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Fred Turek

Charles & Emma Morrison Professor

PhD, Stanford


Regions(s): Neurogenetics; Brain and Behavior

Research interest(s): Sleep and circadian rhythms; metabolic, neurodegenerative and gastrointestinal disorders

Research Summary

Sleep and circadian rhythms, and seasonal reproductive cycles

Research in the Turek laboratory is focused on the study of sleep and circadian rhythms, with special interest in identifying genes that regulate sleep and circadian rhythms. Ongoing work on sleep and circadian rhythms includes an investigation of: (1) the neurochemical, molecular, and cellular events involved in the entrainment, generation and expression of circadian rhythms arising from a central biological clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, (2) the genetics of the circadian clock system and the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying the sleep-wake cycle, (3) the feedback effects of the sleep-wake cycle on the circadian clock regulating the timing of that cycle, (4) the effects of advanced age on the expression of behavioral and endocrine rhythms, and on the expression of circadian clock genes, 5) the links between sleep, circadian rhythms and energy metabolism, (6) the role of melatonin in modulating sleep and circadian rhythms, (7) the role of disrupted circadian rhythms on peripheral and central disease/disorders, and (8) the effects of stress, circadian dysregulation and sleep loss/fragmentation on the intestinal microbiota, including studies of twin men and mice on the International Space Station.

In addition to our work on rodents, we have established extensive collaborations with clinical researchers. Studies in humans are aimed at shifting the human clock in an attempt to alleviate mental and physical problems that are associated with disorders in circadian time-keeping, particularly in the elderly and in shift-workers. In addition, we are using both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to determine if we can reverse the effects of aging on the circadian clock system in both rodents and humans. Our sleep, circadian and metabolic studies are focused on how disruption in these interactions can lead to obesity, diabetes CVD, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Selected Publications

