The research in the Chaix lab is at the interface between nutrition, metabolism and circadian physiology.
A central aspect of our research is aimed at understanding the daily temporal orchestration of metabolic pathways and the daily regulation of metabolic homeostasis and their relationship with the circadian clock. This focus makes our research unique, exciting and challenging.
Unique because few laboratories in the world study the impact of the daily temporal aspect of nutrition on metabolic homeostasis and cardiometabolic diseases. Exciting because the circadian clock is a very elegant and complex regulatory system and because many physiological processes amongst which metabolic activity varies according to the time-of-day. Challenging because our research doesn’t stop when the clock strikes 5pm – we often work through the night and come in before the sun is up in order to cover circadian cycles – and because in addition circadian time-series data are not easy to analyze.
In the lab, we use benchmark pre-clinical models to establish clinically relevant parameters that will inform the development of clinical trials for diverse patient populations and their associated chronic diseases.
We use various dietary interventions such as time-restricted feeding (TRF) and calorie restriction (CR) to understand how the quality, quantity and timing of food consumption affect physiology and pathology, from the whole-body down to the molecular level.
Some of our ongoing & future research questions are:
- How effective are various dietary interventions in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic disorders associated with the consumption of energy dense food?
- What are the effect of various dietary interventions on muscle physiology and performance?
- Can dietary interventions mitigate age-related functional and cognitive decline?
- How do dietary interventions affect the activity of the circadian clock system?
- How are nutritional and timing cues integrated at the molecular level?