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Esther Speksnijder

Image by Esther Speksnijder

Description of project

With a background in Medicine I have started my PhD research at the department of Endocrinology and Metabolism. I will investigate whether restoration of endocrine rhythms lead to improvement of glucose metabolism and bone health in humans. It has been shown that most endocrine systems are characterized by endogenous rhythms. These biological rhythms exist on several timescales: ultradian rhythms (such as pulsatile secretion of hypothalamic hormones GnRH and CRH), circadian rhythms (such as the daily rhythms of cortisol and melatonin secretion), and monthly rhythms (such as the menstrual cycle). Emerging evidence has shown that disruption of endocrine rhythms can disturb insulin sensitivity and bone health. Now, we want to try to restore these rhythms.

During the course of the project, I will investigate whether endogenous rhythms in the hypothalamic central brain clock are disrupted in progressive stages of insulin resistance. Furthermore, I will use several environmental and pharmacological methods to restore endocrine rhythms in healthy humans and humans with insulin resistance, and I will subsequently investigate the effect of these methods on glucose homeostasis and bone metabolism.

On a personal level, I am excited to combine two fields of research, chronobiology and endocrinology, to contribute to future knowledge in the chronobiology field and to improve metabolic health in humans. When not doing research, I like to travel, scuba dive and play the piano.



November 2021

Works at

Amsterdam University Medical Center



Supervisor dr. Dirk-Jan Stenvers:

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The BioClock Consortium is funded by the NWA-ORC programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO; project number 1292.19.077).