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Dr Jeffrey Kelu joined the Hughes Lab in September 2018. Dr Kelu obtained his PhD in Hong Kong with Professor Andrew Miller at HKUST. His doctoral research was about the characterisation of the role of NAADP/TPC/lysosome-mediated Ca2+ signalling in skeletal muscle and primary motor neuron development in zebrafish embryos.

His current research interest involves the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the growth of skeletal muscle, with a specific focus on the circadian clock. Using zebrafish larvae as an in vivo model, he recently showed that muscle grows faster in the daytime than at night, which is paralleled by higher diurnal protein anabolism and nocturnal protein catabolism.

It was further demonstrated that the regulation of muscle protein turnover, and hence growth, by the circadian clock are independent of physical activity and nutrition. Deeper study may increase understanding of the effects of circadian rhythm disturbance, as seen in shift-work, lack of sleep and aging, on muscle growth and maintenance.