Dysregulation and disease: Cause or effect?
To investigate circadian organization, our group developed a method for generating phase maps by measuring circadian gene bioluminescence in acute tissue explants.
Using this technique, we have shown how the system changes during jet lag and shift work. We also investigated how circadian organization changes during ontogeny and aging and identified tissues whose phases are shifted by timed restricted feeding or high-fat diet.
From these studies, we have learned that the multi-oscillatory circadian system is carefully tuned for adaptation to changes in the environment.
I believe that the continuation of our studies investigating the factors that impact circadian organization will provide strategies for preventing diseases as well as novel therapeutics. But we must be cautious to distinguish between whether circadian disruption causes or is a consequence of disease.