Dr Ryan Hamnett

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Postdoctoral Researcher, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
MRC-Funded CSaP Policy Intern (September 2016 – December 2016)

Ryan began his 3 month RCUK policy internship in autumn 2016. He is a postdoctoral researcher studying the neuroscience of circadian rhythms in the Hastings laboratory at the MRC LMB in Cambridge. Circadian rhythms are daily body rhythms, enabling organisms to predict and therefore adapt to the day-night cycle of the Earth, such as the alignment of our sleep-wake cycle with light and dark. In mammals, the primary pacemaker is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, which drives the subordinate cellular clocks of other tissues to co-ordinate whole organism physiology and behaviour.

Ryan’s work focusses on cellular communication within the SCN, such as studying how subpopulations of cells signal to each other and the hierarchical structure that exists between these cell populations to ensure a coherent synchronising signal is sent to the rest of the body.

Ryan holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Molecular Neuroscience from the University of Bristol. While in Cambridge he has held the position of Outreach Co-ordinator on the committee of the university’s neuroscience society, CamBRAIN, and helped to organise the Pint of Science festival.

To read about Ryan's experience as a Policy Intern, click here.