UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof David Whitmore

Prof David Whitmore

Professor of Chronobiology

Cell & Developmental Biology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2001

Research summary

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.


University of Virginia
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1996
University of Bristol
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1986