What is the impact of disruption of circadian rhythms on health? Epidemiological studies suggest a link between occupations that involve shift work or frequent jet lag and increased incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other negative health consequences. Patients with metastatic disease show better outcome if their circadian rhythms are more robust.
How might disruption of circadian rhythms alter the multitude of pathways that lead to cancer, cardiovascular disease or poor health? We are using behavioral and bioluminescent measures to study disruption of circadian rhythms and the impact on physiology.
Our research funded by the National Cancer Institute of NIH tested if cytokines act on the circadian clock to cause cancer-related fatigue. This led to our current research attempting to develop an animal model of fatigue based on chronic inflammation.
We are studying circadian rhythms in the liver using primary hepatocyte cultures. The goal of this research is to determine if and how cells in the liver show circadian clock coupling. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation.