Theme: Timing

Invited Speakers with the Theme of Timing

Symposium – Biological Timing in Development and Aging

Dr. Carol ELIAS, University of Michigan, USA

Enough Energy for Reproduction? It is Time to Grow Up

I received my postdoctoral training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, Boston-MA in Neurosciences and Neuroendocrinology. Following my postdoctoral training, I returned to Brazil to establish my own independent laboratory, in the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sao Paulo, where I worked for about 10 years. In 2006, I went back to the United States (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/UTSW, Dallas – TX) for 1-year sabbatical and was invited to join the faculty at the Division of Hypothalamic Research. In 2008, I was appointed Assistant Professor at UTSW, Department of Internal Medicine, in the Division of Hypothalamic Research and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. In November of 2012, I was appointed Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since January of 2017, I co-direct the Reproductive Sciences Program, from Ob-Gyn Department at the University of Michigan. My main research interest is systems neuroscience and neuroendocrinology, particularly the brain pathways linking metabolism and reproduction. The research in my laboratory aims to determine the neural and molecular mechanisms by which the metabolic imbalance disrupts the reproductive physiology. To accomplish our goals, we use molecular biology tools, mouse genetics and viral vectors for brain mapping, targeted deletion or re-expression of related genes and remote activation or inhibition of neural circuits. Research in my laboratory is funded by the NIH.

Dr. Gil LEVKOWITZ, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 

Cell Fate Decisions in Developing Hypothalamus

Gil Levkowitz received his BSc. and MSc. from Tel Aviv University in Israel. He conducted his Ph.D. research in Prof. Yosef Yarden’s laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Science focusing on epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling, and earned his Ph.D. degree at 2000. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow (2000-2002) in Arnon Rosenthal’s laboratory at Genentech Inc., (South San Francisco, USA) where he studied the embryonic development of the dopamine- secreting [termed ‘dopaminergic’] neuronal cell type, which is associated with Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurological disorders. He then spent approximately two years (2002-2003) as a project team leader at Rinat-Neuroscience Corp. in Palo Alto. USA (now Rinat-Pfizer Inc.), conducting research and pre-clinical development of drugs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Since returning to Israel he has been a Senior Scientist and then an Associate Professor at the Weizmann Institute. His lab is using zebrafish to study genetic pathways controlling the development and function of hypothalamic neuroendocrine and central circuits.

Dr. Kellie TAMASHIRO, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Depression, and Obesity

Dr. Kellie Tamashiro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Tamashiro received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  In 2005, she received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati studying the consequences of chronic psychosocial stress on health and behavior.  Dr. Tamashiro completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Behavioral Neuroscience in 2008.  Dr. Tamashiro’s main research interest is focused on how changes in the early life environment impacts offspring’s development and health.  Her laboratory uses animal models to investigate the consequences of maternal stressors during pregnancy on developing offspring.  Current studies are aimed at elucidating the mechanisms through which an adverse perinatal environment programs brain development and behavioral deficits in offspring.  Using such animal models, the goal is to identify novel targets for development of more effective clinical diagnosis and therapy to improve maternal and child health.

Dr. Marysia PLACZEK, University of Sheffield, UK 

Development of the Hypothalamus

I graduated with an Honours degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh, completed a PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK, then performed post-doctoral studies in Jane Dodd’s lab at Columbia University, USA. Here I trained as a developmental neurobiologist, and demonstrated the pivotal role of ventral midline cells, and the secreted signalling factor, Shh, in dorso-ventral patterning of the neural tube. I returned to the UK as an independent investigator, first at the NIMR, then the University of Sheffield (1997). I was appointed to a Chair in 1999, and co-directed, then directed, the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics (2005-2012) and then the Bateson Centre (2012-2015). The main focus of my independent research has been to elucidate the cellular and molecular programmes that underpin development of the hypothalamus in vertebrate animal model organism. Our recent work suggests that the hypothalamus self-assembles from a multipotent FGF-responsive Fgf10+ stem-like cell that is induced in response to signals from the prechordal mesoderm. Our current studies aim  to fully-dissect the mechanisms that orchestrate hypothalamic self-assembly and maintenance and to elucidate  gene x environmental regulation of hypothalamic neural stem/progenitor cells through the lifecourse.

