I'm a Ph.D. biochemist by training. Biochemists usually obsess over the detailed mechanisms of biological molecules--for example, how do proteins work together to relay growth signals to cells, and how does this signaling go awry in cancer?
In my lab at UC Santa Cruz, we study the molecular basis for biological timekeeping. I'm fascinated by the fact that our biology and behavior are coordinated into rhythms that align with the daily solar cycle. These circadian (about a day) rhythms are controlled by molecular clocks that exist in nearly every one of your billions of cells, controlling when genes are expressed and how cells generate and respond to metabolic and immune challenges, amongst other things. By developing a deeper understanding of molecular clocks and how they control our biology, we hope to discover innovative new therapeutics that work to improve health and well being.