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Accueil > EN > Research Areas > Complex Systems Dynamics > BIological Systems > Circadian Clocks

Introduction

par Benjamin PFEUTY, Marc LEFRANC, Webmestre - publié le , mis à jour le

Circadian clocks keep time of day in many living organisms, allowing them to anticipate environmental changes induced by day/night alternation. They consist of networks of genes and proteins interacting so as to generate biochemical oscillations with a period close to 24 hours. The cell can determine what time it is depending on the concentration or activity of a particular protein.

Circadian clocks synchronize to the day/night cycle by sensing external signals related to this cycle, such as light, temperature or food intake. Some proteins can for instance be degraded more rapidly in the evening or more actively produced in the morning.

In close collaboration with biologists from the oceanographic observatory of Banyuls (microscopic algae Ostreococcus tauri) and the Institut Pasteur de Lille (mouse, man), we seek to establish mathematical models that accurately reflect experimental observations and profiles time observed. We use these models to identify the architectural principles that provide these clocks with robustness and flexibility.

Short- to mid-term objectives are to study the interactions of the circadian clock with other aspects of cellular dynamics, including the division cycle, metabolism, and stress response. It should help us understand the principles allowing for the integration and coordination of various cellular functions together.

Post-doctoral position available : modeling the coupling of the mammalian circadian clock to metabolism