A biology professor at Mount Allison University is heading up a study on the link between stress and appetite. 

Neuroscientist Karen Crosby has received a grant worth more than $80,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for her research, which is focused on a small, little-understood region of the brain that regulates both stress and appetite.

Karen Crosby, neuroscientist, biology professor, Mount Allison University

Karen Crosby received $80,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for her research. (Mount Allison University)

She's currently studying that part of the brain in rats.

"If we can understand the mechanisms that underlie appetite regulation on how stress influences that in rats, it would provide significant insight into what is happening in humans," said Crosby.

"So we can begin to hopefully develop therapeutic interventions to help combat this obesity epidemic or even tackle eating disorders. There are a number of ways that this could eventually benefit humans."

The foundation grant will help pay for new equipment that will allow Crosby to record electrical activity from neurons in the rats' brains.

Annick Poirier, a registered dietitian with Moncton YMCA, spends a lot of time working with people who are trying lose weight. She says she would love to know more about this subject.

"Most of the clients that I do see on a regular basis, definitely stress is always a factor, so it will definitely be very interesting to find out more about that."