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| Phone: (404) 756-5228 |
Lab: (404) 756-1266
Fax: (404) 752-1164
Circadian Timing – Understanding and Altering
Circadian clocks are endogenous pacemakers that drive daily rhythms in many aspects of our physiology and behavior, so that these processes occur at the optimal time of day. Circadian clocks have evolved to help us cope with the daily cycle between light and dark, and are tightly synchronized to the environment directly by this light-dark cycle. Conditions that disrupt this synchronization, or disrupt overall circadian clock function decrease general health, and increase risk for developing a myriad of diseases including depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and even many types of cancer; risks that are becoming more prevalent as our society continues towards a “24-hour, on-demand” culture.
My lab is focused broadly on identifying new ways to manipulate the mammalian circadian clock. But in order to manipulate the clock in a controlled way, we need to understand the clock and how it operates at the molecular and biochemical levels, all the way to the organism level. We are predominantly using a “ground – up” approach. We start by discovering new circadian clock regulators, primarily by developing cell based functional genetic/genomic tools and focused high-throughput screening, followed by determining how their manipulation can be used to alter circadian clock function in animals. This multidisciplinary approach involves application of wide variety of molecular, genetic, biochemical and behavioral techniques, and should lead to the discovery of therapeutic targets and approaches to manipulate the clock towards the mitigation of circadian clock-related disease risk. [read more]
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