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Person in charge of the Unit : Oui
In the Unit of Theoretical Chronobiology, we investigate by means of theoretical models the molecular bases of biological rhythms and threshold phenomena at the cellular level. Our modeling approach primarily pertains to the oscillations and waves of cytosolic calcium, the circadian clock, the cell cycle, and cellular differentiation. We also focus on physiological implications of these processes and on their associated pathological disorders. In this context, we study the origin of calcium deregulations leading to infertility or Alzheimer's disease, as well as sleep phase disorders linked to dysfunction of the circadian clock, but also the influence of circadian rhythms on cell proliferation and cancer.
Circadian rhythms, with a period close to 24h, are observed in most living organisms and play a fundamental role in the adaptation of these organisms to their environment. Since several years, remarkable advances have permitted to largely unravel the molecular bases of circadian rhythms in mammals and more particularly in humans. Computational models were thus developped in order to analyze and clarify the regulatory network at the origin of circadian rhythms as well as the dynamical bases of physiological disorders associated with a dysfunction of the circadian clock. In this context, we mainly focus on the link between the circadian clock and sleep phase disorders, (bipolar or seasonal) depressions as well as the effect of jet lag and shift work.
Circadian rhythms, with a period close to 24h, are observed in most living organisms and play a fundamental role in the adaptation of these organisms to their environment. Recently, remarkable advances have permitted to largely unravel the molecular bases of circadian rhythms in plants. Computational models were thus developped in order to analyze and clarify the regulatory network at the origin of these rhythms. We investigate by means of such models the effect of nutrition, and more particularly magnesium depletion, on the circadian rhythms of Arabidopsis. This study is based on computational approaches (in our Unit) combined with experimental approaches (in the Laboratory of Physiology and Molecular Genetics of Plants, ULB). This collaborative project pertains to the ARC (Action de Recherche Concertée) 2012-2017 « Nutrition and circadian rhythms in plants » (http://www.ulb.ac.be/recherche/presentation/fr-arcleloup.html).