Ajay Sunil

Title: Rhodopsins in circadian photoentrainment in Drosophila


CNRS small

Host Institution: CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette
SupervisorProf Francois Rouyer
Contact: TBC
Start date: 1 Oct 2018
Secondment: Muenster University for 3 months to learn parallel approaches to rhodopsins as thermoreceptors.  Leicester for 2 months to test rhodopsin mutants under natural light regimes.

Objectives: To discover how the six fly rhodopsins mediate entrainment to LD cycles in the absence of cryptochrome. A neurogenetic approach will be used to identify which rhodopsins contribute to circadian light entrainment under different spectral compositions and light intensities and which of the three light receptive organs, the eye, HB eyelet or simple eye (ocelli) are involved.


About me: I am an Indian student coming from the state of natural beauty Kerala – also known as “God’s own Country”. I was born and brought up in Thiruvananthapuram, the state’s capital. I always had a proclivity for science, especially towards biology and my passion towards science developed further when I joined Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, for my undergraduate studies. I  started recognizing my curiosity to understand and explore the nature for the way it is. I love music and travel. Mountains have always fascinated me and I am an adventure enthusiast too. Traveling to different countries and exploring their cultures is always exciting and is something I look forward too. Through CINCHRON I am blessed with an opportunity to do things I am very passionate about in my life.

I was really motivated to choose a highly research orientated institute for my undergraduate studies and to pursue science as my career. I got opportunities to attend various conferences, seminars, colloquium, internships and meetings connected to biology. For last one year, I was working on my Master’s thesis project where I tried to elucidate the role of circadian clock in sleep and metabolism in the model organism Drosophila. Progressively, I made the decision of joining a PhD program in Chronobiology and now, I feel really glad to be a part of CINCHRON family.

CINCHRON provides an international exposure to connect, communicate and work with the best tutors in the field of chronobiology. I believe choosing a career through CINCHRON would shape a better and a proficient scientist in me that would explore the frontiers in the field of Chronobiology and I am quite confident that contributing to the subject which has given me immense joy and satisfaction would be extremely gratifying.