As a child neurologist and sleep physician, I am especially aware of the importance of sleep in children with neurological disease. My research seeks to understand the biological relationships between the circadian clock and diseases of the developing brain.
We have identified the core circadian clock protein BMAL1 as a regulator of protein synthesis. BMAL1 promotes circadian rhythms in protein synthesis as a substrate of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a critical gauge of nutritive status and stress in all cells, including the brain.
We have characterized a novel, potentially modifiable, link between the biological timing system and cellular signaling. Corroborating these findings, we have found strong phenotypes in mouse models of the mTOR-opathy Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Using a combination of mouse behavior, cell biology, biochemistry, and proteomic approaches, my research investigates how circadian timing mechanisms are disrupted in disease.
My teaching activities include supervision of medical students, neurology residents, sleep medicine fellows, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. My educational role straddles both clinical and basic scientific domains and have widely at local, national, and international venues.