University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

The Role of Circadian Clock in Regulation of Beta-cell Survival and Function in Diabetes

Research Area

Grant Type



Millions of Americans are exposed to shift work and many other environmental conditions that disrupt normal circadian rhythms. Environmental conditions associated with disrupted circadian rhythms greatly increase the risk for development of Type 2 diabetes and also significantly hinder the treatment and management of hyperglycemia in existing patients with diabetes.

The goal of the current proposal is to investigate molecular mechanisms responsible for increased risk for diabetes in people experiencing daily disruptions in circadian rhythms. Thus research objectives of the grant will be to:

1) Characterize pancreatic beta-cell genes that are under circadian control

2) Demonstrate how expression of these genes is altered following exposure to environmental conditions associated with circadian disorders

3) Identify molecular pathways in beta-cells that are disturbed in response to circadian disorders and why this makes pancreatic beta-cells more vulnerable to death and dysfunction and consequent predisposition to diabetes.