Faculty: Deb Bell-Pedersen2016-12-22T13:46:37+00:00
Deb Bell-Pedersen

Deb Bell-Pedersen

Associate Department Head for Operations

Fax: 979-845-2891
Email: dpedersen@bio.tamu.edu

Curriculum Vitae
Bell-Pedersen Lab Website

3258 TAMU
Biological Sciences Building West
Room 210A

Biological Sciences Building West
Room 208-210

Joined the Department in 1997

  • BS, 1983 SUNY Albany Biology
  • MS, 1987 SUNY Albany Molecular Biology
  • PhD, 1991 SUNY Albany Molecular Biology
  • Postdoctoral Research, Dartmouth Medical School, Biochemistry


Center for Biological Clocks Research
Chemical Biology Interface
Program in Microbial Genetics and Genomics

Circadian Rhythms in the development of spores in the fungus Neurospora crassa

Neurospora crassa

One of the most fascinating aspects of life on earth is that most organisms contain a high-precision clock that allows them to prepare for the opportunities and challenges of sunrise and sunset. Because of the widespread influence of the clock on human biology, defects of the clock are associated with sleep disorders, and for unknown reasons epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, headaches, cardiovascular malfunction, and cancer. In addition, daily changes in metabolism and cell division rates influence the efficacy and toxicity of many pharmaceuticals, including cancer drugs. Therefore, knowing how clocks work and what they regulate at the molecular level is important for the development of new ways to improve human health.

To understand the clock, Dr. Bell-Pedersen’s lab uses modern molecular, biochemical, genetic, and genomic tools to investigate the mechanisms by which the clock regulates rhythmicity in the simple model organism Neurospora crassa. Her group discovered that the clock regulates a major signaling pathway in fungi. This same signaling pathway is present in humans and involved in stress responses, immune activity, and cancer. This regulation provides a rationale for observations that deregulation of the clock contributes to cancer and suggests new opportunities for treatment.

  1. Goldsmith, CS, Kim, SM, Karunarathna, N, Neuendorff, N, Gerard Toussaint, L, Earnest, DJ et al.. Inhibition of p38 MAPK activity leads to cell type-specific effects on the molecular circadian clock and time-dependent reduction of glioma cell invasiveness. BMC Cancer. 2018;18 (1):43. doi: 10.1186/s12885-017-3896-y. PubMed PMID:29316898 PubMed Central PMC5761097.
  2. Wu, C, Dasgupta, A, Shen, L, Bell-Pedersen, D, Sachs, MS. The cell free protein synthesis system from the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Methods. 2018;137 :11-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2017.12.003. PubMed PMID:29294368 PubMed Central PMC6047757.
  3. Hughes, ME, Abruzzi, KC, Allada, R, Anafi, R, Arpat, AB, Asher, G et al.. Guidelines for Genome-Scale Analysis of Biological Rhythms. J. Biol. Rhythms. 2017;32 (5):380-393. doi: 10.1177/0748730417728663. PubMed PMID:29098954 PubMed Central PMC5692188.
  4. Ivanov, IP, Wei, J, Caster, SZ, Smith, KM, Michel, AM, Zhang, Y et al.. Translation Initiation from Conserved Non-AUG Codons Provides Additional Layers of Regulation and Coding Capacity. MBio. 2017;8 (3):. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00844-17. PubMed PMID:28655822 PubMed Central PMC5487733.
  5. Dekhang, R, Wu, C, Smith, KM, Lamb, TM, Peterson, M, Bredeweg, EL et al.. The Neurospora Transcription Factor ADV-1 Transduces Light Signals and Temporal Information to Control Rhythmic Expression of Genes Involved in Cell Fusion. G3 (Bethesda). 2017;7 (1):129-142. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.034298. PubMed PMID:27856696 PubMed Central PMC5217103.
  6. Caster, SZ, Castillo, K, Sachs, MS, Bell-Pedersen, D. Circadian clock regulation of mRNA translation through eukaryotic elongation factor eEF-2. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016;113 (34):9605-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525268113. PubMed PMID:27506798 PubMed Central PMC5003280.
  7. Hurley, JM, Dasgupta, A, Emerson, JM, Zhou, X, Ringelberg, CS, Knabe, N et al.. Analysis of clock-regulated genes in Neurospora reveals widespread posttranscriptional control of metabolic potential. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014;111 (48):16995-7002. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1418963111. PubMed PMID:25362047 PubMed Central PMC4260557.
  8. Nsa, IY, Karunarathna, N, Liu, X, Huang, H, Boetteger, B, Bell-Pedersen, D et al.. A novel cryptochrome-dependent oscillator in Neurospora crassa. Genetics. 2015;199 (1):233-45. doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.169441. PubMed PMID:25361899 PubMed Central PMC4286687.
  9. Wu, C, Yang, F, Smith, KM, Peterson, M, Dekhang, R, Zhang, Y et al.. Genome-wide characterization of light-regulated genes in Neurospora crassa. G3 (Bethesda). 2014;4 (9):1731-45. doi: 10.1534/g3.114.012617. PubMed PMID:25053707 PubMed Central PMC4169166.
  10. Goldsmith, CS, Bell-Pedersen, D. Diverse roles for MAPK signaling in circadian clocks. Adv. Genet. 2013;84 :1-39. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-407703-4.00001-3. PubMed PMID:24262095 PubMed Central PMC4437509.
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