RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The Center for Circadian Biology and Medicine integrates both basic and clinical research into a unified program that has as its goals:

1. To elucidate the fundamental mechanisms that underlie the entrainment, generation and expression of circadian rhythms.

2. To determine the consequences of circadian rhythm dysfunctions for human health, safety, performance and productivity.

3. To develop treatments to alleviate the adverse effects of circadian rhythm dysfunctions, particularly circadian abnormalities associated with advanced age.

To achieve these goals, four parallel but interactive lines of research are carried out in the Center.

1. Cellular and molecular studies are performed using isolated tissue and cells from circadian pacemakers in vertebrates to discover clock mechanisms.

2. Genetic approaches are utilized to isolate, identify and characterize circadian clock mutants with the ultimate goal of being able to clone clock-related genes and to identify the function of their products.

3. Animal studies are performed using rodents to study the physiological control of biological rhythms.

4. Human studies are focused on circadian rhythms in both normal subjects and individuals with impaired health that have (or may have) associated sleep and rhythm disorders.