Understanding the molecular interplay between metabolism and circadian rhythms in humans

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Science


Endogenous circadian rhythms are key in many physiological and behavioural processes in humans and changes in rhythms or desynchronization processes (for example, in shift workers) have been linked with adverse outcomes related to health and ageing. The central circadian clock is located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei and synchronises the timing of peripheral clocks in liver, muscle, gut and adipose tissue. Previous research has suggested that the central and peripheral circadian clocks are highly synchronised but recent research has implicated that misalignment between the central and peripheral clocks is a driver in ageing and development of chronic non-communicable diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Understanding how the central and peripheral circadian clocks regulate metabolism or how these clocks are regulated by metabolic processes is hugely important, though limited research has currently been performed. The PhD research programme will investigate the feedback and feed-forward links between the circadian timing system and metabolism in humans applying metabolomics and cellular molecular biology approaches with a focus on acute and chronic molecular changes related to age and lifestyle (diet, exercise).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2265109 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Thomas Hancox