Erik is a chronobiologist, studying the molecules, cells and circuits that underlie daily rhythms in physiology and behavior. He is Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at Washington University. He studied Biology and Spanish as an undergraduate at Duke University and Neuroscience as a graduate student with Dr. Robert Barlow at Syracuse University. He did postdoctoral research with Dr. Gene Block at the University of Virginia.
In 2000, Erik started his lab at Washington University. His laboratory has discovered mechanisms underlying how circadian clocks regulate physiology, behavior and health. Current projects include: identify the neural code used by neurons to release neuropeptides that synchronize circadian cells, test the role of maternal and fetal circadian tissues in timing birth, establish the ionic basis for daily rhythms in neuronal excitability, and map the connections and cell types that underlie daily rhythms as a function of age, sex and seasons. Supported by grants from agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the March of Dimes, the lab has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Erik has been recognized with teaching and mentoring awards and Co-Directed the WU Neuroscience Graduate Program from 2012-17. Erik serves as the President of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms and the Director of the St. Louis Neuroscience Pipeline, a NIH-funded initiative to increase diversity in the neurosciences.