To oscillate is normal. We focus on the roles of specific molecules, cells and circuits in scheduling daily changes in physiology and behavior. We study this in mice, humans and computational models.
Current projects include:
1. How do the MOLECULES of the circadian clock generate daily rhythms in physiology and behavior? We focus on the roles of specific transcription factors and developmental programs which initiate circadian rhythms in utero.
2. Which CELLS in the brain are responsible for circadian regulation of physiology and behavior? We focus on classes of neurons and glia.
3. What are the mechanisms of CELL-CELL COMMUNICATION that synchronize daily rhythms in the brain to drive behavior? We develop novel methods to map functional and anatomical connections between cells and test the roles of neurotransmitters, gap junctions, and neuropeptides.
We study the circadian properties of cells in isolation, in small networks, and in different brain and body tissues in vivo and in vitro. By combining behavioral assays, cell culture, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and molecular biology, we examine the intracellular and intercellular processes that are involved in rhythm generation, synchronization to the environment, synchronization among oscillators and rhythmic output.