2.2 million European grant for biological clock researcher

28 March 2019• PRESSRELEASE

LUMC professor of Neurophysiology Joke Meijer receives more than 2.2 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). She will use this so-called Advanced Grant for her research into the biological clock.

Our homes, our offices, our cars, our cities, they all emit light. This large amount of artificial light is influencing the biological clocks of all living creatures, sending puzzling signals of when we should be active, and when we should stay in bed. Many severe health disorders are consequences of this change - diabetes, sleep and mood disorders, immune and cardiovascular diseases. 

Understanding the biological clock

With her new ERC Advanced Grant, Prof. Meijer hopes to get us back to sleeping healthily. By understanding the biological clock of diurnal animals, like us, and comparing it to nocturnal animals who respond to light cues in the opposite way, she will try to reprogram our rest patterns. Her results will deeply improve the lives of the people most vulnerable to sleep disorders: the elderly, patients in intensive care, but also nurses, doctors, bus drivers, shift workers and everyone who has ever battled with the alarm clock.  

Joke Meijer is Professor of Neurophysiology, in particular the regulation mechanisms of biological rhythms, and head of the section Neurophysiology within the department of Cell and Chemical Biology.

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