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Jennifer Hurley - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Troy, NY, US

Jennifer Hurley

Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development Chair | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Investigating fundamental mechanisms underlying the circadian clock and health implications of a disrupted clock.

Areas of Expertise (7)


Protein Structure / Function Relationships


Circadian Rhythms



Systems Biology


Jennifer M. Hurley, the Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development Chair, is an expert on the fundamental mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms, which are controlled by a central oscillator, or clock. Defects in the circadian clock or disruptions in circadian rhythms are linked to a wide range of sleep, metabolic and psychological disorders in humans. Hurley’s lab investigates the relationship between the core clock mechanism and the output that the clock controls using a combination of molecular genetics and biochemical techniques as well as a biostatistical/computational approach using whole genome scale data.

In a recent finding, Hurley’s work demonstrated that macrophages, immune cells that seek and destroy intruders like bacteria, may time daily changes in their responses to pathogens and stress through the circadian control of metabolism. Earlier findings have drawn fascinating insights into links between circadian rhythms and malaria and diabetes, and the discovery that environmental toxins can disrupt circadian rhythms in simple organisms.






Jennifer Hurley Discusses Circadian Rhythm Research


Education (3)

Rutgers/UMDNJ: Ph.D., Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology 2009

Dartmouth: P.Ph.D., Genetics and Biochemistry 2015

Juniata College: B.S., Molecular Biology and Politics 2004

Media Appearances (4)

Troy first graders learn by growing

News10 ABC  tv


With school underway and a big focus on a return to normal, some first graders in Troy are getting their hands dirty with sunflowers! “I like it when it’s growing super fast,” Elnor Thomas said. These students planted the sunflowers when they were in kindergarten last spring with college students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Seven hours of sleep is ‘optimal’ for people in middle to older age, study suggests

The Independent  print


... Jennifer Hurley, an expert in circadian rhythms, and associate professor of biological science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, said: “Circadian regulation of immune cells plays a role in the intricate relationship between the circadian clock and Alzheimer’s disease. ...

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Can road salt and other pollutants disrupt our circadian rhythms?

The Conversation  online


Every winter, local governments across the United States apply millions of tons of road salt to keep streets navigable during snow and ice storms. Runoff from melting snow carries road salt into streams and lakes, and causes many bodies of water to have extraordinarily high salinity. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, my colleague Rick Relyea and his lab are working to quantify how increases in salinity affect ecosystems. Not surprisingly, they have found that high salinity has negative impacts on many species. They have also discovered that some species have the ability to cope with these increases in salinity.

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Academic Minute: Jennifer Hurley, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Circadian Clock Disruption

National Public Radio  radio


How important is it to be in tune with your circadian clock? Jennifer Hurley, assistant professor of biological sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, delves into this question.

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Articles (3)

Can eating help treat malaria

Science Translational Medicine

Hurley, J. M.


The identification of metabolic control of the Plasmodium life cycle may open novel avenues for malaria treatment.

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Could gut flora cycles be key to treating diabetes?

Science Translational Medicine

Hurley, J. M.


Gut microbiota abundance rhythms are ablated in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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The tick tock of toxicity

Science Translational Medicine

Hurley, J. M.


A cell-intrinsic circadian program diminishes neutrophil toxicity to protect organs from excessive inflammation.

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