  • Block GD, Davis FC, Johnson CH, Pittendrigh C, Schwartz WJ, Turek FW, Van Gelder RN. Pittendrigh Remembered. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2023; 38(3):221-241. doi:10.1177/07487304221148590
  • Zhou L, Fitzpatrick K, Olker C, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW. Casein Kinase 1 Epsilon and circadian misalignment impact affective behaviors in mice. Eur J Neurosci. Sept 30 2021. DOI: 10.1111/ejn.15456.
  • Thompson RS, Gaffney M, Hopkins S, Kelley T, Gonzalez A, Bowers SJ, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW, Foxx CL, Lowry CA, Vargas F, Dorrestein PC, Wright KP, Knight R, Fleshner M. Ruminiclostridium 5, Parabacteroides distasonis, and bile acid profile are modulated by prebiotic diet and associate with facilitated sleep/clock realignment after chronic disruption of rhythms. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. ISSN 0889-1591, (2021).
  • Weaver MD, Sletten TL, Foster RG, Gozal D, Klerman EB, Rajaratnam SMW, Roenneberg T, Takahashi JS, Turek FW, Vitiello MV, Young MW, Czeisler CA. Adverse impact of polyphasic sleep patterns in humans: Report of the National Sleep Foundation sleep timing and variability consensus panel. Sleep Health 7:3; 292-302. (2021).
  • Scarpa, J.R., Jiang, P., Gao, V.D. et al.NREM delta power and AD-relevant tauopathy are associated with shared cortical gene networks. Sci Rep 11, 7797 (2021).
  • Foxx CL, Heinze JD, González A, Vargas F, Baratta MV, Elsayed AI, Stewart JR, Loupy KM, Arnold MR, Flux MC, Sago SA, Siebler PH, Milton LN, Lieb MW, Hassell JE, Smith DG, Lee KAK, Appiah SA, Schaefer EJ, Panitchpakdi M, Sikora NC, Weldon KC, Stamper CE, Schmidt D, Duggan DA, Mengesha YM, Ogbaselassie M, Nguyen KT, Gates CA, Schnabel K, Tran L, Jones JD, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW, Fleshner M, Dorrestein PC, Knight R, Wright KP, Lowry CA. Effects of Immunization With the Soil-Derived Bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae on Stress Coping Behaviors and Cognitive Performance in a "Two Hit" Stressor Model. Front Physiol. Jan 5;11:524833. doi:        3389/fphys.2020.524833. (2020).
  • Bowers, S. J., Lambert, S., He, S., Lowry, C. A., Fleshner, M., Wright, K. P., Jr, Turek, F. W., & Vitaterna, M. H. Immunization with a heat-killed bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae NCTC 11659, prevents the development of cortical hyperarousal and a PTSD-like sleep phenotype after sleep disruption and acute stress in mice. Sleep, zsaa271. (2020).
  • Gao VD, Morley-Fletcher S, Maccari S, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW. Resource competition shapes biological rhythms and promotes temporal niche differentiation in a community simulation. Ecol Evol. 2020; 00:1-13 (2020).
  • Bowers SJ, Vargas F, González A, He S, Jiang P… … Turek FW. Repeated sleep disruption in mice leads to persistent shifts in the fecal microbiome and metabolome. PLOS ONE 15(2):e0229001 (2020).
  • Burgdorf JS, Vitaterna MH, Olker CJ, Song EJ, Christian, EP, Sorensen L, Turek FW, Madsen TM, Khan MA, Kroes RA, Moskal JR. NMDAR activation regulates the daily rhythms of sleep and mood. Sleep, DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsz135 (2019).
  • Jiang P, Green SJ, Chlipala GE, Turek FW, Vitaterna MH. Reproducible changes in the gut microbiome suggest a shift in microbial and host metabolism during spaceflight. Microbiome 7(1):113 (2019).
  • Rupp AC, Ren M, Altimus CM, Fernandez DC, Richardson M, Turek FW, Hattar S, Schmidt TM. Distinct ipRGC subpopulations mediate light’s acute and circadian effects on body temperature and sleep. eLife, 8:e44358 (2019).
  • Jiang P, Scarpa JR, Gao VD, Vitaterna MH, Kasarskis A, Turek FW. Parkinson's Disease is Associated with Dysregulations of a Dopamine-Modulated Gene Network Relevant to Sleep and Affective Neurobehaviors in the Striatum. Scientific Reports 9(1): 4808 (2019).
  • Garrett-Bakelman FE, Darshi M, Green SJ, Gur RC, Lin L, Macias BR, McKenna MJ, Meydan C, Mishra T, Nasrini J, Piening BD, Rizzardi LF, Sharma K, Siamwala JH, Taylor L, ... ... Turek FW. The NASA Twins Study: A multidimensional analysis of a year-long human spaceflight. Science, 364(6436)eaau8650 (2018).
  • Sprecher KE, Ritchie HE, Burke TM, Depner, CM, Dorrestein P, Burke TM, CM, Fleshner M, Knight R, Lowry, CA, Turek FW, Vitaterna MH et al. Trait-like Vulnerability of Higher-order Cognition to Sleep Loss and Circadian Sleep, 41(1):A83–A84 (2018).
  • Scarpa JR, Peng J, Gao V, Fitzpatrick K, Christopher Olker, Kasarskis A, Turek FW, and Vitaterna MH. Cross-species systems analysis identifies gene networks differentially altered by sleep loss and depression. Science Advances, 4(7)eaat1294 (2018).
