Christopher Hwang

Current Status: GRAD

Graduate Department: Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Other Degrees: Mathematics, Dartmouth College;  

Advisor(s): Michael Iuvone, PhD;

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Hobbies

I like to play golf and tennis with friends and try to stay in shape by running or biking on a semi-regular basis. I am also pretty active at my church and am a big supporter of mission work. 

Research

I study the organization of the circadian clock in the vertebrate retina. The circadian clock has been thought to be driven exclusively by the positive regulators, CLOCK and BMAL1, which heterodimerize to drive rhythmic expressions of many clock-controlled genes. Recently, another clock protein, NPAS2, has been shown to be involved in the positive regulation of the circadian clock. Both Npas2-/- and Clock-/- mice had intact nocturnal activity rhythms in rodents; however, Npas2-/-;Clock-/- mice exhibited no rhythm, suggesting that NPAS2 and CLOCK have a redundant role in regulating the rhythm of nocturnal activity. First, I am studying the role of NPAS2 in the retina. Second, preliminary experiments in the lab have established that in Npas2-/- mice, Acdy1 transcript level, which is a clock-controlled gene, is significantly diminished compared to the control mice. I will perform a series of LCM experiments to test the rhythms of Adcy1 over a longer time period and perform cell culture experiments to test whether NPAS2 directly activates Adcy1.

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