Circadian Rhythms and Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Circadian Rhythms and Bipolar Disorder

Many studies have found significant disruptions in circadian rhythms in people with bipolar disorder. These rhythms affect sleep/wake activity, body temperature, and hormonal cycles. Changes to the sleep/wake cycle can precipitate manic and depressive episodes while stabilization of these rhythms is therapeutic. I will be discussing work from our lab aimed at better understanding the molecular mechanisms by which circadian genes and rhythms control mood in bipolar disorder and how synchronization of the circadian clock may lead to novel mood-stabilizing therapies.

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Presented by 
Colleen A. McClung, Ph.D.
Colleen A. McClung, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Science

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

2021 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2020)

2016 Independent Investigator Grant

2007, 2005 Young Investigator Grant


Dr. McClung is a world renowned leader in the study of circadian rhythms in the development and progression of psychiatric disorders. Using rodent models, she has uncovered some of the many ways in which proteins that make up the circadian clock are directly involved in the regulation of mood, reward, novelty seeking and anxiety. She also employs human postmortem tissue to measure changes in molecular rhythms in subjects with psychiatric disorders in specific brain regions. Dr. McClung has been continuously funded by the NIH for more than 20 years and she recently became the director of the NIDA funded Center for Adolescent Reward, Rhythms and Sleep (CARRS). She also regularly works with top pharmaceutical companies to test novel medications for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Dr. McClung has been very actively associated with the Brain & Behavior Foundation for many years and has received two NARSAD Young Investigator Awards (2007 and 2009) and a NARSAD Independent Investigator Award (2016). She was also an Honorable Mention Recipient of the Daniel X. Freedman Award for Outstanding Basic Research.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO


Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.