Professor Charalambos P. Kyriacou

Professor of Behavioural GeneticsBambos Profile Picture

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3430

Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3378


Personal details

BSc (Birmingham) PhD (Sheffield)

I was born in Camden and spent my school years in North London. During the week, I helped out in his father’s restaurant in Finchley, and during the summers he worked in the local graveyard. I went to Birmingham at 17 and read Psychology, where one of my lecturers turned my attention towards behavioural genetics.

My PhD in this subject using Drosophila was carried out jointly in the Departments of Psychology and Genetics in Sheffield. After spending one year in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh as a Demonstrator, I moved to Brandeis University in Boston, where I worked with Jeff Hall on the neurogenetics of sexual and circadian behaviour in flies.

I continued this collaboration into the 1980s and 1990s, and was involved in the pioneering molecular analyses of fly circadian rhythm genes, first in Edinburgh, then in the Genetics department at Leicester, where I've worked since 1984.

I was promoted to Reader in 1992 and awarded a Personal Chair in 1996. I was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000 and was Head of Department from 2000 to 2001.


  • BS3000 Evolutionary Genetics: Course Convenor
  • BS3018 Genes and Development

I also teach neurogenetics and development to second year students in the medical school,.


Tauber, E., Zordan,  M. A., Sandrelli, .F, Pegoraro, M., Daga, A., Osterwalder, N., Selmin, A.,  Etournay, R., Monger, K., Rosato, E., Kyriacou  C. P.* & Costa, R. 2007. Natural selection favours a newly derived timeless allele in Drosophila melanogasterScience, 316, 1895-98

Sandrelli, F., Tauber, E., Pegoraro, M., Mazzotta, G., Cisotto, G., Piccin, A., Rosato, E., Zordan,  M., Costa, R. & Kyriacou,  C.P, 2007.  Molecular basis for natural selection at the timeless locus in Drosophila melanogaster.  Science, 316, 1898-900.

Codd, V.,  Dolezel, D., Piccin, A., Garner, K.J., Racey, S.N., Straatman, K.R., Louis, E.J,  Costa, R.,  Sauman, I., Kyriacou, C.P.* & Rosato, E. 2007 Circadian rhythm gene regulation in the housefly, Musca domestica. Genetics, 177, 1539-51

Moran, C.N. & Kyriacou, C.P.  2009. Functional neurogenomics of the courtship song of male Drosophila melanogaster. Cortex, 45, 18-34

Maywood E.S., Chahad-Ehlers S., Garabette M.L., Pritchard C., Underhill P., Greenfield A., Ebling F.J.P., Kyriacou C.P., Hastings M.H. & Reddy A.B.  2009. Differential testicular gene expression in seasonal fertility.  J biol Rhythms 24, 114-125

Last,   K.S., Bailhache, T.,  Kramer,  C., Kyriacou, C.P., Rosato, E., & Olive, P.J.W. 2009. Tidal, daily, and  lunar-day biorhythmicity in the marine polychaete Nereis virens.  Chronobiol Int.  26, 167-183

Deery M., Maywood E.S., Chesham J.C., Sladek M., Karp N.A., Green E. W., Charles P.D., Reddy A.B., Kyriacou C.P., Lilley K.S., Hastings M.H. 2009 Proteomic analysis reveals the role of synaptic vesicle cycling in sustaining the suprachiasmatic circadian clock. Curr Biol 19, 2031-6

Ben-Shlomo R., & Kyriacou, C P. 2010 Light pulses administered during the circadian dark phase alter expression of cell cycle associated transcripts in mouse brain.  Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics.  197, 65-70

Benna, C., Bonaccorsi, S., Wülbeck, C., Helfrich-Förster, C., Gatti, M., Kyriacou, C.P.  Costa, R. & Sandrelli, F.  2010 Drosophila timeless 2 is required for chromosome stability and circadian photoreception.  Curr Biol 20, 346-352

Richards, P., Didszun, C., Campesan, S.,  Simpson, A., Horley, B., Young, K. W., Glynn, P., Cain, K., Kyriacou, C. P., Giorgini, F., & Nicotera, P.    2011  Huntingtin aggregates cause loss of dendritic spines by disrupting endosomal recycling.   Cell Death & Differentiation.

Wilcockson D.C.,  Zhang L., Hastings M.H. Kyriacou, C. P., & Webster, S.G. 2011  A novel form of pigment-dispersing hormone in the intertidal marine isopod, Eurydice pulchra (Leach). J Comp Neurol

Campesan S, Green EW, Breda C, Sathyasaikumar KV,  Muchowski PJ,  Schwarcz R Kyriacou CP & Giorgini F. 2011 The Kynurenine Pathway Modulates Neurodegeneration in a Drosophila Model of Huntington’s Disease.  Curr Biol 21, 961-6.

