null Dana Small, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC

Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program

Centre for Translational Biology



ingestive behavior • decision making • gut-brain axis • obesity • neuroimaging

Research Focus

The lab mission is to understand how body and mind work together to optimize behaviour. Our main model is ingestive behaviour because we believe that the need to acquire and use energy is a key driver of brain evolution. Of course, evolution is also shaped by the environment, and the human food environment has undergone profound changes in the past century. To understand how the mind and body work together and how they are affected by the food environment, we use neuroimaging, metabolic, neuropsychological, behavioural and perceptual methods. We work primarily in humans but have close collaborations with colleagues working in animal models.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • I.E. de Araujo, M. Schatzker, D.M. Small “Rethinking Food Reward” Annual Reviews of Psychology, 2020 71: 24.1-24.6.

  • S. E. Thanarajah, A. G. DiFeliceantonio, K. Albus, B. Kuzmanovic, L. Rigoux, S. Iglesias, R. Hansen, M. Schlamann, O. A. Cornely, J.C. Bruening, M. Tittgemeyer, D. M. Small “Western diet modulates reward processing in humans” Cell Metabolism, 2023, Apr 4;35(4):571-584.

  • E. Montalban, R. Walle, J. Castel, A. Ansoult, R. Hassouna, E. Foppen, X. Fang, Z. Hutelin, S. Mickus, A. Petibon, J. Bertholet, F. Rogreuques-Lima, A. Cebrian-Serrano, G. Gangarossa, C. Martin, P. Trifileff, C. Bosch-Bouju, D. M. Small, S. Luquet. “The addiction-susceptibility TaqIA/Ankyrin repeat and kinase domain containing 1 kinase (ANKK1) controls reward and metabolism through dopamine receptor type 2 (DR2)-expressing neurons”, Biological Psychiatry, 2023,

  • J. R. Dalenberg, B. P. Patel, R. Denis, M. G. Veldhuizen, Y. Nakamura, P. C. Vinke, S. Luquet D. M. Small “Short-term consumption of sucralose with, but not without, carbohydrate impairs neural and metabolic sensitivity to sugar in humans. Cell Metabolism, 2020 31(3) 493-502.

  • A.G. DiFeliceantonio, G. Coppin, L. Rigoux, S. E. Thanarajah, A. Dagher, M Tittgemeyer, D. M. Small “Supra-additive effects of combining fat and carbohydrate on food reward” Cell Metabolism 2018 28 (1) 33-44.