Rebeca Méndez-Hernández

Postdoctoral Fellow


Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center


MSc, Biochemistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico
PhD, Biomedical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Laboratory Of

Dr. Guillaume de Lartigue

Research Summary

Why do we become overweight? We normally think of obesity as a logical consequence of overfeeding, but recent studies have shown that not only what we eat, but also when we eat, can significantly contribute to metabolic disease. Furthermore, aberrant light-dark schedules also predispose individuals to obesity. Therefore, my research aims to understand how the disruption of daily cycles can promote metabolic diseases.

My work in the de Lartigue lab is focused on describing daily rhythms in the sensing of meal-related signals by the vagus nerve and understanding how the disruption of daily cycles alters gut-brain communication. We employ a combination of techniques in mice to record and manipulate vagal neurons and trace the brain regions that integrate vagal signals with external light/dark signals. These studies will provide the basis for understanding the mechanisms that induce metabolic problems in shift workers and people with nocturnal lifestyles.


metabolism, gut-brain axis, circadian rhythms, obesity, neurobiology, chrono-disruption, in vivo imaging

Representative Publications

Méndez-Hernández, R., Rumanova, V. S., Guzmán-Ruiz, M. A., Foppen, E., Moreno- Morton, R., Hurtado-Alvarado, G., … Buijs, R. M. (2022). Minor Changes in Daily Rhythms Induced by a Skeleton Photoperiod Are Associated with Increased Adiposity and Glucose Intolerance. Advanced Biology.

García-Aviles, J. E., Méndez-Hernández, R., Guzmán-Ruiz, M. A., Cruz, M., Guerrero-Vargas, N. N., Velázquez-Moctezuma, J., & Hurtado-Alvarado, G. (2021). Metabolic Disturbances Induced by Sleep Restriction as Potential Triggers for Alzheimer’s Disease. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 15(September), 1–13.

Méndez-Hernández, R., Escobar, C., & Buijs, R. M. (2020). Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Arcuate Nucleus Axis: Interaction Between Time and Metabolism; Essential for Health. Obesity, 28(S1), S10–S17.

Moran-Ramos, S., Guerrero-Vargas, N. N., Mendez-Hernandez, R., Basualdo, M. del C., Escobar, C., & Buijs, R. M. (2017). The suprachiasmatic nucleus drives day–night variations in postprandial triglyceride uptake into skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue. Experimental Physiology, 102(12), 1584–1595.