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

Joined the Department in 1997

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

Bell-Pedersen Lab Website

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

Neurospora crassaOne 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lamb, TM, Vickery, J, Bell-Pedersen, D. Regulation of gene expression in Neurospora crassa with a copper responsive promoter. G3 (Bethesda). 2013;3 (12):2273-80. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.008821. PubMed PMID:24142928 PubMed Central PMC3852388.
  7. Bennett, LD, Beremand, P, Thomas, TL, Bell-Pedersen, D. Circadian activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase MAK-1 facilitates rhythms in clock-controlled genes in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryotic Cell. 2013;12 (1):59-69. doi: 10.1128/EC.00207-12. PubMed PMID:23125351 PubMed Central PMC3535850.
  8. Lamb, TM, Finch, KE, Bell-Pedersen, D. The Neurospora crassa OS MAPK pathway-activated transcription factor ASL-1 contributes to circadian rhythms in pathway responsive clock-controlled genes. Fungal Genet. Biol. 2012;49 (2):180-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2011.12.006. PubMed PMID:22240319 PubMed Central PMC3278502.
  9. Lamb, TM, Goldsmith, CS, Bennett, L, Finch, KE, Bell-Pedersen, D. Direct transcriptional control of a p38 MAPK pathway by the circadian clock in Neurospora crassa. PLoS ONE. 2011;6 (11):e27149. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027149. PubMed PMID:22087254 PubMed Central PMC3210137.
  10. Lakin-Thomas, PL, Bell-Pedersen, D, Brody, S. The genetics of circadian rhythms in Neurospora. Adv. Genet. 2011;74 :55-103. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-387690-4.00003-9. PubMed PMID:21924975 PubMed Central PMC5027897.
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Deb Bell-Pedersen

Deb Bell-Pedersen
Professor and Associate Department Head for Operations

3258 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3258

3258 TAMU
Biological Sciences Building West
Room 210A

Biological Sciences Building West
Room 208-210

Fax: 979-845-2891

Curriculum Vitae