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The Time of Your Life

Dr. Jay C. Dunlap

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The Time of Your Life Dr. Jay C. Dunlap

Eminent Scholar Lecture

There is an aspect of biology that is both very old and very new, a part of biology that is so basic that we all take it completely for granted and consider it just a part of being alive. It is an aspect of human biology that is so pervasive that it affects the activity of every organ and tissue type and virtually every cell in the human body. Moreover, it is an aspect of being alive that we share with nearly every other living thing above the level of bacteria. It’s an area about which we know a great deal at the level of whole organisms, but only recently have come to understand at the level of cells and molecules. It is the biology of time. For most organisms the principal domain for time organization is the 24 hour day, where activities in cells are metered by a circadian clock. Such clocks have arisen at least three times during evolution. This presentation will cover where they are found, how they work, and how molecular interactions at the subcellular level ramify to influence behavior of organisms.

Dr. Jay C. Dunlap holds the Nathan Smith Chair in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is professor of genetics and biochemistry and chairman of the Department of Genetics. He is best known for his research on the molecular basis of biological clocks, including their synchronization to environmental light-dark cycles and their regulation of daily rhythms in physiology, metabolism, and behavior.