Food entrainment of circadian rhythms

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Lalita Oparija
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof John Furness

Summary The healthy gut communicates with the brain and lives in harmony with the many bacteria it contains. Disorders of gut health lead to diabetes and metabolic disease, inadequate nutrition, pain, nausea, poor digestion, liver disease, and digestive diseases. The digestive Physiology and Nutrition Laboratory is working to develop new approaches to treating bowel diseases through neuromodulation, an exciting new approach in which nerves are stimulated to treat disordered function, through drug development and by unravelling the basic mechanisms essential for digestive health. We are also working to understand the reasons why gastrointestinal functions become disordered when there are pathologies of the central nervous system, such as in Parkinson’s Disease.

Project Details

The daily rhythms of sleep, wakefulness, physical activity and eating (circadian rhythms) are coupled to good health. Such rhythms can be set and entrained by light (central clock) or by timed food intake (influencing digestive system rhythms and peripheral clocks). Rhythm disruption by irregular meals, changes in diet, shift work or travel between time zones negatively impacts the functions of various organs and thus our overall health. Despite the importance of circadian rhythms, inadequate knowledge of the baseline circadian rhythmicity in peripheral tissues, the communication pathways for rhythm synchronization, and the potential sex differences holds back understanding of basic mechanisms relevant to health and its disruption.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.