Symposium – Metabolic Clocks

Dr. Carolina ESCOBAR, University of Mexico, Mexico

Neural Circuits Involved in the Clock Control of Feeding

Carolina Escobar is a Senior Professor in the Department of Anatomy, at the Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University in Mexico. She studied Physiological Psychology followed by a masters and PhD in Physiological Sciences. Her main line of research is aimed to understand the contribution of feeding schedules in the circadian function. In this field she has published more than 80 scientific articles, 2 books and more than 25 book chapters. Since 2010 she is chief of the Research section in the Anatomy department. She is member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and of the Mexican Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Henrick OSTER, Institute of Neurobiology, Germany

Influence of Peripheral and Central Clocks on Metabolism and Behavior

1992-9 Studies in biochemistry, biophysical chemistry and pharmacology at the University of Hannover and Hannover Medical School (MHH), DE.
2003 PhD in biochemistry in the lab of Urs Albrecht, University of Fribourg, CH; thesis title: Interaction of Per and Cry genes in the mammalian circadian clock.
2002-6 Postdoctoral stays in the labs of Michael Leitges (PKC signaling) and Gregor Eichele (non-
SCN clocks), Max Planck Institute for experimental Endocrinology Hannover, DE.
2006-7 Postdoctoral stay in the lab of Russell G. Foster (non-visual photoreception), Oxford
University, UK
2007-12 Emmy Noether junior group leader at the Max Planck Institute for biophysical Chemistry
Göttingen, DE (2007-12).
2012 Habiliation in biochemistry, Göttingen University Medical School (UMG), DE; thesis title:
Synchronisationsmechanismen des zirkadianen Systems der Maus.
2011-7 Lichtenberg Professor of Chronophysiology, University of Lübeck, DE
since 2017 Professor of Neurobiology, University of Lübeck, DE
2002 Faculty Prize, University of Fribourg, CH
2003 Otto Hahn Medal, Max Planck Society, DE
2007 Emmy Noether Fellowship, German Research Foundation (DFG), DE
2011 Lichtenberg Fellowship, Volkswagen Foundation, DE
2014 Hansa Prize for Psychiatry, University of Rostock, DE
Editorial board memberships: Journal of Circadian Rhythms, BioMed Research International , PLoS
One, Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, Nature Scientific Reports
Scientific society memberships: Society for the Research on Biological Rhythms, European Biological
Rhythms Society, German Society for Endocrinology, German Physiological Society,
American Physiological Society
Main research interests: My lab analyzes the mechanisms that drive circadian rhythms of physiology
and behavior in mammals. Specifically, we study the interaction of circadian clocks in
different tissues and how clock time is translated into physiological functions – in cells,
mice, and humans.

Dr. Satchidananda PANDA, Salk Institute, USA

Time-Restricted Eating for the Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Diseases

Satchidananda Panda explores the genes, molecules and cells that keep the whole body on the same circadian clock. A section of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) lies at the center of the body’s master clock and gets input directly from light sensors in the eyes, keeping the rest of the body on schedule. Panda discovered how these light sensors work, as well as how cellular timekeepers in other parts of the body function. He also uncovered a novel blue light sensor in the retina that measures ambient light level and sets the time to go to sleep and wake up every day. In the process of exploring how the liver’s daily cycles work, Satchin found that mice which eat within a set amount of time (12 hours) resulted in slimmer, healthier mice than those who ate the same number of calories in a larger window of time, showing that when one eats may be as important as what one eats. If the benefits of this “12-hour diet” hold true in humans, it could have profound impacts on treating overeating disorders, diabetes and obesity.

Dr. Frank SCHEER, Harvard Medical School, USA

Metabolic and Cardiovascular Consequences of Circadian Disruption, Human Studies

Frank A.J.L. Scheer, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Director of the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston. Dr. Scheer’s work focuses on the influences of the endogenous circadian system and its disruption – such as with shift work – on cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic regulation and disease states, such as hypertension, asthma, obesity, and diabetes. Since 2005, Dr. Scheer has been funded continuously as Principal Investigator by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Scheer has received numerous scientific awards, including the Young Investigate Award by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the First Place Clinical Research Young Investigator Award from the National Sleep Foundation/Sleep Research Society (combined), and the Neal Miller Award by the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. He is an Editoral Board Member of several peer-reviewed journals, including the Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, the World Journal of Diabetes, and the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Scheer is a Board Member of the European Society of Biological Rhythms and Member of the Program Committee of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. 

