Université de Strasbourg

Josephine Arendt

Jo Arendt

Josephine Arendt is Emeritus Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Surrey and Emeritus Director of the Centre for Chronobiology. 

She completed her PhD in biochemistry on tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptamine and related indoles at the University of London in 1966. She continued her post-doctoral studies at the University of Geneva in Switzerland from 1966-1977, studying the physiological role of the pineal hormone melatonin and of light in the organisation of seasonal and circadian rhythms.  In 1977, she returned to the United Kingdom. 

Professor Arendt is a specialist on biological rhythms and has pioneered the field of chronobiology. She has widely researched biological rhythms and their mechanisms in animals and humans.

She has pioneered immunotechnology for the detection and measurement of melatonin and its metabolites, their circadian and seasonal response to light, and their use to characterise circadian responses particularly in conditions such as jet lag and shift work. She first described the chronobiotic properties of melatonin in relation to human sleep and the circadian system and initiated its use for circadian rhythm related sleep disorders such as jet lag and non-24h sleep disorder (hypernychthemeral syndrome) in blind people. She highlighted the importance of light and melatonin in humans and, for many years, pursued research interests in this area including in Polar regions. In 1988 she founded the company Stockgrand Ltd to exploit this expertise, with all profits supporting research.

During her visit, Professor Arendt will give a lecture "Melatonin: evolution of concepts” as part of the symposium "From the pineal to biological rhythms via melatonin: a Conference in honour of Professor Paul Pévet", and a lecture for the general public: "Melatonin: prospects and hopes in humans". She will be hosted by Dr. Marie Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl (2014 USIAS Fellow) at the Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences (INCI).

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