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The factors that contribute to the present obesity epidemic are numerous and diverse in nature. Of considerable relevance is the availability and overconsumption of palatable food high in fat content. I am interested in studying the behavioral and neurobiological consequences of prolonged exposure to a high-fat diet in the rodent model. Currently, I am using a number of behavioral and histological techniques to examine how the consumption of this diet elicits molecular change and structural plasticity within reward circuitry, and specifically how these modifications may be mediated by various endopeptidases.