Prof David Whitmore


Personal Profile

Name: David Whitmore Email:
Title: Prof Tel:
Department: Cell & Developmental Biology Fax: 020 7679 7349
Position: Professor of Chronobiology Address: Rockefeller Building, University Street, London, WC1E 6BT
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Neuroscience Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

Our research effort is primarily focused on the study of biological clocks, using zebrafish as a model system. The questions range from the light sensory, signaling pathways that are involved in resetting the circadian pacemaker, the core molecular mechanism of the clock itself, through to the processes that the clock regulates. Our early work was amongst the first to show that the majority of tissues and cells of the body contain independent clocks, which regulate the timing of fundamental aspects of the cell biology of those cells. Such events as the activation of DNA repair and the timing of the cell cycle are gated or timed by this cellular pacemaker. In fish, an unusual aspect of clock biology is that most of these cells are also directly light responsive. We are studying the impact that this light sensitivity has on aspects of cell biology, as well as trying to determine the mechanisms that underlie this response. Relatively new studies will expand this research into aspects of animal behaviour, as well as the role played by a directly light responsive brain in regulating details of temporal biology in zebrafish.

Research Activities

Circadian rhythms. Light detection. Cell cycle timing.

Education Description

UCL Collaborators

Prof David Becker; Dr Yoshiyuki Yamamoto; Dr Manlio Vinciguerra

External Collaborators



    • Hamilton N, Diaz-de-Cerio N, Whitmore D (2015). Impaired light detection of the circadian clock in a zebrafish melanoma model. CELL CYCLE, 14(8), 1232 - 1241. doi:10.1080/15384101.2015.1014146


    • Laranjeiro R, Whitmore D (2014). Transcription factors involved in retinogenesis are co-opted by the circadian clock following photoreceptor differentiation.. Development, 141(13), 2644 - 2656. doi:10.1242/dev.104380


    • Peyric E, Moore HA, Whitmore D (2013). Circadian clock regulation of the cell cycle in the zebrafish intestine.. PLoS One, 8(8), e73209 - . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073209
    • Moore HA (2013). Circadian rhythmicity and light sensitivity of the zebrafish brain.
    • Martin-Robles AJ, Whitmore D, Pendon C, Munoz-Cueto JA (2013). Differential effects of transient constant light-dark conditions on daily rhythms of Period and Clock transcripts during Senegalese sole metamorphosis. CHRONOBIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, 30(5), 699 - 710. doi:10.3109/07420528.2013.782313
    • Laranjeiro R, Tamai TK, Peyric E, Krusche P, Ott S, Whitmore D (2013). Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p20 controls circadian cell-cycle timing.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 110(17), 6835 - 6840. doi:10.1073/pnas.1217912110


    • Martin-Robles AJ, Aliaga-Guerrero M, Whitmore D, Pendon C, Munoz-Cueto JA (2012). The Circadian Clock Machinery During Early Development of Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis): Effects of Constant Light and Dark Conditions. CHRONOBIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, 29(9), 1195 - 1205. doi:10.3109/07420528.2012.719963
    • Ullner E, Ares S, Morelli LG, Oates AS, Julicher F, Nicola E, Heussen R, Whitmore D, Blyuss K, Fryett M, Zakharova A, Koseska A, Nene NR, Zaikin A (2012). “Noise and oscillations in biological systems: multidisciplinary approach between experimental biology, theoretical modelling and synthetic biology. International Journal of Modern Physics B, 26, - .
    • Tamai TK, Young LC, Cox CA, Whitmore D (2012). Light acts on the zebrafish circadian clock to suppress rhythmic mitosis and cell proliferation.. J Biol Rhythms, 27(3), 226 - 236. doi:10.1177/0748730412440861
    • Martin-Robles AJ, Whitmore D, Javier Sanchez-Vazquez F, Pendon C, Munoz-Cueto JA (2012). Cloning, tissue expression pattern and daily rhythms of Period1, Period2, and Clock transcripts in the flatfish Senegalese sole, Solea senegalensis. JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY B-BIOCHEMICAL SYSTEMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY, 182(5), 673 - 685. doi:10.1007/s00360-012-0653-z


