Satchin Panda, a professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory, is interested in understanding the molecular mechanism of the biological clock in a mouse model system. The biological clock or circadian oscillator in most organisms coordinates behavior and physiology with the natural light-dark cycle. His laboratory uses genetic, genomics and biochemical approaches to identify genes under circadian regulation in different organs and to understand the mechanism of such regulation. His lab also tries to characterize the mechanism by which the circadian oscillator is synchronized to the natural light-dark condition. Both classical rod/cone photoreceptors and a newly identified ocular photopigment melanopsin participate in photoentrainment of the clock. Research in his lab is geared towards identifying molecular components and events critical for transmitting light information from the eye to the master oscillator in the brain.