• 2023 - Sex-specific brain signals drive obesity differently in men and women, according to new study. Dr. Arpana Gupta, co-director of the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center and senior author on the study, is interviewed on AirTalk podcast with Larry Mantle (1:07:35)
  • 2023 - Brain scans show how different factors can influence obesity in men and women. Understanding the differences, researchers say, could have implications for more targeted approaches to weight loss. Dr. Arpana Gupta, co-director of the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center, provides expert commentary in this NBC article
  • 2023 - The TODAY Show discusses our recent research on how advanced brain scans are revealing the differences in how men and women gain weight and how that can impacts our eating habits.
  • 2023 - UCLA study finds discriminatory experiences affect health of brain, body
    • "Discrimination is not just an issue for a person. It is not just an issue for a community or a racial or ethnic group. It is a public health issue.” Dr. Arpana Gupta is the co-director of the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center and Dr. Tien S. Dong is a health sciences assistant clinical professor of medicine.
  • 2023 - Everyday experiences of racism can impact your brain-gut microbiome, new study shows
    • Arpana Gupta, PhD, and Tien S. MD, PhD, interviewed by MSNBC
  • 2022 - How does racism make you sick?
    • Arpana Gupta, PhD, and Tien S. MD, PhD, publish new research in Biological Psychiatry on how stress, racism and discrimination impact biology.
  • 2022 - Arpana Gupta, PhD, and Lisa Kilpatrick, PhD, co-investigators on largest brain development study
    • Racial, ethnic and sexual minority youths are at an increased risk of tobacco use and related undesired health consequences. How social and biological factors explain such increased risk, however, remains unknown. “Nicotine Exposure Alters Tissue Glucocorticoid Metabolism and Leads to Hypertension” will analyze existing data of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, the largest brain development study conducted in the U.S. to date. Investigators propose that low socioeconomic status (SES), high stress (measured across five domains), and weaker SES effects may be why high tobacco initiation and susceptibility are observed in minority youths. A $1 million grant will fund a three-year collaboration among Shervin Ansari, MD, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; William J. McCarthy, PhD, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; Nicholas J. Jackson, PhD, MPH, UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research; Lisa Kilpatrick, PhD, UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience; and Arpana Gupta, PhD, director of the Neuroimaging Core for the UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases.

  • 2022 - UCLA Technology and Development Group (TDG) Innovation Fellowship: Sponsored by Startup UCLA, TDG, and the VCR, to help selected fellows at advancing entrepreneurial excellence and startup culture (PIs: Arpana Gupta, PhD/ Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD). We hope to use this opportunity to start our company ABioME, a company based on using select microbiome mixtures to develop supplements targeting the brain gut to help with specific disorders, behaviors and conditions.
  • 2022 - "Alterations in reward network functional connectivity are associated with increases food addiction in obese individuals" received 2,310 downloads, placing it in the top 100 downloaded Neuroscience papers for Scientific Reports.
  • 2021 - Arpana Gupta, PhD, was expert reference in Is Gut Health a Key to Living Longer? Here's What Some of the Oldest Living People in the World Have in Common published by Well+Good
  • 2021 - Researchers from the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience awarded a grant from Danone Nutricia Research to investigate the effect of perceived stress on cognitive, emotional, and autonomic responses, and the potential involvement of the gut microbiome in a study entitled, “Cognitive and biological responses in stress.”
    • The study aims to determine differences in cognitive and biological responses in individuals with higher or lower levels of perceived stress. The investigators will characterize people’s stress responses to laboratory-based stress tasks in three domains (attention/executive function, emotional, and performance stress). In addition, autonomic nervous system measures, circulating metabolite levels, and subjective measures such as mood and affect will also be acquired.
  • 2021 - Daily Bruin highlights our study on how childhood adversity can alter someone's biological makeup through interactions of the brain and gut microbiome, to increase vulnerability towards increased anxiety and depression
  • 2021 - Michelle Guan, medical student, and Rachel Sarnoff, MD (PGY2), had Digestive Disease Week® abstract accepted for oral research sessions - Independent Effects of Race and Diet on the Brain-Gut Microbiome Axis in Obesity
  • 2021 - Rachel Sarnoff, MD (PGY2), had Digestive Disease Week® abstract accepted for oral research sessions - Brain-Gut-Microbiome Differences Between Constipation-Predominant vs. Non-Constipation-Predominant IBS
  • 2021 - Arpana Gupta, PhD, receives R01 MD015904 NIH/NIMHD grant - Social Isolation and Discrimination as Stressors Influencing Brain-Gut Microbiome Alterations Among Filipino and Mexican Americans
  • 2020 - Arpana Gupta, PhD, receives Danone grant - Pilot Study to Determine the Optimal Design for the UCLA/Danone Probiotic Study Related to Stress. The goal of this pilot study is to identify the optimal population and methodology for the planned probiotic intervention study in Phase II of the collaboration.
  • 2017 - Selected for cover page of Neurogastroenterology and Motility - Gupta A, Cole S, Labus JS, Joshi S, Nguyen TJ, Kilpatrick L, Hong JY, Tillisch K, Chang L, Mayer EA. Gene Expression Profiles in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Correlate with Salience Network Activity in Chronic Visceral PainNeurogastroenterology and Motility. 2017. 29(6). doi: 10.1111/nmo.13027. Epub 2017 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print]. PMCID: PMC5503466. Cover Page: NGM
  • 2015 - Most Cited Paper Award: Gupta A, et al. Disease-Related Differences in Resting State Networks: A Comparison Between Localized Provoked Vulvodynia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Healthy Control SubjectsPain, 2015. PMCID: PMC4402252

