Assessment of Epigenetic Driven Circadian Rhythm Defects in Neurons from Individuals with PWS

Funding Summary

Dr. Reiter is analyzing neurons, made from stem cells from individuals with PWS.  He has noted disruptions in the circadian rhythm of these cells (day/night cycle) that may reflect sleep problems in PWS.  His work will identify how the circadian rhythms are disrupted in PWS cells, and pave the way for identifying new drugs to normalize circadian rhythm.


Theresa Strong, Director of Research Programs, shares details on this project in this short video clip.


Watch the full webinar describing the 11 research projects funded in this grant cycle here


Lay Abstract

In this study, we will use our unique stem cell lines from PWS subjects (dental pulp stem cells) to investigate a phenomenon called circadian rhythm. Normal circadian rhythm occurs even at the single cell level, to control the normal sleep/wake cycle in humans. Individuals with PWS have serious sleep problems that can seriously disrupt the lives of families with PWS members. We will use our stem cell lines to look for the normal and PWS circadian rhythm patterns in these cells and also to look at changes in DNA that are known to occur at different times during the day/night cycle. If we succeed, we will have a PWS derived cell culture system that will be useful for doing drug screening. In the future, we may identify drugs that correct the circadian rhythm defects in PWS which lead to sleep problems.

Funded Year:


Awarded to:

Larry Reiter, PhD




University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center


Larry Reiter, PhD

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