University of Cambridge > > Cambridge Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Seminars > Why is the suprachiasmatic nucleus such a brilliant circadian time-keeper?

Why is the suprachiasmatic nucleus such a brilliant circadian time-keeper?

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dervila Glynn.

Theme: Adaptive Brain Computations

Circadian clocks dominate our lives. By creating and distributing an internal representation of 24-hour solar time, they prepare us, and thereby adapt us, to the daily and seasonal world. Jet-lag is an obvious indicator of what can go wrong when such adaptation is disrupted acutely. More seriously, the growing prevalence of rotational shift-work which runs counter to our circadian life, is a significant chronic challenge to health, presenting as increased incidence of systemic conditions such as metabolic and cardiovascular disease. Added to this, circadian and sleep disturbances are a recognised feature of various neurological and psychiatric conditions, and in some cases may contribute to disease progression. The “head ganglion” of the circadian system is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. It synchronises the, literally, innumerable cellular clocks across the body, to each other and to solar time. Isolated in organotypic slice culture, it can maintain precise, high-amplitude circadian cycles of neural activity, effectively, indefinitely, just as it does in vivo. How is this achieved: how does this clock in a dish work? This presentation will consider SCN time-keeping at the level of molecular feedback loops, neuropeptidergic networks and neuron-astrocyte interactions.

Biography: Michael Hastings graduated from the University of Liverpool (1977) with a BSc in Marine Biology. For his PhD in Marine Ecology, again at Liverpool, he studied tidal and lunar rhythms in intertidal crustaceans (1980). After a PGCE in Manchester (1981) he took a post-doc with Joe Herbert in the Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge to investigate the role of melatonin and circadian clocks in seasonal fertility of mammals. He was appointed to a Junior Lectureship (Demonstratorship) in Anatomy in 1984, and became a Lecturer in 1988 establishing his own laboratory in circadian and seasonal neuroscience. He was a Fellow & College Lecturer at Queens’ College, Cambridge (1987-1990). His research interests moved towards the neurobiology of circadian clocks, with a focus on entrainment of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the brain’s principal pacemaker, and he was appointed Reader in Neuroscience in 1998. In 2001 he left the University to become a Programme Leader in Circadian Neurobiology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge. This enabled him to develop a molecular genetic approach to elucidate the mechanisms of circadian time-keeping in mammals. In October 2013 he joined Michel Goedert as Joint Head of the Neurobiology Division, and become sole Head of Division in May 2016 (to present). In 2008 he was Elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences and also elected as President of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms. In 2010 he was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society. He has served on the Society for Neuroscience Program Committee, various Royal Society committees and the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (2016- 21). He holds an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience in the University

Register in advance for this seminar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Seminars series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity