Position: This is a project proposal for a student opportunity at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR).
Background: There is a strong link between circadian rhythms and the metabolism of mammals and disrupting these cycles can have a profound effect on metabolic parameters. Investigations into the interplay between energy metabolism and circadian rhythms normally use a 12:12 hour light:dark cycle which mimics a day close to the equinox. However, in many countries that are not close to the equator, such as Denmark, seasonal variation in light hours can dramatically change during summer and winter. Over half of the world’s population live at latitudes at which there is at least a difference of 4 hours of daylight per day between summer and winter, however the relationship between seasonal rhythms and energy metabolism is still not well understood.
The project: This project is designed to test the hypothesis that altering the photoperiod (hours of light per day) will affect both circadian rhythms as well as processes involved in energy metabolism. We will examine this hypothesis by investigating energy metabolism and circadian rhythms in model organisms exposed to different photoperiods. If we can determine the time of year in which humans are the most prone to metabolic disease we could alter medication regimens to reflect this or stress the importance of exercise and diet for particular seasons.
The student: We are looking for a highly motivated Master Student who is enthusiastic about research, and has the ability to learn and work independently. You will be mentored by a senior scientist in the lab who will train and assist you with directing the research project. A willingness to work with laboratory animals (mice) is necessary.
Contact: Professor Romain Barrès (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr Lewin Small (email@example.com).