Circadian clocks: how rhythms structure life

18 h
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 Lecture One: Introduction to'chronobiology'. What sorts of rhythms are observed in nature? Most of thelecture will be spent on describing daily or circadian rhythms in organismsfrom bacteria to man.

 Lecture Two: Circadian rhythms synchronise tothe 24-hour environment. Organisms use specialised photoreceptors to do thisand they display characteristic properties in this process. We experience thisactive synchronisation process for example when we suffer from jet lag!

 Lecture Three: We will discuss theelaborate molecular mechanisms that allow circadian clocks to produce theirdaily rhythms and to synchronise them to its environment. We will compare thesemechanisms in a wide range of organisms.

 Lecture Four: Circadian clocks serve toorchestrate physiology and metabolism in a coordinated way over the course ofthe day. Therefore, practically all processes in an organism areregulated outputs of the clock. We'll discuss examples of these processesand ideas about how this circadian regulation works.

 Lecture Five: With the appreciation of theclock’s global control, we proceed to discussing how much this temporalprogramme controls our lives from birth to death and how much we mistreat thecircadian clock in modern life.

 LectureSix: Finally, we will look at the clock’s relationship to pathology.  What are the consequences of living againstthe clock, what happens if the clock ‘breaks’, and how can we use our knowledgeabout the circadian system in medical diagnosis and therapy.




Martha Merrow
Medical Psychology

Till Roenneberg
Medical Psychology


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