- B.S., 1982, Southern Methodist University, Biology.
- Ph.D., 1987, Indiana University, Genetics.
- Postdoctoral research, Brandeis University.
- Department of Biology faculty, 1991-1995.
- Prior faculty appointments at Texas A&M (1991-1995) and University of Houston (1995-2005)
Joined the department in 2005.
John W. Lyons Jr. ’59 Chair in Biology.
Center for Biological Clocks Research (Director)
Faculty of Genetics
Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience
Hardin Lab Webpage
Paul E. Hardin
College Station, TX 77843-3258
Biological Sciences Building West
Biological Sciences Building West
|Molecular Genetics of Biological Clocks
A diverse array of organisms including prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes, plants and animals display daily rhythms in physiology, metabolism and/or behavior. These rhythms are not passively driven by environmental cycles of light and temperature, but are actively controlled by endogenous circadian clocks that are set by environmental cycles, keep time in the absence of environmental cues, and activate overt physiological, metabolic and behavioral rhythms at the appropriate time of day. This remarkable conservation of circadian clock function through evolution suggests that maintaining synchrony with the environment is of fundamental importance. Our understanding of the circadian clock is particularly important for human health and wellbeing. The clearest examples of circadian clock dysfunction are those that result in abnormal sleep-wake cycles, but clock disturbances are also associated with other ailments including epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, depression, and seasonal affective disorder. The realization that disorders of the sleep-wake cycle such as Familial Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome can result from alterations in clock gene function underscores the clinical importance of understanding the molecular organization of the circadian system.
Work in my laboratory focuses on defining the molecular mechanisms that drive circadian clock function in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We previously found that the core timekeeping mechanism is based on core and interlocked transcriptional feedback loops. Our studies currently focus on (1) defining post-translational regulatory mechanisms that operate in the core loop to set the 24 hour period, (2) determining whether interlocked loops are important for circadian timekeeping and/or output, (3) understanding how circadian oscillator cells are determined during development, and (4) defining mechanisms that control rhythms in olfactory and gustatory physiology and behavior.
- Liu T, Mahesh G, Houl JH & Hardin PE (2015) Circadian Activators Are Expressed Days before They Initiate Clock Function in Late Pacemaker Neurons from Drosophila. J Neurosci 35:8662-71 Full text
- Zhou J, Yu W & Hardin PE (2015) ChIPping away at the Drosophila clock. Methods Enzymol 551:323-47 Full text
- Lee E, Jeong EH, Jeong HJ, Yildirim E, Vanselow JT, Ng F, Liu Y, Mahesh G, Kramer A, Hardin PE, Edery I & Kim EY (2014) Phosphorylation of a central clock transcription factor is required for thermal but not photic entrainment. PLoS Genet 10:e1004545 Full text
- Glossop NR, Gummadova JO, Ghangrekar I, Hardin PE & Coutts GA (2014) Effects of TWIN-OF-EYELESS on Clock Gene Expression and Central-Pacemaker Neuron Development in Drosophila. J Biol Rhythms 29:151-166 Full text
- Mahesh G, Jeong E, Ng FS, Liu Y, Gunawardhana K, Houl JH, Yildirim E, Amunugama R, Jones R, Allen DL, Edery I, Kim EY & Hardin PE (2014) Phosphorylation of the transcription activator CLOCK regulates progression through a ∼ 24-h feedback loop to influence the circadian period in Drosophila. J Biol Chem 289:19681-93 Full text
- Menet JS & Hardin PE (2014) Circadian clocks: the tissue is the issue. Curr Biol 24:R25-7 Full text
- Kaneko H, Head LM, Ling J, Tang X, Liu Y, Hardin PE, Emery P & Hamada FN (2012) Circadian rhythm of temperature preference and its neural control in Drosophila. Curr Biol 22:1851-7 Full text
- Hardin PE (2011) Molecular genetic analysis of circadian timekeeping in Drosophila. Adv Genet 74:141-73 Full text
- Yu W, Houl JH & Hardin PE (2011) NEMO kinase contributes to core period determination by slowing the pace of the Drosophila circadian oscillator. Curr Biol 21:756-61 Full text
- Chatterjee A & Hardin PE (2010) Time to taste: circadian clock function in the Drosophila gustatory system. Fly (Austin) 4:283-7 Full text