Dr. Paul E. Hardin, distinguished professor of biology and director of the Center for Biological Clocks Research at Texas A&M University, has been awarded a $390,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his research on the biological clock of fruit flies.

Hardin's proposal, "Developing Cell Lines from Clock Neurons in Drosophila," was selected for funding through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and is ranked among the top 2 percent of all grant proposals. It involves a two-year study to establish and characterize cell lines from neurons that contain circadian clocks. The resulting cell lines will be used to identify missing components of the clock and drugs that shift or alter the pace of the clock.

In related news, Hardin recently was selected as President-elect of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, a 400-plus member international society that promotes basic and applied research on biological rhythms. He will serve as President-elect from 2012 to 2014, and then as President from 2014 to 2016. The society disseminates research results through its official publication, the Journal of Biological Rhythms, while also educating the general public about biological rhythmicity, enhancing the education and training of students and researchers studying biological rhythms, and fostering interdisciplinary communication by convening conferences, publishing a newsletter and hosting a society website.

Hardin joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2005 as a tenured professor and the inaugural holder of the John W. "Bill" Lyons Jr. '59 Endowed Chair in Biology. His research was the first to define the feedback loop in gene expression that comprises the core "circadian," or 24-hour, timekeeping mechanism in fruit flies. His subsequent work identified the so-called "E-box" in the promoter region of the period gene that governs its rhythmic transcription -- work that formed the basis for a large body of research into the molecular nature of circadian timekeeping in both Drosophila and mammals. Hardin's research group also identified complex multiple feedback loops of gene expression controlling fly biological clocks and characterized a well-defined physiological output of this rhythmic gene expression in the form of rhythmic olfactory function. He has authored or co-authored many research journal articles and numerous conference presentations, earning the international Aschoff-Honma Prize in Chronobiology in 2003.

Click here to learn more about Hardin and his research.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Paul E. Hardin, (979) 458-4479 or phardin@mail.bio.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Paul E. Hardin

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