SURF

Connie Wang

Circadian Disruption Effects on the Reproductive Axis

My research project is designed to tease apart the contribution of circadian irregularities on reproductive performance. Circadian rhythms are essential for the maintenance of ~24 hour cycles in behavior, physiology, and neural function required for normal health. In humans, chronic or acute loss of synchrony between the circadian clock in the brain and the environment through shift work, jet lag, poor sleep hygiene, etc., leads to numerous health problems. Of great concern, many studies show that disruptions in circadian function lead to infertility, spontaneous abortion, and low birth weight in humans, although cause-effect relationships cannot be established due to limitations of human experimentation. Using an animal model of experimental jet lag, I will explore the specific hormonal, molecular, and cellular mechanisms responsible for such impaired reproductive performance.

Message to Sponsor

Participating in research for the past two years has engaged my love for learning, inspired my own curiosities, and sparked a far-reaching commitment to exploration for the answers. This summers research opportunity allows me to expand upon my experiences so far at Kriegsfeld Lab with my own independent research, something I have been unable to do with the stresses of the regular school year. The SURF grant allows me to work full-time at the lab this summer, so I can hopefully complete my project in time to develop a senior thesis next year. I am thrilled at this chance to pursue and lead an individual project and at the prospect of contributing my findings to the scientific community.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Psychology
  • Mentor: Lance Kriegsfeld, Psychology