Sept. 14: Top circadian biology researcher to speak

By Doug Nadvornick, College of Medical Sciences

TurekSPOKANE, Wash. – For 40 years, Northwestern University biology professor Fred Turek has investigated circadian rhythms – internal cycles that tell our bodies when to sleep, eat and work. Interrupted rhythms can lead to chronic fatigue and health problems, such as obesity.

Turek will present a free, public talk 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in the Phase One Classroom Building auditorium (room 122), Washington State University Spokane, as part of the inaugural WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center retreat.

“Turek’s research endeavors have uncovered important links between sleep, circadian rhythms and energy metabolism,” said Christopher J. Davis, clinical assistant professor and sleep researcher in the WSU College of Medical Sciences. “His translational approaches examine how disrupted circadian rhythms can exacerbate multiple pathologies.”

For the last 20 years, Turek has directed Northwestern’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology in Chicago, investigating which genes regulate rhythms and sleep patterns. His award-winning science has been funded by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Air Force and Army. He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers and reviews.

Learn more about the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center at