Michael Hastings trained as a marine biologist at the Port Erin Marine Station, Isle of Man, receiving a BSc (1977) and PhD (1980) from the University of Liverpool. Here he specialised in tidal clocks in marine crustacea. Since moving to Cambridge in 1981, he has made highly influential contributions to our understanding of biological clocks through the study of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. He was instrumental in taking circadian neurobiology to the molecular and cell biological level.
Michael extended to mammals the clock model based on transcriptional negative feedback loops and identified important differences with the original Drosophila model. He unravelled the powerful influence of the SCN on the mammalian transcriptome and established its relevance for medicine. In pioneering studies, Michael discovered the importance of intercellular signalling for intracellular clock function, defining the SCN as a neuronal circuit. He joined the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in October 2001 and is currently Joint Head of the Division of Neurobiology.
Interest and expertise
Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
Physiology incl biophysics of cells (non-clinical), Behavioural neuroscience, Cellular neuroscience
Circadian oscillators, Circadian rhythms, Body clocks, Sleep disorders, Hypothalamus, Neuroendocrinology