Name: Dr. Kristen Curran
Position: Associate Professor
Molecular biology/Development/Circadian Rhythm. We use the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) to address two questions. First, when during development do embryonic organs attain a circadian rhythm and become synchronized with the external environment? Second, do circadian genes play other roles during the development that are not related to timing a 24 hour day? We use various molecular (Real Time PCR), molecular genetic (morpholino and mRNA injection), and embryological (dissection, transplantation) techniques to address these questions. We are currently working on developing transgenic reporter lines of Xenopus laevis that will allow us to visualize gene expression in a live embryo or tadpole. Current Research projects: Investigation of the effects of depletion and overexpression of specific circadian proteins on embryonic organs and tissues (somites, heart, kidney, etc). Characterization of the onset of circadian rhythm in embryonic organs: heart, kidney, ear, nose, eye. Building genetic constructs that will drive firefly luciferase or green fluorescent protein expression under the control of a circadian gene promoter in transgenic tadpoles.
Lab MembershipsCurran Lab (Principal Investigator/Director)
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater