Satchin Panda, PhD, is a full professor in the Regulatory Biology Department at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the biological clock. The biological clock, or circadian oscillator, in most organisms coordinates behavior and physiology with the natural light-dark and feeding cycles. His laboratory uses genetic, genomics, biochemical, and behavioral approaches to identify genes under circadian regulation in different organs and to understand the mechanism of such regulation. His lab also tries to characterize the mechanism by which the circadian oscillator is synchronized to the natural light-dark condition. In addition to his molecular work, Dr. Panda is also very interested in how molecular understanding of circadian rhythms translates to the real-world. He and his team designed the myCircadianClock app to get an understanding of our society’s lifestyle: when, what, and how much we eat, sleep, and move. With enough subjects, he hopes to test the benefits of time-restricted feeding under different conditions of sleep, activity, and disease.
Emily Manoogian, PhD, is a post-doctoral research fellow in Dr. Panda’s lab. She first became interested in biological rhythms during her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley. After working with Dr. Lance Kriegsfeld researching photoperiodism and biological rhythms for two years, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career studying circadian rhythms. Emily moved to Massachusetts for graduate school to work with Dr. Eric Bittman, a leading expert in circadian rhythms, at UMass Amherst. While there, she analyzed the behavioral, neurobiological, and genetic components of a novel circadian mutant hamster known as duper. Duper hamsters have a short day length and are capable of phase shifting up to 12 hours overnight! Emily met Dr. Panda as a graduate student in the circadian community, and joined his lab soon after completing her PhD. Emily is excited to apply her expertise in biological rhythms as the head of human research in the Panda lab.