Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Joseph Bass, MD, PhD

Professor, Medicine, Endocrinology Division; Feinberg School of Medicine

Joseph Bass, MD, PhD

Research Program


j-bass( at )


Cancer-Focused Research

The major focus of our research is on the molecular integration of circadian and metabolic systems. A breakthrough stemmed from our studies of the first circadian mutant mice showing that these animals have altered sleep, feeding activity, obesity and diabetes (Science 2005). This work was the outcome of a commitment to behavioral and physiologic studies in circadian mutants, and the development of whole animal and single cell monitoring of biological rhythms that began over thirty years ago at Northwestern University. As examples of developments in clock-metabolic cross talk, we have shown that autonomous expression of the molecular clock in endocrine pancreas controls insulin secretion at the genomic, cellular, and organismal levels(Nature 2010; Science 2015). We have shown that the clock directly controls cellular biosynthesis of NAD+ and the Sirtuin class of NAD+-dependent deacetylases, in turn regulating mitochondrial respiration (Science 2009, 2013).