Robert T. Dauchy, Manager, Laboratory of Chrono-neuroendocrine Oncology, Structural & Cellular Biology at Tulane University School of Medicine (TUSOM), is an internationally recognized leader in research on melatonin circadian regulatory dynamics of host/breast cancer metabolism and physiology. His research has also uncovered melatonin’s ability to suppress uptake of glucose and the production of lactic acid, a process known as aerobic glycolysis, or the Warburg effect. He developed the first surgical technique and procedure for growing and perfusing tissue-isolated rodent and human tumors in situ. He and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate in vivo, that dim light exposure at night (dLEN) suppresses endogenous melatonin concentrations, thereby disrupting daily temporal coordination of metabolic and physiologic parameters, which may lead to various disease states including carcinogenesis and metabolic syndrome. His work at TUSOM led to the development of several new tissue-isolated human tumor models; a new apparatus and surgical technique for the dual perfusion of human tumor xenografts in situ; and, important research on dLEN and Tamoxifen and Doxorubicin resistance in breast cancer. This work further revealed that restoration of the endogenous nighttime melatonin signal suppresses hormone- and chemo-drug resistance leading to inhibition of of breast tumor growth. Finally, he has demonstrated in several recent publications that the spectral quality (wavelength) of light during daytime significantly influences nighttime plasma melatonin production and the temporal coordination of circadian rhythms of metabolism and physiology in normal and neoplastic tissues.
- The effect of environmental light exposure at night on genomic instability associated with aging and cancer in mammalian tissues