Dr David Pritchett


Circadian rhythms are endogenous 24 hour oscillations in physiology and behaviour that enable an organism to anticipate and adapt to the changing temporal demands of the environment. The rest-activity rhythm and the sleep-wake cycle are two obvious examples. Traditionally, all circadian rhythms were thought to originate from an autoregulatory transcriptional-translational feedback loop (TTFL), involving a number of core ‘clock’ genes. However, recent evidence has shown that circadian rhythms can exist in the absence of transcription, hinting at the existence of a non-transcriptional circadian clock.

I am interested in the following questions:

1) What is the mechanistic basis of the non-transcriptional circadian clock?

2) What are the behavioural and molecular consequences of disrupting the non-transcriptional circadian clock in mammals?

3) How do the non-transcriptional and transcriptional circadian clocks interact?

4) Is sleep an antioxidant mechanism?

Research Focus



Circadian rhythms

Non-transcriptional clock

Redox metabolism


Clinical conditions

Circadian rhythm disorders

Sleep disorders


Behavioural analysis

Circadian screening


In-vivo microscopy

Molecular biology

Sleep deprivation

Sleep screening


United Kingdom

Denis Burdakov Web: http://www.nimr.mrc.ac.uk/researc...

Russell Foster Web: http://www.ndcn.ox.ac.uk/team/pr...

Stuart Peirson Web: http://www.eye.ox.ac.uk/team/pr...

Associated News Items



    Pritchett D, Taylor AM, Barkus C, Engle SJ, Brandon NJ, Sharp T, Foster RG, Harrison PJ, Peirson SN, Bannerman DM (2016), “Searching for cognitive enhancement in the Morris watermaze: Better and worse performance in D-amino acid oxidase knockout (Dao-/-) mice” European Journal of Neuroscience 43(7):979-89


    Pritchett D, Jagannath A, Brown LA, Tam SKE, Hasan S, Gatti S, Harrison PJ, Bannerman DM, Foster RG, Peirson SN (2015), “Deletion of metabotropic glutamate receptors 2 and 3 (mGlu2 & mGlu3) in mice disrupts sleep and wheel-running activity, and increases the sensitivity of the circadian system to light” PLOS ONE 10(5):e0125523.

    Pritchett D, Reddy AB (2015), “Circadian clocks in the hematologic system” Journal of Biological Rhythms 30(5):374-88

    Pritchett D, Tam SKE, Engle SJ, Brandon NJ, Sharp T, Foster RG, Harrison PJ, Bannerman DM, Peirson SN (2015), “D-amino acid oxidase (DAO, DAAO) knockout mice show enhanced short-term memory performance and heightened anxiety, but no sleep or circadian rhythm disruption” European Journal of Neuroscience 41(9):1167-79

    Tam SK, Pritchett D, Brown LA, Foster RG, Bannerman DM, Peirson SN (2015), “Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption and recognition memory in schizophrenia.” Methods Enzymol 552:325-49 Details


    Frank E, Benabou M, Bentzley B, Bianchi M, Goldstein T, Konopka G, Maywood E, Pritchett D, Sheaves B, Thomas J (2014), “Influencing circadian and sleep-wake regulation for prevention and intervention in mood and anxiety disorders: what makes a good homeostat?” Ann N Y Acad Sci 1334:1-25 Details


    Haddad ADM, Pritchett D, Lissek S, Lau JYF (2012), “Trait anxiety and fear responses to safety cues: stimulus generalization or sensitization?” Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 34(3):323-331

    Harrison PJ, Pritchett D, Stumpenhorst K, Betts JF, Nissen W, Schweimer J, Lane T, Burnet PW, Lamsa KP, Sharp T, Bannerman DM, Tunbridge EM (2012), “Genetic mouse models relevant to schizophrenia: taking stock and looking forward.” Neuropharmacology 62(3):1164-7 Details

    Pritchett D, Wulff K, Oliver PL, Bannerman DM, Davies KE, Harrison PJ, Peirson SN, Foster RG (2012), “Evaluating the links between schizophrenia and sleep and circadian rhythm disruption.” J Neural Transm 119(10):1061-75 Details


    Pritchett D, Gallace A, Spence C (2011), “Implicit processing of tactile information: evidence from the tactile change detection paradigm.” Conscious Cogn 20(3):534-46 Details