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Finding the Time to Optimize Therapy

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar

Finding the Time to Optimize Therapy

Ron Anafi, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology
Translational Research Laboratories
University of Pennsylvania

Circadian or daily rhythms influence nearly every aspect of our physiology. The expression of thousands of genes, including many drug targets and disease genes, oscillates with a daily rhythm. Different genes oscillate in each tissue. But our knowledge of molecular rhythms comes almost exclusively from mice and other animals. What about humans? When should you take your medicine? The translation of circadian biology to clinical medicine requires that we first answer a collection of related questions: How does the molecular physiology of different human tissues change with time-of-day? How are those rhythms influenced by disease? What is the current internal circadian time for any given patient? These questions are difficult to answer safely with traditional experiments.

This talk will focus on ongoing work to develop biologically tailored machine learning approaches and biomarker signatures that, in combination with available human data, are allowing us to begin answering these questions.

Dr. Ron Anafi is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a physician and engineer with a broad interest in applying mathematical and engineering techniques to biomedical challenges. Over the last decade his clinical and research efforts have focused on sleep and circadian biology.

Dr. Anafi has worked on questions related to fundamental circadian biology and on finding actionable insights for human chronotherapy. Most recently his research, funded by the NIH and DARPA, has concentrated on developing machine-learning approaches to identify molecular circadian rhythms in human tissue biopsies in order to guide cancer chronotherapy.

Contact Information

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Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.


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