Tionna Ouellette

Predoctoral Associate

I am interested in understanding non-homeostatic or hedonic control of feeding, and how neuronal circuits which produce feeding behaviors can be altered by diet.

Visit The O'Connell Lab


Bar Harbor, ME





The hypothalamus is a heterogenous brain region which receives and integrates signals from multiple sensory systems and relays that information to brain regions which form an appropriate behavioral outcome. Within the hypothalamus, the arcuate nucleus is well characterized for its role in regulation of ingestive behaviors. As a student, my thesis work aims to understand what brain regions integrate with the arcuate nucleus or other nuclei in the hypothalamus to produce behaviors related to food intake.

My project utilizes mouse strains which fluorescently label neurons that are activated in response to feeding behavior. This unbiased approach allows us to investigate long range connectivity to the hypothalamus as well as microscale connections within the arcuate nucleus at the resolution of single neurons. After developing models of neural connectivity patterns, we can then ask how these connections change with the type of behavior being performed, and to what degree diet affects those connections.

These methods, in combination with other techniques will bring understanding of neuronal genetics, morphology, and physiology which can be altered by diet induced obesity and comorbid disease states, like Type II Diabetes.

Tionna Ouellette on ORCID

Education and experience


Tufts University
The Jackson Laboratory
Predoctoral Student, Neuroscience

The University of Maine, Orono
B.S. Biochemistry


The Jackson Laboratory
Predoctoral Student
Dr. Kristen O'Connell

The Jackson Laboratory
Research Intern
Dr. Simon John

The University of Maine, Orono
Research Assistant
Dr. Robert Gundersen

The University of Maine, Orono
Research Assistant
Dr. David Nievandt