Circadian clocks have been conserved throughout the evolution, allowing bacteria, animals, and plants to adapt their physiological needs to the time of day in an anticipatory way. In mammals, these pacemakers regulate many physiological processes such as sleep-wake cycles, body temperature, heartbeat, and many other aspects of the physiology. If mechanisms allowing these controls by the molecular oscillator and feeding rhythms are not completely understood, it is accepted that they involved rhythmic transcription of genes coding for enzymes implicated in different aspects of animal physiology.

In the liver, this fluctuating physiology leads ultimately to its size fluctuation. However, the involved mechanisms are still largely unknown. Considering the fact that perturbation of the circadian clock is associated to numerous pathologies including obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer, it is of great importance to better understand the consequences of these perturbations.

Associate Professor Frédéric Gachon

A/Prof Gachon received his PhD in 2001 from the University of Montpellier for research on transcriptional regulation of the retrovirus HTLV-I promoter by a complex of viral and cellular proteins. Between 2001 and 2006, he performed his post-doctoral training with Professor Ueli Schibler at the department of Molecular Biology of the University of Geneva, where he worked on the physiological functions of the circadian clock regulated PARbZip transcription factors.

In 2006, he joined the Institute of Human Genetic (CNRS UPR 1142) in Montpellier where he started an independent research group studying the role of circadian clock-orchestrated post-transcription modifications on mouse metabolism. He joined in 2009 the Department of Pharmacology of the University of Lausanne as an assistant professor, and then joined the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in 2012 where he pursued his work on the role of feeding and circadian rhythms on mouse and human physiology. He is now Associate Professor at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience of the University of Queensland.

Seminar host: Associate Professor Irina Vetter (

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