Connie Wang L&S Sciences
Circadian Disruption Effects on the Reproductive Axis
My research project is designed to tease apart the contribution of circadian irregularities on reproductive performance. Circadian rhythms are essential for the maintenance of ~24 hour cycles in behavior, physiology, and neural function required for normal health. In humans, chronic or acute loss of synchrony between the circadian clock in the brain and the environment through shift work, jet lag, poor sleep hygiene, etc., leads to numerous health problems. Of great concern, many studies show that disruptions in circadian function lead to infertility, spontaneous abortion, and low birth weight in humans, although cause-effect relationships cannot be established due to limitations of human experimentation. Using an animal model of experimental jet lag, I will explore the specific hormonal, molecular, and cellular mechanisms responsible for such impaired reproductive performance.