying food intake via short-term overfeeding or underfeeding, or increasing energy expenditure by exercise. His initial work examining the effects of overfeeding on neuronal responses was among the first neuroimaging studies of food intake behavior. Recent work investigates both cognitive processes which may be specifically linked to food intake behaviors, such as response to visual food cues and impulsivity, and broader neuronal processes such as the function and connectivity of intrinsic, large-scale brain networks. Dr. Tregellas is also interested in understanding how these processes can be maladaptive in obesity. In a series of studies of lean, overweight/obese-prone, or previously-obese individuals, his lab has identified neuronal response and brain volume differences that may be associated with obesity. A central theme of these findings is that obese-prone individuals seem to be less responsive to changes in energy balance in specific brain networks. These results are now being utilized to develop novel therapeutic strategies for obesity prevention, both in the general population, and in groups with even higher risk for obesity, such as individuals with schizophrenia, who have obesity rates twice as high as the general population.