People with bipolar disorder suffer depressive and manic mood episodes and commonly report disturbances in the daily routines in sleep, activity, and motivation. Psychiatrist and CCB member Michael McCarthy addresses the International Bipolar Foundation to review the chronobiology of bipolar disorder.
What is Chronobiology?
Chronobiology is the biology of time and internal biological clocks. Biological clocks range from oscillations found in nerve cells on the millisecond scale to oscillations in minutes, hours, days, and years. Although the commonly used phrase "your biological clock is ticking" relates to the window of years for becoming parents, many clocks are found in humans, such as time to puberty, menopause, and aging "clocks." We are focused primarily on one of these chronobiological phenomena: the daily or circadian clock.
What are Circadian Rhythms?
Circadian rhythms are biological oscillations that recur with a period of approximately one day. Health issues related to circadian rhythms include jet lag, shift work, seasonal depression, and time-of-day variations in response to medical treatments. Our Center is focused on these circadian rhythms, the underlying biological clock mechanisms that drive the rhythms, and their implications for human health and agriculture.
The CCB offers administrative support to improve the effectiveness of circadian biology research programs and to facilitate multi-investigator interactions, including:
- Support for submitting applications and administering grants that cross departmental borders, involve multiple investigators, or provide fellowship support for jointly-sponsored students and postdocs.
- Serving as a university affiliation for research personnel, such as sabbatical visitors.
- Help in identifying research funding sources and opportunities and investigating and interpreting the submission instructions to ensure a solid application.