Vanin S,  Bhutani S, Montelli, S,  Menegazzi P, Green EW, Pegoraro M, Sandrelli F, Costa R & Kyriacou CP. 2012 Unexpected features of Drosophila circadian behavioural rhythms under natural conditions. Nature 484, 371-6

Green EW, Campesan S, Breda C, Sathyasaikumar KV,  Muchowski PJ,  Schwarcz R, Kyriacou CP, Giorgini F. 2012 Drosophila eye color mutants as therapeutic tools for Huntington’s disease.  Fly 6, 117-20

Steinert JR, Campesan S, Richards P, Kyriacou CP, Forsythe ID, Giorgini F.  2012   Rab11 modulates synaptic dysfunction and behavioural deficits in a Drosophila model of Huntington’s disease.  Human Mol Gen 21, 2912-22

Edgar RS,  Green EW,  Zhao Y, van Ooijen G, Olmedo M, Qin X, Xu Y, Pan M,  Valekunja UK, Feeney KA, Maywood ES,  Hastings MH, Baliga NS, Merrow M, Millar AJ, Johnson CH, Kyriacou CP, O’Neill JS, Reddy AB. 2012  Peroxiredoxins are conserved markers of circadian rhythms.  Nature, 485, 459-64

Allebrandt KV, Amin N, Müller-Myhsok B, Esko T, Teder-Laving M, Azevedo RV, Hayward C, van Mill J, Vogelzangs N, Green EW, Melville SA, Lichtner P, Wichmann HE, Oostra BA, Janssens AC, Campbell H, Wilson JF, Hicks AA, Pramstaller PP, Dogas Z, Rudan I, Merrow M, Penninx B, Kyriacou CP, Metspalu A, van Duijn CM, Meitinger T, Roenneberg T. 2013  A K(ATP) channel gene effect on sleep duration: from genome-wide association studies to function in Drosophila. Mol Psychiatry. 18, 122–132.

Menegazzi P, Vanin S, Yoshii T, Rieger D, Hermann C, Dusik V, Kyriacou CP, Helfrich-Förster C, Costa R.  2013  Drosophila clock neurons under natural conditions.  J Biol Rhythms, 28, 3-14

Mason, RP, Casu, M, Butler, N, Breda, C, Campesan S, Clapp, J, Green, EW, Kyriacou, CP & Giorgini, F.  2013 Glutathione peroxidase activity is neuroprotective in models of Huntington’s disease.  Nat Genet,  45, 1249-54

Zhang, L., Hastings  M.H.,  Green E.W., Tauber E., Sladek, M., Webster S. G*.,  Kyriacou C.P*. and Wilcockson D.C.  2013 Dissociation of circadian and circatidal rhythms in a marine crustacean, Eurydice pulchraCurr Biol,  23, 1863-73.

Green, E.W., Fedele, G., Giorgini, F., & Kyriacou C.P. 2014 Widely used Drosophila RNAi collection is subject to dominant, off-target phenotypic effects Nature Methods, 11, 222-3

Kyriacou CP, Green EW, Piffer A, Dowse HB 2017 Failure to reproduce period-dependent song cycles in Drosophila is due to poor automated pulse-detection and low intensity courtship. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA  In Press. You can access Raw data for this project.


My research over the years has focused on various behaviours, sex, rhythms, aggression, in assorted organisms, flies, mice and crustacea.

I share a large, well-funded laboratory with my former postdocs, Ezio Rosato and Eran Tauber, who are both independent investigators. This provides a very collaborative and supportive atmosphere for new students. I also collaborate with Flavio Giorgini in the Department in projects where they use fly models to study Huntington’s Disease.

I also collaborate with other groups both within and outside the UK, particularly Michael Hastings at Cambridge, with whom I performed the first transcriptomic and proteomic studies of mouse clocks, and Rodolfo Costa in Padova, with whom I have studied naturally-occurring genetic variation that underlies normal fly behaviour.

I lecture widely all over the world, am regularly featured on the media, and am also a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.



The Department of Genetics hosts both me as coordinator and the manager of INsecTIME, a Marie Curie ITN funded by the European Commission. INsecTIME is a consortium which provides funding and training to 12 young scientists and three more senior fellows. The researchers aim to study insect timekeeping (daily and seasonal rhythms) in order to enhance our general knowledge of the genetic basis of biological clocks.

The consortium consists of 14 research groups, located in seven European countries plus Israel and including three SMEs. The InsecTIME laboratories are among the most renown in this field in Europe, with years of experience in the molecular genetic dissection of timing in a variety of insect species.

The Department of Genetics will welcome one full-time and two associate INsecTIME PhD students, in addition to hosting the headquarters for the management, coordination and organization of the consortium.

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Contact Details

Department of Genetics
University of Leicester

Adrian Building
University Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3374

Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3378


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Head of Department

Professor Alison Goodall