    • Davies WI, Zheng L, Hughes S, Tamai TK, Turton M, Halford S, Foster RG, Whitmore D, Hankins MW (2011). Functional diversity of melanopsins and their global expression in the teleost retina.. Cell Mol Life Sci, 68(24), 4115 - 4132. doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0785-4
    • Martin-Robles AJ, Isorna E, Whitmore D, Munoz-Cueto JA, Pendon C (2011). The clock gene Period3 in the nocturnal flatfish Solea senegalensis: Molecular cloning, tissue expression and daily rhythms in central areas. COMP BIOCHEM PHYS A, 159(1), 7 - 15. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2011.01.015



    • Tamai TK, Young LC, Whitmore D (2007). Light signaling to the zebrafish circadian clock by Cryptochrome 1a. P NATL ACAD SCI USA, 104(37), 14712 - 14717. doi:10.1073/pnas.0704588104


    • Carr AJF, Tamai TK, Young LC, Ferrer V, Dekens MP, Whitmore D (2006). Light reaches the very heart of the zebrafish clock. CHRONOBIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, 23(1-2), 91 - 100. doi:10.1080/07420520500464395


    • Carr AJF, Whitmore D (2005). Imaging of single light-responsive clock cells reveals fluctuating free-running periods. NAT CELL BIOL, 7(3), 319 - U127. doi:10.1038/ncb1232
    • Tamai TK, Carr AJ, Whitmore D (2005). Zebrafish circadian clocks: cells that see light. BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS, 33, 962 - 966.
    • Carr AJ, Whitmore D (2005). Peripheral time: clocks in organs and cells. The Biochemist, 27, 22 - 26.


    • Vallone D, Gondi SB, Whitmore D, Foulkes NS (2004). E-box function in a period gene repressed by light. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101, 4106 - 4111. doi:10.1073/pnas.0305436101
    • Tamai TK, Vardhanabhuti V, Foulkes NS, Whitmore D (2004). Early embryonic light detection improves survival. CURR BIOL, 14(3), R104 - R105.
    • Foster RG, Peirson S, Whitmore D (2004). Rhythmic and temporal processes in biology. In (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine (pp. - ). : Wiley-VCH.


    • Moutsaki P, Whitmore D, Bellingham J, Sakamoto K, David-Gray ZK, Foster RG (2003). Teleost multiple tissue (tmt) opsin: a candidate photopigment regulating the peripheral clocks of zebrafish?. MOL BRAIN RES, 112(1-2), 135 - 145. doi:10.1016/S0169-328X(03)00059-7
    • Tamai TK, Vardhanabhuti V, Arthur S, Foulkes NS, Whitmore D (2003). Flies and fish: Birds of a feather. JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY, 15(4), 344 - 349.
    • Dekens MP, Santoriello C, Vallone D, Grassi G, Whitmore D, Foulkes NS (2003). Light regulates the cell cycle in zebrafish. Current Biology, 13, 2051 - 2057. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2003.10.022


    • Bellingham J, Whitmore D, Philp AR, Wells DJ, Foster RG (2002). Zebrafish melanopsin: isolation, tissue localisation and phylogenetic position. Molecular Brain Research, 107(2), 128 - 136.


    • Whitmore D, Cermakian N, Crosio C, Foulkes NS, Pando MP, Travnickova Z, Sassone-Corsi P (2000). A clockwork organ. Biological Chemistry, 381, 793 - 800. doi:10.1515/BC.2000.102
    • Whitmore D, Foulkes NS, Sassone-Corsi P (2000). Light acts directly on organs and cells in culture to set the vertebrate circadian clock.. Nature, 404, 87 - 91. doi:10.1038/35003589
    • Cermakian N, Whitmore D, Foulkes NS, Sassone-Corsi P (2000). Asynchronous oscillations of two zebrafish CLOCK partners reveal differential clock control and function.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97, 4339 - 4334.


    • Whitmore D, Foulkes NS, Straehle U, Sassone-Corsi P (1998). Zebrafish Clock rhythmic expression reveals independent peripheral circadian oscillators.. Nature Neuroscience, 1(8), 701 - 707. doi:10.1038/3703

    • Whitmore D (). Functional diversity of melanopsins and their global expression in the teleost retina.. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 68(24), 4115 - 4132. doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0785-4