  • Gwin J, Turek FW, Almoosawi S., Woods S, Session 2 Discussion: Clocks, Hormones and the Environment. Physiology and Behavior, 193(PtB): 232-233 (2018).
  • Jiang, P., Turek FW. The endogenous circadian clock programs animals to eat at certain times of the 24-hour day: What if we ignore the clock? Physiological and Behavior, 193(Pt B): 211-217 (2018).
  • Lunn RM, Blask DE, Coogan AN, Figuerio MG, Gorman MR, Hall JE, Hansen J, Nelson RJ, Panda S, Smolensky MH, Stevens RG, Turek FW, Vermeulen R, Carreon T, Caruso CC, Lawson CC, Thayer KA, Twery MJ, Ewens AD, Garner SC, Schwingle, PJ, Boyd, WA. Health consequences of electrical lighting practices in the modern world: A report on National Toxicology Program’s workshop on shift work at night, artificial light at night, and circadian disruption. Science Total Environment. 607-608: 1073-1084 (2017).
  • Jiang, P, Turek FW. Timing of Meals: When is as critical as what and how much. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 312(5) (2017).
  • Bishehsari F, Saadalla A, Khazaie K, Engen PA, Voigt RM, Shetuni BB, Forsyth C, Shaikh M, Vitaterna MH, Turek F, Keshavarzian A. Light/Dark Shifting Promotes Alcohol-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis: Possible Role of Intestinal Inflammatory Milieu and Microbiota. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(12)pii (2017).
  • Gao V, Turek F, Vitaterna M. Multiple classifier systems for automatic sleep scoring in mice. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 264: 33-39 (2017).
  • Turek FW. Circadian clocks: Not your grandfather’s clock. Science 354(6315): 992–993 (2016).
  • Scarpa JR, Jiang P, Losic B, Readhead B, Gao VD, Dudley JT, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW & Kasarskis A. Systems genetic analyses highlight a TGFβ-FOXO3 dependent striatal astrocyte network conserved across species and associated with stress, sleep and Huntington’s disease. PLoS Genetics. 12(7): e1006137 (2016).
  • Bishehsari F, Levi F, Turek FW & Keshavarzian A. Circadian rhythms in gastrointestinal health and diseases. Gastroenterology, 151(3):e1–e5 (2016).
  • Johnston JD, Ordovas JM, Scheer FA & Turek FW. Circadian rhythms, metabolism, and chrononutrition in rodents and humans. Advances in Nutrition, 7:399–406 (2016).
  • Swanson GR, Gorenz A, Shaikh M, Desai V, Kaminsky T, Van Den Berg J, Murphy T, Raeisi S, Fogg L, Vitaterna MH, Forsyth C, Turek FW, Burgess HJ & Keshavarzian A. Night workers with circadian misalignment are susceptible to alcohol-induced intestinal hyperpermeability with social drinking. American Journal of Physiology Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 311: G192–G201 (2016).
  • Zhou L, Summa KC, Olker C Vitaterna MH, & Turek FW. Altered Body Weight Regulation in CK1e Nul and tau Mutant Mice on Regular Chow and High Fat diets. Genetics Research International, 4973242 (2016).
  • Reid KJ, Turek FW & Zee PC. National Cooperative Freight Research Program Report 36: Enhancing Sleep Efficiency on Vessels in the Tug/Towboat/Barge Industry. Project NCFRP-45. Transportation Research Board, The National Academies of Science (2016).
  • Voigt RM, Summa KC, Forsyth CB, Green SJ, Engen P, Naqib A, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW & Keshavarzian A. The Circadian Clock Mutation Promotes Intestinal Dysbiosis. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(2): 335–347 (2016).
  • Ranjan KC, Li X, Forsyth CB, Voigt RM, Summa KC, Vitaterna MH, Tryniszewska B, Keshavarzian Al, Turek FW, Meng QJ & Im HJ. Osteoarthritis-like pathologic changes in the knee joint induced by environmental disruption of circadian rhythms is potentiated by a high-fat diet. Scientific Reports, 5:16896 (2015).
  • Kc R, Voigt R, Li X, Forsyth CB, Ellman MB, Summa KC, Turek FW, Keshavarzian A, Kim JS, Im HJ. Induction of Osteoarthritis-like Pathologic Changes by Chronic Alcohol Consumption in an Experimental Mouse Model. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 67(6):1678-80 (2015).
  • Rosenwasser AM & Turek FW. Neurobiology of Circadian Rhythm Regulation in Sleep. Medicine Clinics. 10(4): 403-412 (2015).
  • Fishbein AB, Vitaterna O, Haugh IM, Bavishi AA, Zee PC, Turek FW, Sheldon SH, Silverberg JI, & Paller AS. Nocturnal eczema: Review of sleep and circadian rhythms in children with atopic dermatitis and future research directions. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 136(5): 1170-1177 (2015).
