Phillip Karpowicz is examining the body’s natural rhythm to see how it influences the growth of cancer cells.
The University of Windsor assistant professor said the human body cycles through a 24-hour biological process called circadian rhythm.
This naturally corresponds with normal sleep/wake cycles and allows for the renewal and regeneration of stem cells.
“We’ve discovered that this turnover is driven by intestinal stem cells and it’s important in absorbing food while also serving as an important barrier in our body to different harmful chemicals, bacteria and pathogens,” Dr. Karpowicz said.
“We’re working to understand how this process is involved with different diseases.”
Karpowicz said a disruption of the cycle, like a person working varied shifts, can lead to uncontrolled cell growth — a feature of cancer.
His lab is also studying how medical treatment could be improved by knowing how the time of day affects the healing process.
For more information about Karpowicz's research, visit www.karpowiczlab.ca.