Light, Clocks and Sleep: Neuroscience to Therapy
Professor Russell G Foster
Tuesday, 08 December 2015, 12pm to 1pm
Lecture Theatre C, Department of Experimental Psychology
Hosted by Professor Glyn Humphreys
A major focus of the research from the group has been to understand how light regulates circadian rhythms and sleep. Our previous work identified a new photoreceptor system within the eye based upon a small number of photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs) that utilize the blue-light sensitive photopigment melanopsin (OPN4). Some of our more recent work has moved from questions that address how these photoreceptors detect light to how the pRGCs signal light information to the brain. In addition to an overview of published work, the presentation will consider unpublished findings on how light triggers signalling pathways that interact with the molecular clockwork and how this information is now being used to develop therapeutics to stabilize sleep timing across a range of illnesses, from eye disease to mental illness.