The overall goal of the Mahoney lab is to determine when and how endocrine signals regulate biological rhythms. Our research brings together the fields of chronobiology, reproductive biology, and neurotoxicology. Biological rhythms are essential for life as they underlie a myriad of physiological processes from the sleep-wake cycle, metabolism, and immune function, to reproductive cyclicity and hormone secretion. We examine the influence of estradiol, estrogen receptor agonists, botanicals, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals on daily sleep-wake activity patterns, the behavioral and neural responses to light signals, and rhythms in protein and mRNA levels. This research is important as it addresses basic scientific questions such as:
- When and how do changes in hormone signals program the adult timekeeping system?
- How are sex differences in circadian rhythms regulated by circulating hormones?
We were the first to characterize when and how estrogen signaling mechanisms regulate the expression of behavioral and neural circadian rhythms. This worked has gained attention in the field and our principal investigator has been an invited contributor to several review articles on women’s health and estrogen and was an invited speaker at national conferences. Our work brings a new perspective to understanding how sex differences and hormones regulate biological rhythms in humans and other species.
Our Principal Investigator is Megan Mahoney.
Check out the tabs below or visit our website here to learn more about our current projects.