Press Releases

  • 2018 - "What Drives us to Eat for Pleasure" - UCLA’s Daily Bruin published a story on the new finding that establishes a connection between indole metabolite levels and increased reward signals, and therefore hedonic eating and food addiction with obesity.
  • 2018 - “How Obesity Affects the Brain” -  Story carried by HealthDay, WebMD, U.S. News & World Report, ScienceDaily, MedicalXpress, News-Medical Net and 122 other outlets
  • 2016 - American Psychosomatic Society Annual Conference, Denver CO. “Morphological and Resting Brain Alterations in Localized Provoked Vulvodynia (LPVD) are Associated with Early Adversity.” Selected for Press Release
  • 2012 - Invited press release at 2012 national Society of Neuroscience (SfN) conference. “Discrimination and the effects on the brain”


  • U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/885,010. Compositions and methods for treating metabolic disease. UCH-20560 (32246.20560)
  • U.S. Provisional Application No. 63/107,998. Compositions and methods for diagnosing and treating patients with a history of early life adversity UCH-25860



  • Awards
    2019 - International Foundation for Functional Gastroenterological Disorders: Research Award
  • 2019 - Abstract of Distinction “Machine Learning Approaches Applied to the Prediction of Obesity Based on Brain Signatures and Diet”, Obesity Week, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2018 - Abstract of Distinction “Early Life Adversity Is Associated With Increased Susceptibility to Brain-Gut Alterations in Obesity”, Obesity Week, Nashville, TN
  • 2018 - Early Career Travel Award, Obesity Week, Nashville, TN
  • 2017 - Digestive Diseases Week (DDW), Chicago, IL. Winner of TWO AGA Poster Judging Competition: “An Investigation of BMI and Sex-Related Alterations in Intrinsic Brain Connectivity of the Reward and Interoceptive Brain Regions” AND “Bariatric Surgery is Associated With Changes in the Brain’s Reward System Architecture and Eating Behaviors. Gastroenterology”
  • 2016 - Division of Digestive Diseases Young Investigator Presentation Competition Winner (Poster of Distinction), San Diego, CA
  • 2016 - Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award Finalist (Obesity Week, annual national conference for The Obesity Society [TOS]), New Orleans, LA
  • 2015 - UCLA CURE Annual Research Meeting Poster Award (3rd prize)
  • 2015 - Gastroenterology Research Group (GRG) and American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) Fellow Travel Award for Digestive Diseases Week
  • 2015 - American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Trainee Award, Hollywood, FL
  • 2014 - Gastroenterology Research Group (GRG) and American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) Fellow Travel Award for Digestive Diseases Week
  • 2014 - UCLA Chancellor Postdoctoral Research award
  • 2014 - American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) Young Investigator Forum Award Bethesda, MD
  • 2014 - International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) -15th World Congress, Postdoctoral Research Award, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2014 - American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Trainee Award, Phoenix, AZ