My main research interest is the study of chronobiology, and the effect of light and food intake on the circadian system. During my bachelor’s and master’s internship I used different approaches (i.e., molecular tools, electroctrophysiology, statistical models, etc) in order to investigate several research questions in chronobiology. I investigated the seasonal rhythms in the activity of brown adipose tissues, the effect of light on multi-unit activity of dopaminergic structures, epigenetic modifications of clock genes in obese subjects developing type 2 diabetes and the effect of circadian misalignment on metabolic markers (the hunger hormone ghrelin, energy expenditure, feeling of appetite) in shift workers. Currently, I’m working on my PhD project, which aims to elucidate some of the mechanisms causing the opposite temporal organization between nocturnal and diurnal mammals. We hypothesize that differences would originate downstream from the Master Clock, and that the Arousal System (i.e., Raphe Nuclei) would play a crucial role in determining difference between nocturnal and diurnal species.
I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Milan. During the last year of my bachelor I was selected for the Erasmus + program to do an internship at Leiden University, where I studied the seasonal rhythms in brown adipose tissue. I then obtained my master’s degree in Biomedical Science at Leiden University. During my master I did three internships (5, 3, and 7 months long respectively): the first in Leiden, department of Neurophysiology, the second in Milan, department of Clinical Science and Community, and the third in Boston, division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Harvard Medical School, where I studied the effects of circadian misalignment on metabolic markers in shift workers. I’m currently doing a PhD under the supervision of S. Raison (Strasbourg University) and J.H. Meijer (Leiden University). My project investigates the circadian system of diurnal/nocturnal rodents and the role of arousal systems.
• Ghrelin is impacted by the endogenous circadian system and by circadian misalignment in humans
J Qian, CJ Morris, R Caputo, M Garaulet, FAJL Scheer
Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Sep 19. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0208-9.
• A Diurnal Rhythm in Brown Adipose Tissue Causes Rapid Clearance and Combustion of Plasma Lipids at Wakening
Rosa van den Berg, ..., Johanna H Meijer, Claudia P Coomans, Diana van Heemst, Nienke R Biermasz, Patrick CN Rensen
Cell Rep. 2018 Mar 27;22(13):3521-3533. doi: 10.1016
Groups: Circadian Clocks