Fred W. Turek Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Neurobiology

Research Interests

Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

Research in the Turek laboratory is focused on the study of sleep and circadian rhythms, with a special interest in identifying genes that regulate sleep and circadian rhythms. Ongoing work on sleep and circadian rhythms includes an investigation of: (1) the neurochemical, molecular, and cellular events involved in the entrainment, generation and expression of circadian rhythms arising from a central biological clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, (2) the genetics of the circadian clock system and the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying the sleep-wake cycle, (3) the bidirectional central mechanisms by which the circadian clock and sleep-wake system are integrated to central biological timing, (4) the importance of the effects of advanced age on the expression of behavioral and endocrine rhythms, and on the expression of circadian clock genes and how disrupted patterns impact the aging process, (5) the links between sleep, circadian rhythms, and energy metabolism, (6) the role of melatonin in modulating sleep and circadian rhythms, and (7) the effects of circadian misalignment on the health and disease state of the brain-gut axis.

In addition to our work on rodents, we have established extensive collaborations with clinical researchers. Studies in humans are aimed at shifting the human clock in an attempt to alleviate mental and physical problems that are associated with disorders in circadian time-keeping, particularly in the elderly and in shift-workers engaged in the maritime industry. Our sleep, circadian and metabolic studies are focused on how disruption in these interactions can lead to obesity, diabetes, and CVD.

Selected Publications

Environmental Perturbation of the Circadian Clock Disrupts Pregnancy in the Mouse. Summa KC, Vitaterna MH, and Turek FW.PLoS ONE. 2012 May 23;7(5):e37668.

High-resolution mapping of a novel genetic locus regulating voluntary physical activity in mice. Yang HS, Shimomura K, Vitaterna MH, and Turek FW. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 2012 February;11(1):113-124.

Circadian Timing of Food Intake Contributes to Weight Gain. Arble DM, Bass J, Laposky AD, Vitaterna MH, and Turek FW. Obesity.2009 November;17(11):2100-2102.

Physiologic and Health Consequences of Circadian Disruption (in Animal Models). Laposky AD and Turek FW. Sleep Medicine Clinics. 2009 June;4(2):127-142.

Uncovering the Genetic Landscape for Multiple Sleep-Wake Traits. Winrow CJ, Williams DL, Kasarskis A, Millstein J, Laposky AD, Yang HS, Mrazek K, Zhou L, Owens JR, Radzicki D, Preuss F, Schadt EE, Shimomura K, Vitaterna MH, Zhang C, Koblan KS, Renger JJ, and Turek FW. PLoS ONE. 2009 April 10;4(4):e5161.

Sleep and circadian rhythms: Key components in the regulation of energy metabolism. Laposky AD, Bass J, Kohsaka A, andTurek FW. FEBS Letters. 2008 January 9;582(1):142-151.

From circadian rhythms to clock genes in depressionTurek FW. International Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2007 October;22(supp. 2):S1-S8.

Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Circadian Clock Mutant MiceTurek FW, Joshu C, Kohsaka A, Lin E, Ivanova G, McDearmon E, Laposky A, Losee-Olson S, Easton A, Jensen DR, Eckel RH, Takahashi JS, and Bass J. Science. 2005 May 13;308(5724):1043-1045.

View all publications by Fred W. Turek in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).