  • Katic B, Heywood J, Turek FW, Chiauzzi E, Vaughan TE, Simacek K, Wicks P, Jain S, Winrow C, & Renger JJ. New approach for analyzing self-reporting of insomnia symptoms reveals high rate of comorbid insomnia across a wide spectrum of chronic disease. Sleep Medicine. 16(11): 1332–1341 (2015).
  • Arble DM, Sandoval DA, Turek FW, Woods SC & Seeley RJ. Metabolic Effects of Bariatric Surgery in Mouse Models of Circadian Disruption. International Journal of Obesity. 39(8): 1310–1318 (2015).
  • Ranjan KC, Voigt RM, Ellman MB, Li X, Summa KC, Forsyth CB, Keshavarzian A, Turek FW, Kim JS & Im HJ. Chronic alcohol consumption induces osteoarthritis-like pathological changes in an experimental mouse model. Arthirisit Rheum. 67(6): 1678–1680 (2015).
  • Summa KC, Jiang P, Fitzpatrick K, Voigt RM, Bowers SJ, Forsyth CB, Vitaterna MH, Keshavarzian A & Turek FW. Chronic Alcohol Exposure and the Circadian Clock Mutation Exert Tissue-Specific Effects on Gene Expression in Mouse Hippocampus, Liver, and Proximal Colon. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 39(10): 1917–1929 (2015).
  • Jiang P, Scarpa JR, Fitzpatrick K, Losic B, Gao VD, Hao K, Summa KC, Yang HS, Zhang B, Allada R, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW & Kasarskis A. A systems approach identifies networks and genes linking sleep and stress: Implications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Cell Reports. 11(5): 835–848 (2015).
  • Ranjan KC, Li X, Voigt RM, Ellman MB, Summa KC, Vitaterna MH, Keshavarzian A, Turek FW, Meng QJ, Stein GS, van Wijnen AJ, Chen D, Forsyth CB & Im HJ. Environmental Disruption of Circadian Rhythm Predisposes Mice to Osteoarthritis-Like Changes in Knee Joint. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 230(9): 2174–2183 (2015).
  • Summa KC & Turek FW. The Clocks Within Us. Scientific American. 312(2): 50–55 (2015).
  • Shelton J, Yun S, Losee-Olson S, Turek FW, Bonaventure P, Dvorak C, Lovenberg T & Dugovic C. Selective pharmacological blockade of the 5-HT7 receptor attenuates light and 8-OH-DPAT induced phase shifts of mouse circadian wheel running activity. Frontiers in Behavioral Science, 8:453 (2014).
  • Summa KC & Turek FW. Chronobiology and obesity: Interactions between circadian rhythms and energy regulation. Adv Nutr. 5:312S-319S (2014).
  • Summa KC & Turek FW. Biomedical Effects of Circadian Rhythm Disturbances, Chapter 4 in Impact of Sleep and Sleep Disturbances on Obesity and Cancer. (S. Redline & N.A. Berger, eds.). Springer Science+Business Media, New York, pp. 77-99 (2014).
  • Gao V, Vitaterna MH, & Turek FW. Validation of video motion-detection scoring of forced swim test in mice. Journal Neurosci Methods. 235:59-64 (2014).
  • Zhou L, Bryant CD, Loudon A, Palmer AA, Vitaterna MH, & Turek FW. The circadian clock gene Csnk1e regulates rapid eye movement sleep amount, and nonrapid eye movement sleep architecture in mice. Sleep 37(4): 785-793 (2014).
  • Summa KC & Turek FW. Circadian desynchrony and health. In: Atlas of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Second Edition (M Kryger, A Avidan & R Berry, eds.). Elsevier, 140-147 (2014).
  • Voigt RM, Forsyth CB, Green SJ, Mutlu E, Engen P, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW & Keshavarzian A. Circadian disorganization alters intestinal microbiota. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97500 (2014).
  • Videnovic A, Noble C, Reid KJ, Peng J, Turek FW, Marconi A, Rademaker AW, Simuni T, Zadikoff C, & Zee PC. Circadian melatonin rhythm and excessive daytime sleepiness in Parkinson’s disease. JAMA Neurology. 71(4): 463-469 (2014).
  • Forsyth CB, Voigt RM, Shaikh M, Tang Y, Cederbaum Al, Turek FW & Keshavarzian A. Role for intestinal CYP2E1 in alcohol-induced circadian gene-mediated intestinal hypermeability. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 305(2): G185-95 (2013).
  • Summa KC, Voigt RM, Forsyth CB, Shaikh M, Cavanaugh K, Vitaterna MH, Song S, Turek FW & Keshavarzian A. (2013). Disruption of the Circadian Clock in Mice Increases Intestinal Permeability and Promotes Alcohol-Induced Hepatic Pathology and Inflammation.PLoS ONE, 8(6): e67102.
  • Summa KC, Vitaterna MH and Turek FW. (2012). Environmental perturbation of the circadian clock disrupts pregnancy in the mouse.PLoS ONE, 7(50):e37668.
  • Fitzpatrick K, Winrow CJ, Gotter AL, Millstein J, Arbuzova J, Brunner J, Kasarskis A, Vitaterna MH, Renger JJ, Turek FW. (2012). Altered sleep and affect in the neurotensin receptor 1 knockout mouse.SLEEP, 35(7), 949-56.
  • Yang H, Shimomura K, Vitaterna MH and Turek FW. (2012). High resolution mapping of a novel genetic locus regulating voluntary physical activity in mice.Genes, Brain and Behav, 11(1), 113-24.