Symposium – Seasonal Timers and Endocrine Systems

Dr. Takashi YOSHIMURA, Nagoya University, Japan

Mechanisms Underpining Seasonal Reproduction Among Vertebrates

Takashi Yoshimura received PhD from Nagoya University in 1999. He is currently a Professor in the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM) and the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University. He is also a Visiting Professor in the National Institute for Basic Biology, Japan. Dr. Yoshimura works in Yoshimura laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism of seasonal time measurement in vertebrates. The uniqueness of his research lies in the use of various vertebrate species such as Japanese quail, chicken, hamster, mouse, salmon and medaka. By applying functional genomics approach, he has uncovered the signal transduction pathway regulating seasonal reproduction in vertebrates. He was a board member of the European Biological Rhythms Society and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms. He currently serves as board member of Japanese Society of Chronobiology and editorial board of Journal of Biological Rhythms, and fellow of Royal Society for Biology.

 Dr. Fran EBLING, University of Nottingham, UK

Tanycytes and Seasonal Timing

Fran Ebling graduated with an Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Bristol, UK, then completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Gerald Lincoln investigating the role of melatonin in timing seasonal reproduction in male sheep. He then spent 4 years as a research fellow at the University of Michigan working with Doug Foster on the neuroendocrine control of puberty in female lambs. He returned to the UK to work with Joe Herbert and Michael Hastings on circadian and seasonal rhythms, and then moved to the University of Nottingham where he was appointed to a chair in neuroendocrinology in 2007.  He served as Chair of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology 2006-10.  His research in Nottingham has exploited seasonal cycles in appetite and body weight as a means for understanding the hypothalamic control of energy balance. His Google Scholar H-index is 47 so someone is reading his group’s work, and he remains a lifelong supporter of Sheffield United through the good times and the bad.

Dr. Shona WOOD, University of Manchester, UK and University of Tromsø, Norway

Epigenetics of Seasonal Timing in Pituitary

Shona Wood graduated with an Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Wales, Bangor, UK, and then completed a PhD at the University of Liverpool, UK, in Genomics (2010). She then spent 3 years exploring the relationship between diet and the rate of brain ageing, and demonstrated that nutrition affects the ageing trajectory through changes to the transcriptome and epigenome (University of Liverpool). Her second post-doc was at the University of Manchester, UK, working with Andrew Loudon on the neuroendocrine circuits in the pituitary regulating seasonal timekeeping, and, the role of epigenetics in seasonal timing (2013-2017). This work identified a cellular binary switching mechanism, within the pituitary (pars tuberalis), that defined the phase of the long-term (circannual cycle) in sheep. She has recently moved to the University of Tromsø to take up an independent fellowship position, focusing on the effect of photoperiod and temperature on the trajectory of timed life-history transitions, and, the fundamental biological processes leading to long-term timekeeping, in Arctic mammals.

Dr. Hugues DARDENTE, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, France

Molecular and Neuroendocrine Mechanisms of Seasonality in Sheep

Dr. Hugues Dardente is a specialist of biological rhythms, with expertise in neuroendocrinology, molecular biology and cell biology. After being awarded a PhD in Neuroscience form Strasbourg University (France, 2003), Dr. Dardente did two post-doctoral trainings in Montreal (Canada 2003-2006) and Aberdeen (Scotland 2006-2011), working on the molecular underpinnings of circadian rhythms (i.e. clock genes) and the role of melatonin and the pars tuberalis of the pituitary in seasonal rhythms, respectively. Dr. Dardente currently holds a permanent research position at INRA (France) where he keep on working on the molecular and neuroendocrine basis of seasonal and circannual rhythms in sheep.  

Follow ICN 2018:

Facebook" target="_blank">Twitter YouTube


Switch to desktop version

Conference Newsletter


Subscribe to the Newsletter to receive important information about the upcoming Conference.