Clocks Group

Executive Committee

Director, Paul Hardin, Texas A&M University

Paul HardinDr. Hardin, John W. Lyons Jr. '59 Chair and Professor of Biology at TAMU, is internationally recognized as an authority on molecular clock mechanisms and their control of rhythmic outputs. As a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Michael Rosbash at Brandeis University he discovered the first circadian feedback loop in gene expression - regulation of period (per) mRNA cycling by PER protein in Drosophila - which laid the mechanistic framework for circadian timekeeping in all eukaryotes. His subsequent research has defined sequences and factors that control circadian transcription, interlocking feedback loops within the timekeeping mechanism, and circadian regulation of the olfactory system in Drosophila. For his contributions to the field of biological rhythms research, Dr. Hardin won the Aschoff-Honma Prize from the Honma Life Science Foundation in Japan in 2003. He has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biological Rhythms since 2005, was secretary of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) from 2002-2004, treasurer of the SRBR from 2008-2010, and is currently comptroller of the SRBR (2010-2012).

Deborah Bell-Pedersen, Texas A&M University

Deborah Bell-PedersenDeborah Bell-Pedersen is recognized as a leader in understanding the mechanisms by which circadian oscillators control rhythmic output pathways, and in the area of oscillator complexity. Her interest in circadian clocks began with postdoctoral studies in the laboratories of Dr. Jay Dunlap and Dr. Jennifer Loros at Dartmouth Medical School in which she focused on molecular studies of the circadian biological clock in the model organism Neurospora crassa. Her research continues to employ genetic, molecular, and genomic approaches in Neurospora to understand global mechanisms for regulation of clock-controlled genes and the complexity of the circadian oscillator system.

She joined the Biology faculty at Texas A&M University in 1997, rising to Professor in 2007. From 1999-2001 she served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biological Rhythms, and from 2002-2004 served as an elected member and Chair of the Neurospora Policy Committee. In 2005, she was awarded the Jo Ann Treat Award for Excellence in Research, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for Fungal Genetics and Biology, and Eukaryotic Cell.

David Earnest, Texas A&M University

David EarnestDavid Earnest, Professor of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the Texas A&M University System Health Sciences Center, is an eminent leader in the application of multidisciplinary approaches to study of the mammalian circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and its regulation by light-dark cycles. He pioneered the identification of key components of the pathway for circadian photoentrainment and the development of immortalized cell lines as models for studying the cellular and molecular components of the SCN circadian clock. Current research includes studies of how developmental alcohol exposure in a rat model for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) alters the SCN clock and how molecular components of the circadian clockworks regulate toxin metabolism and carcinogenesis. Among his many service commitments, Dr. Earnest has been an invited reviewer on panels for the NIH, NSF, and private foundations.

Internal Advisory Board

Dr. Fuller Bazer

Fuller BazerDistinguished Professor of Animal Science, Regents Fellow, and O. D. Butler Chair. Dr. Bazer is an internationally known animal scientist whose research interests include the regulation of uterine enzyme, growth factor, and transport protein secretion, pregnancy recognition signaling from conceptus to the uterus, and the roles of lactogenic and growth hormones in fetal-placental development. He has received numerous honors including the American Society of Animal Science Physiology and Endocrinology Award, the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award in Agriculture, the Society for Reproduction and Fertility Distinguished Research Award, and is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Jonathan Friedman

Jonathan FriedmanAssociate Professor of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics and Surgery, Associate Dean, College of Medicine - Bryan/College Station Campus and Director of the Texas Brain and Spine Institute.

Dr. Friedman is a neurosurgeon specializing in complex intracranial surgery. After training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School, and specialized in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery and co-directed the stroke program. His primary basic science research interest is in neural regeneration, with particular regard to surgical paradigms to facilitate axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury.

Dr. Paul Lindahl

Paul LindahlDr. Paul Lindahl is a Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program. Dr. Lindahl is well known for his work on the assembly and function of organometallic reaction centers used in biological catalysis, and the design of gene regulatory networks through computational systems biology methods. His is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, and has served on numerous NIH grant review panels.

