Primary AppointmentProfessor, Biology
Behavioral and Physiological Analysis of Vertebrate Circadian Rhythms
We are also studying light inputs to the circadian system, in particular the properties of a subclass of retinal ganglion cells that are intrinsically photosensitive and send their axons directly to clock centers in the brain.
Because circadian rhythmicity is a fundamental property of virtually all living things, understanding of its basic mechanisms is certain to bring practical benefits. Knowledge that we develop will have obvious applications to the problems associated with jet lag, shift work, and abnormal sleep patterns, but may also provide important insights into pathological mental states such as depression, and will inform the use of timed application of drugs and other treatments.