Guidry News Service recently visited with UTMB researcher Xiaodong Cheng who has been working to identify and block a protein that interferes with an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin. “The problem with obese people is they have this high level of leptin in their circulation, but they are not really functioning,” he said. “It is what we call leptin resistance. It is almost like a thermostat that is dysfunctional.”