Genes Regulating Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture presented by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
Talk Abstract: We have identified genes that control the circadian rhythms of Drosophila. Interactions among these genes and their proteins set up a network of oscillations within single cells. These oscillations are autonomously generated, are found in most tissues, and establish rhythms in physiology and behavior. This mechanism is conserved within the animal kingdom: similar "clock" genes regulate patterns of sleep and other rhythms in humans. A common form of human insomnia called Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD) is characterized by a persistent and intractable delay in the timing of the major sleep episode. A study of several DSPD subjects allowed us to recognize a specific clock gene variant that affects behavioral, physiological and molecular circadian rhythms of carriers under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results are consistent with the candidate allele encoding a dominant, hyperactive transcription factor that alters sleep and circadian rhythms by lengthening the period of the circadian clock.
This is a free event hosted by Dr. Michael Friedlander and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. For more information, please call 540-526-2059 or send an e-mail.
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Michael Young, Ph.D.
Recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; the Richard and Jeanne Fisher Professor; and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Rockefeller University