Rawashdeh - Chronobiology and sleep

I have always been intrigued and fascinated by the importance of the biological time-keeping system in regulating processes as complex and important as learning and memory. We often refer to memories as a defining factor for who we are, similar to a passport or fingerprint "we are our memories". The efficiency by which we acquire new information (learning) and form memories is dependent on temporal factors imposed on those anatomical structures involved in memory processing by our inner time-keeping system. This phenomenon has deep fundamental evolutionary roots since the circadian modulation of learning and memory is conserved across species as we and others have demonstrated.

My research focuses on identifying the biological clocks and pacemakers that regulate hippocampus-dependent learning and memory processes and deciphering the means of communication between the clock and the limbic system (an anatomical structure related to information and emotion processing and storage). Thus, the memories that shape our behaviour are restricted to information we efficiently acquire, which is dependent on the time-of-day when the processing of the information takes place. 


  • the topic "biological clocks" or circadian biology is on top of your list
  • you are a highly motivated individual
  • you enjoy working in a team
  • you live each day as if it was your last

Then please email me to apply for a PhD position in my lab.

Group Leader


  • Nicolas Garner - PhD student
  • Pureum Kim - PhD student

Lucia, D., Burgess, D., Cullen, C. L., Dorey, E. S., Rawashdeh, O. and Moritz, K. M. (2019) Periconceptional maternal alcohol consumption leads to behavioural changes in adult and aged offspring and alters the expression of hippocampal genes associated with learning and memory and regulators of the epigenomeBehavioural Brain Research362 249-257. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2019.01.009

Kim, Pureum, Oster, Henrik, Lehnert, Hendrik, Schmid, Sebastian M, Salamat, Nicole, Barclay, Johanna L, Maronde, Erik, Inder, Warrick and Rawashdeh, Oliver (2019) Coupling the circadian clock to homeostasis: the role of Period in timing physiologyEndocrine Reviews40 1: 66-95. doi:10.1210/er.2018-00049

Himmelhan, D. K., Rawashdeh, O. and Oelschläger, H. H. A. (2018) Early postnatal development of the visual cortex in mice with retinal degenerationMechanisms of Development151 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.mod.2018.03.002

Rawashdeh, Oliver, Parsons, Rex and Maronde, Erik (2018) Clocking in time to gate memory processes: the circadian clock is part of the ins and outs of memoryNeural Plasticity2018 6238989-11. doi:10.1155/2018/6238989

Rawashdeh, Oliver, Clough, Shannon J. , Hudson, Randall L. and Dubocovich, Margarita L. (2017) Learned motivation drives circadian physiology in the absence of the master circadian clockFASEB Journal31 1: 388-399. doi:10.1096/fj.201600926R

Rami, Abdalhaq, Fekadu, Julia and Rawashdeh, Oliver (2017) The hippocampal autophagic machinery is depressed in the absence of the circadian clock protein PER1 that may lead to vulnerability during cerebral ischemiaCurrent Neurovascular Research14 3: 207-214. doi:10.2174/1567202614666170619083239

Rawashdeh, Oliver, Jilg, Antje, Maronde, Erik, Fahrenkrug, Jan and Stehle, Joerg H. (2016) Period1 gates the circadian modulation of memory-relevant signaling in mouse hippocampus by regulating the nuclear shuttling of the CREB kinase pP90RSKJournal of Neurochemistry138 5: 731-745. doi:10.1111/jnc.13689

Stehle, Jorg H. and Rawashdeh, Oliver (2016) Ribosomal RNA - A tail wagging the dog?Journal of Neurochemistry,136 4: 673-676. doi:10.1111/jnc.13499

Rawashdeh, Oliver, Jilg, Antje, Jedlicka, Peter, Slawska, Jolanta, Thomas, Lukas, Saade, Anastasia, Schwarzacher, Stephan W. and Stehle, Joerg H. (2014) PERIOD1 coordinates hippocampal rhythms and memory processing with daytimeHippocampus24 6: 712-723. doi:10.1002/hipo.22262

Rawashdeh, Oliver and Dubocovich, Margarita L. (2014) Long-term effects of maternal separation on the responsiveness of the circadian system to melatonin in the diurnal nonhuman primate (Macaca mulatta)Journal of Pineal Research56 3: 254-263. doi:10.1111/jpi.12118

Rawashdeh, Oliver and Maronde, Erik (2012) The hormonal Zeitgeber melatonin: role as a circadian modulator in memory processingFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience5 FEBRUARY 2012: 1-6. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2012.00027

Stehle, Joerg H., Saade, Anastasia, Rawashdeh, Oliver, Ackermann, Katrin, Jilg, Antje, Sebesteny, Tamas and Maronde, Erik (2011) A survey of molecular details in the human pineal gland in the light of phylogeny, structure, function and chronobiological diseasesJournal of Pineal Research51 1: 17-43. doi:10.1111/j.1600-079X.2011.00856.x

Rawashdeh, Oliver, Hudson, Randall L., Stepien, Iwona and Dubocovich, Margarita L. (2011) Circadian periods of sensitivity for ramelteon on the onset of running-wheel activity and the peak of suprachiasmatic nucleus neuronal firing rhythms in C3HHeN miceChronobiology International28 1: 31-38. doi:10.3109/07420528.2010.532894

Rawashdeh, Oliver and Stehle, Joerg H. (2010) Ageing or NOT, clock genes are important for memory processes: an interesting hypothesis raising many questionsAging2 5: 259-260. doi:10.18632/aging.100148

Gerstner, Jason R., Lyons, Lisa C., Wright, Kenneth P., Jr., Loh, Dawn H., Rawashdeh, Oliver, Eckel-Mahan, Kristin L. and Roman, Gregg W. (2009) Cycling behavior and memory formationThe Journal of Neuroscience29 41: 12824-12830. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3353-09.2009

Rawashdeh, Oliver, de Borsetti, Nancy Hernandez, Roman, Gregg and Cahill, Gregory M. (2007) Melatonin suppresses nighttime memory formation in zebrafishScience318 5853: 1144-1146. doi:10.1126/science.1148564

Lyons, Lisa C., Rawashdeh, Oliver and Eskin, Arnold (2006) Non-ocular circadian oscillators and photoreceptors modulate long term memory formation in AplysiaJournal of Biological Rhythms21 4: 245-255. doi:10.1177/0748730406289890

Lyon, Lisa C., Rawashdeh, Oliver, Katzoff, Ayelet, Susswein, Abraham J. and Eskin, Arnold (2005) Circadian modulation of complex learning in diurnal and nocturnal AplysiaProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America102 35: 12589-12594. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503847102