Dr. Ghislain Breton
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
The circadian clock regulates thousands of genes on a daily basis. How is this orchestrated? Our lab is developing genomic approaches to better understand physiology at the system level from a circadian perspective. Toward dissecting this complex network, we selected model organisms that are amenable to large-scale experiments: Arabidopsis thaliana for plant studies and Danio rerio (zebrafish) for vertebrate studies.
For example, we’re using the zebrafish model, to answer questions such as: which genes are rhythmically controlled within the heart and are potentially associated to the increased propensity of heart failure in the morning? Oligonucleotide arrays or RNA-seq time course provides us with the identity of the rhythmic genes. To track gene expression in real time in live animal, we are developing transgenic animals with bioluminescent reporters. These animals are then imaged using ultrasensitive camera or light detectors. Dissection of the signaling pathways is done in transient assay in vivo or using cell culture systems. We’re also using molecular tools, biochemical and pharmacological approaches.
We have broad interest in heart and liver metabolism, characterization of novel transcription factors, environment sensing, and particularly under-explored cis-regulatory networks. A tutorial in my laboratory would provide experience in Genomics and basic Molecular Biology techniques as well as with the zebrafish model system performing chemical screens and transient and stable transgene expression.