Job Description

What wakes us each day? How do we prepare for the daily challenges of finding food, shelter, and friends while avoiding predators and other environmental dangers? The Herzog Lab studies the molecules, cells and circuits underlying daily rhythms in mammals. We use real-time, long-term cellular imaging, electrophysiology and manipulations to gain insights into the roles of specific signals and cell types in the rich repertoire of daily behaviors. We currently focus on circadian regulation in, and by, neurons and astrocytes of different brain regions. We seek to answer questions like: Which cells generate daily rhythms? How do they synchronize to one another? What are the consequences when their rhythms are disrupted and can we restore daily rhythms when they are misaligned or lost?

To oscillate is normal. We focus on the roles of specific molecules, cells and circuits in scheduling daily changes in physiology and behavior.  We study this in mice, humans and computational models.

Current projects include:

1.    How do the MOLECULES of the circadian clock generate daily rhythms in physiology and behavior?  We focus on the roles of specific transcription factors and developmental programs which initiate circadian rhythms in utero.

2.    Which CELLS in the brain are responsible for circadian regulation of physiology and behavior?  We focus on classes of neurons and glia.

3.    What are the mechanisms of CELL-CELL COMMUNICATION that synchronize daily rhythms in the brain to drive behavior? We develop novel methods to map functional and anatomical connections between cells and test the roles of neurotransmitters, gap junctions, and neuropeptides.

4.    How do they relate to HEALTH disorders including brain cancer, pre-term birth, mood disorders and channelopathies?

We study the circadian properties of cells in isolation, in small networks, and in different brain and body tissues in vivo and in vitro. By combining behavioral assays, cell culture, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and molecular biology, we examine the intracellular and intercellular processes that are involved in rhythm generation, synchronization to the environment, synchronization among oscillators and rhythmic output.

Undergraduate Neurotrack  |  Graduate Neuro Program  |  ENDURE  | Clocksclub | COBRAS | STL Neuro Outreach  | STL Neuro Outreach Interest Group |  Brain Bee  | WUSTL Biology


Be the first to review “Erik Herzog”

Your Rating for this listing