Selected Honors/Awards

  • 2019 Front Range Neuroscience Group Meeting Keynote Speaker, Fort Collins, CO
  • 2019 American Society for Gravitational and Space Research President’s Plenary Lecture, Denver, CO
  • 2019 Presidential Lecture, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
  • 2017 David J. Kupfer Lecture Featured Speaker, Center for Sleep and Circadian Science Research Day, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2015 Inaugural Gregory Belenky Distinguished Lectureship Award, Sleep and Performance Research Center, Washington State University
  • 2011 Distinguished Service Award, Sleep Research Society Government Relations Committee
  • 2011  Distinguished Scientist Award, Sleep Research Society
  • 2010  Inaugural Margaret Prine Joy Lectureship in Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Womens Research Day in Reproductive Biology and Women’s Health, Magee-Womens Research Institute
  • 2008  Pioneer Award, Institute for Women’s Health Research, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
  • 2008  Distinguished Service Award, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms
  • 1998-2000  National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), Distinguished Senior Investigator Award
  • 1995-present  Endowed Chair Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Biology
  • 1994-96  Mentor for Dr. Phyllis C. Zee as a Brookdale National Foundation Fellow
  • 1991-92  Belgium American Educational Foundation Senior Fellowship (BAEF)
  • 1991-92  Awarded a Senior International Fellowship, NIH Fogarty International Center  (1 year sabbatical), Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • 1991-92  John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
  • 1987  Curt P. Richter Prize, International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology
  • 1986  Awarded a Senior International Fellowship, NIH Fogarty International Center (1 year sabbatical), Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • 1981  Elected a Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1980, 84  Named to Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll inrecognition of outstanding teaching
  • 1978-83  NIH-Research Career Development Award
  • 1975  National Research Service Award
  • Four-year Teaching Assistantship — Predoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University
  • Evans Collegiate Scholarship to Michigan State University