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Dr Aarti Jagannath

Dr Aarti Jagannath

Setting the body clock

Dr Aarti Jagannath's research“All organisms display 24h rhythms in physiology and behaviour, as exemplified by the sleep-wake cycle, but also including rhythms in blood pressure, body temperature and even cognitive ability. These rhythms are driven by a circadian clock (body clock) that is a molecular pacemaker occurring in most cells throughout the body. Whilst we do understand the molecular mechanisms that generate circadian clocks, we have very little idea of how this clock is set to the correct time. I propose to use cellular models of the clock to identify the signalling pathways relay environmental information to the clock. I will do this by testing a range of drugs and biological molecules for their ability to modify the clock and follow through with studies to identify the mechanism by which these molecules have their effect. Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption is endemic to our 24/7 societies and we are now discovering that disruption of the clock can lead to obesity, diabetes and even mental health disorders such as bipolar disease. As a result, there is to be much gained from understanding how the molecular clock is regulated, and by extension, how we may be able to modulate its function when disrupted.”

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