Current Appointment

Postdoctoral Associate

Advisor: Dr Stuart Schreiber
Chemical Biology Program
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Broad Institute and am interested in combining computational and chemical biological approaches to understand mechanisms of disease.

Lead-author Publications

(Listed in reverse chronological order. Click here to view a full list of publications on PubMed.)

1. Gill S, Panda S. A smartphone app reveals erratic diurnal eating patterns in humans that can be modulated for health benefits.
Cell Metabolism. November 2015 Download this paper

Abstract: A diurnal rhythm of eating-fasting promotes health, but the eating pattern of humans is rarely assessed. Using a mobile app, we monitored ingestion events in healthy adults with no shift-work for several days. Most subjects ate frequently and erratically throughout wakeful hours, and overnight fasting duration paralleled time in bed. There was a bias toward eating late, with an estimated <25% of calories being consumed before noon and >35% after 6 p.m. "Metabolic jetlag" resulting from weekday/weekend variation in eating pattern akin to travel across time zones was prevalent. The daily intake duration (95% interval) exceeded 14.75 hr for half of the cohort. When overweight individuals with >14 hr eating duration ate for only 10-11 hr daily for 16 weeks assisted by a data visualization (raster plot of dietary intake pattern, "feedogram") that we developed, they reduced body weight, reported being energetic, and improved sleep. Benefits persisted for a year.


2. Gill S, Le HD, Melkani GC, Panda S. Time-restricted feeding attenuates age-related cardiac decline in Drosophila.
Science. March 2015 Download this paper

Abstract: Circadian clocks orchestrate periods of rest or activity and feeding or fasting over the course of a 24-hour day and maintain homeostasis. To assess whether a consolidated 24-hour cycle of feeding and fasting can sustain health, we explored the effect of time-restricted feeding (TRF; food access limited to daytime 12 hours every day) on neural, peripheral, and cardiovascular physiology in Drosophila melanogaster. We detected improved sleep, prevention of body weight gain, and deceleration of cardiac aging under TRF, even when caloric intake and activity were unchanged. We used temporal gene expression profiling and validation through classical genetics to identify the TCP-1 ring complex (TRiC) chaperonin, the mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes, and the circadian clock as pathways mediating the benefits of TRF.


3. Hatori M#, Gill S#, Mure LS, Goulding M, O'Leary DDM, Panda S. Lhx1 maintains synchrony among circadian oscillator neurons of the SCN.
eLife. July 2014 Download this paper, Web server
#=equal contribution

Abstract: The robustness and limited plasticity of the master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is attributed to strong intercellular communication among its constituent neurons. However, factors that specify this characteristic feature of the SCN are unknown. Here, we identified Lhx1 as a regulator of SCN coupling. A phase-shifting light pulse causes acute reduction in Lhx1 expression and of its target genes that participate in SCN coupling. Mice lacking Lhx1 in the SCN have intact circadian oscillators, but reduced levels of coupling factors. Consequently, the mice rapidly phase shift under a jet lag paradigm and their behavior rhythms gradually deteriorate under constant condition. Ex vivo recordings of the SCN from these mice showed rapid desynchronization of unit oscillators. Therefore, by regulating expression of genes mediating intercellular communication, Lhx1 imparts synchrony among SCN neurons and ensures consolidated rhythms of activity and rest that is resistant to photic noise.