Research Highlight: Sophie Fowler

Sophie Fowler has commenced a PhD project on circadian rhythms and melatonin metabolism in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Sophie’s pilot study investigates participants salivary dim light melatonin onset to see if their circadian phase is shifted. This research follows on from her Honours research, in which Sophie found that there was a difference in the circadian gene expression in patients with gut disorder including irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia and inflammatory bowel disease.

Sophie hopes that this research “may provide people with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FD and IBS) a non-invasive method for improving their symptoms as modulating circadian rhythms is easier than other treatment methods. This could include improving their sleep/wake cycle and possibly melatonin supplementation.”