Circadian rhythms in health and disease

Human physiology and behavior undergo daily (circadian = 24 hr) rhythms that are generated by an internal “body clock” in the brain, the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). Rhythms, such as the sleep-wake pattern, hormonal daily fluctuations and the immune system activity, may become disturbed by internal or external factors, for instance in “jet lag”, which occurs after rapid traveling across time zones. Disturbed rhythms are also common in certain psychiatric disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases and aging. The body copes with and adapts to short term disturbances in the circadian system. However, long term alterations in the rhythm machinery are associated with severe disturbances in the sleep pattern and may in the long run have severe consequences on the health status. For instance, certain cancer types are significantly associated with and accelerated by long term shift work, which causes chronic disruption of the biological clock function. Chronic sleep and rhythm distrubances also signifcanly increase the risk for depression, diabetes amd cardiovascular diseases. Deciphering all components in the circadian machinery is a prerequisite for developing new therapeutic strategies to treat circadian rhythm disorders, and to bridge circadian research to the clinics. 

Circadian rhythms

All living organisms have a daily time-keeping system, a co-called circadian clock. The clock generates daily rhythms in sleep-wakefulness, hormonal fluctuations and immune functions. Disturbances in the clock system can cause health problems.

Clock Blog

Some of the latest news, articles and media in the field of circadian rhythms. If  you have suggestion of an important topic, or would like to write a guest blog contribution, please contact me. 

Contact me

I frequently give lectures and presentations about circadian rhythmicity and its role in health and disease. I also give presentations on distance via internet. I am happy to answer any questions related to the topic. 

About me

I am a neuroscientist and university teacher specialized in research on circadian rhythms, or so called "chronobiology", which is a research field that describes how daily fluctuations in sleep-wakefulness, social behavior, hormonal release, immune system mechanims and other bodily functions are controlled by a "body clock". → Read more 

Curriculum vitae

  • Aug 2018 -
    Lecturer / Privatdozentin, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Feb 2015 -
    Scientific coordinator, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne, Germany
  • Aug 2014 - 2020
    Associate professor (habilitation), Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

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It is time to take time seriously

psychiatric diseases are characterized by disturbances in circadian rhythmicity. The importance of circadian biology has rarely been considered when translating pre-clinical studies to the bedside.

Watching the molecular clock "live"

Is it possible to watch the biological molecular clock ticking?
Yes, in fact it is! By tagging a so-called glock gene or a clock gene protein to a visible marker, one can watch the gene or protein activity in real time.
Gabriella Lundkvist: LUC protein oscillations in individual neurons

LUC protein oscillations in individual neurons

Gabriella Lundkvist: Video about Slice Preparation, Organotypic Tissue Culturing and Luciferase Recording

Video about Slice Preparation, Organotypic Tissue Culturing and Luciferase Recording

Gabriella Lundkvist: Real time recording of Period1 expression

Real time recording of Period1 expression

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The cells that keep our body clocks ticking

The brain contains a master pacemaker generating circadian (∼24 hr) rhythms, a so- called ”biological clock”. The clock drives rhythms including sleep-wake patterns, hormonal fluctuations, immune system activities and behavior.

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Latest News

Some of the latest events, new articles, and other news that may be of interest.  
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