Velux grant for Tom de Boer

How light exposure in early life shapes timing and quality of sleep in adulthood

Tom de Boer, member of the Circadian Clocks group in the Department of Cell and Chemical Biology, received a grant of €326000.- from the Velux Stiftung (Zürich, Switzerland) to investigate in a mouse model the effect of day length (winter or summer day) and dim light at night in early life on sleep timing and quality in adulthood. From the proposal: “Based on our recent findings that daylength can influence brain neuronal network connectivity, and sleep, and the fact that early life daylength exposure can program the circadian clock, fixating it in a state of either short or long daylength, we predict that early life light exposure can change circadian clock gene expression and functioning, and sleep-wake quality in adult life.” The goal is to eventually increase or maintain healthy brain function in adulthood in humans.

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