Investigating functional roles of circadian rhythms in Neurospora crassa

15 June 2012

Christian Hong
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine


Fundamental cellular processes that maintain most organisms' health and survival include cell cycle, DNA damage response, and circadian rhythms. Cell cycle is equipped with multiple checkpoints for controlled growth, DNA replication, and divisions. DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms control cell fate by either repairing single or double strand breaks, or triggering apoptosis for programmed cell death when the damage is fatal. Last, but not least, is circadian rhythm that keeps track of time of a day, and plays a central role in most organisms for setting the sleep/wake cycle, feeding rhythms, and other daily activities. These distinct molecular mechanisms communicate with each other and create a complex bio-molecular network to optimize conditions for cells to grow and adapt to the surrounding environment. We explore functional roles of circadian rhythms in other cellular processes such as cell cycle employing mathematical modeling and experimental validations using the model organism Neurospora crassa.

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