Dr. H. Joseph Newton

H. Joseph NewtonDr. Newton, Professor of Statistics, Dean of Science, and the Richard H. Harrison III/External Advisory & Development Council Endowed Dean's Chair in Science and the George P. Mitchell '49 Chair in Statistics

Dr. Newton is the author of numerous research articles and two books in the areas of time series analysis, computational statistics and technology-mediated instruction. Elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1995, he currently serves as American co-editor of "Computational Statistics" and as editor of "The Stata Journal."

Dr. Stephen H. Safe

Stephen H. SafeDistinguished Professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dr. Safe, who received his D.Phil. at Oxford University, is an internationally recognized toxicologist, particularly in the area of environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors. He has received notable awards, including the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, the Royal Society for Chemistry Award for Health, Safety or Environmental Chemistry, and the Sigma Xi Excellence in Research Award. He is the Sid Kyle Chair of Toxicology.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Seemann

Dr. Jeffrey R. SeemannProfessor of Biology

Dr. Seemann is an internationally recognized plant biochemist with research interests in photosynthesis and global change, and is listed by Current Contents as one of the top 250 most cited researchers in the world in the area of plant and animal sciences. He leads a host of programs and initiatives furthering research, scholarship, and creative works at Texas A&M, as well as overseeing the university's critical research support operations.

External Advisory Board

Dr. Jay C. Dunlap

Jay C. DunlapProfessor and Head of the Department of Genetics at Dartmouth Medical School.

Dr. Dunlap is a world-renowned molecular biologist whose pioneering studies of the frequency gene led to a molecular model for the FRQ-based circadian oscillator in the fungus Neurospora crassa. Dr. Dunlap received his Ph.D. at Harvard University, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and is recipient of numerous awards, including the Damon Runyon - Walter Winchell Memorial Fellowship in Cancer Research, the Honma International Prize for Biological Rhythms Research, the NIMH Senior Scientist Award, and a MERIT Award from NIGMS.

Dr. Daniel Forger

Daniel ForgerDr. Daniel Forger is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Forger is a leader in developing mathematical models that both describe and predict molecular interactions within the circadian timekeeping mechanisms of Drosophila and mammals. His work revealed the molecular basis of short period mutations in the conserved timekeeping component casein kinase 1 epsilon, which has critical implications for the development of drugs to treat disorders of the circadian timekeeping mechanism.

Dr. Jennifer Loros

Jennifer LorosProfessor of Biochemistry and Genetics at Dartmouth College. Dr. Loros is widely known for her research on the molecular biology of the circadian clock in Neurospora crassa. Of particular importance is her research identifying "clock-controlled genes." Her work pioneered investigation of molecular output pathways following the discovery of the frequency (frq) locus. She was awarded "Aschoff's Rule" at the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms 1996 Meeting, an honor within the circadian field, and received an NSF Creativity Award in 1998.

Dr. Michael Menaker

Michael MenakerCommonwealth Professor of Biology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Menaker's pioneering work focuses on how retinal and extraretinal photoreceptors in mammals, reptiles and birds regulate circadian and photoperiodic phenomena and how central pacemakers coordinate oscillators in peripheral tissues. He has received numerous awards including the Peter C. Farrell Prize in Sleep Medicine, the Virginia's Outstanding Scientists and Industrialists Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Steven M. Reppert

Steven M. ReppertProfessor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine in Worcester, MA. Dr. Reppert is a world leader in the diverse areas of molecular genetics of biological clocks, reproductive function, and butterfly migration. He was the first to isolate and clone the melatonin receptors and has been instrumental in the area of comparative genomics in the biological clocks field.

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Gregg C. Allen

Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, TAM Health Science Center

Deb Bell-Pedersen


David Earnest

Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, TAM Health Science Center

Richard Gomer


Paul Hardin


Gladys Ko

Veterinary Integrative Biosciences

Jerome Menet


Christine Merlin


Weston Porter

Veterinary Integrative Biosciences

Terry Thomas


Gerard Toussaint

Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, TAM Health Science Center

Chaodong Wu

Nutrition and Food Science

Mark Zoran