Christopher M. Ciarleglio, Ph.D.

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Chair | Science Department

Director | Advanced Science Academy

Dr. Ciarleglio joined the Morris Catholic faculty as science department chair and science academy program director in 2019. He received a bachelor of arts in Biology with a minor in Ancient History from Swarthmore College. After college, he attended Vanderbilt University, eventually joining the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the lab of Dr. Douglas G. McMahon (current Chair of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt) where he studied the multidisciplinary nature of circadian rhythms (circuitry, molecular, and behavior). Dr. Ciarleglio defended his dissertation, titled Neural Circuitry, Behavioral Correlates and Genetic Organization of the Mammalian Circadian Clock, in 2009. The highlight of this work involved the imprinting effects of light on nervous system development and behavior in mice. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Ciarleglio did a brief postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Marshall Summar at Vanderbilt (currently the Division Chief of Genetics and Metabolism at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC). He also served as Assistant Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute under Dr. Mark Wallace (current Dean of Vanderbilt University Graduate School), wherein he was director of the VBI’s outreach and education programs. In 2011, he accepted a final postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Carlos Aizenman at Brown University where he studied cellular neuroplasticity. Ultimately, his research interests lie in how environmental factors like daily light cycle interact with the genome to imprint behavioral and molecular traits. His primary expertise is in circadian and developmental neurobiology, with interests in mental health and learning. In 2015, he left higher education to pursue experience in secondary education, though he remains an instructor in the summer program at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ciarleglio currently teaches upper-level biology courses and science academy electives at Morris Catholic. His favorite species is Canis lupus familiaris, of which he has adopted two, named Kiddins and Nuphing!s.
Poster Session Kiddins & Dr. Ciar

C.M. Ciarleglio (2009). Neural Circuitry, Behavioral Correlates and Genetic Organization of the Mammalian Circadian Clock. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN. *2010 Finalist for the Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience.

S.Q. Shi, M.J. White, H.M. Borsetti, J.S. Pendergast, A. Hida, C.M. Ciarleglio, P. de Verteuil, A.G. Cadar, C. Cala, D.G. McMahon, R.C. Shelton, S.M. Williams, C.H. Johnson (2016). Molecular Analyses of Circadian Gene Variants Reveal Sex-dependent Links Between Depression and Clocks. Translational Psychiatry. 6:e748. PMC4872462.


Z. Liu, C.M. Ciarleglio, A.S. Hamodi, C.D. Aizenman, and K.G. Pratt (2015). A population of gap junction coupled neurons drives recurrent network activity in a developing visual circuit. J. Neurophys. 10.1152/jn.01046.2015. PMC4808126.


C.M. Ciarleglio, A.S. Khakhálin, A.F. Wang, A.C. Constantino, S.P. Yip, and C.D. Aizenman (2015). Multivariate analysis of electrophysiological diversity of Xenopus visual neurons during development and plasticity. eLife. 10.7554/eLife.14282. PMC4749560.


C.M. Ciarleglio, H.E.S. Resuehr, J.C. Axley, E. Deneris and D.G. McMahon (2014).  Pet-1 deficiency alters the circadian clock and its temporal organization of behavior. PLoS One. 9(5): e97412. PMID: 24831114; PMCID: PMC4022518.


C.M. Ciarleglio, H.E.S. Resuehr and D.G. McMahon (2011). Interactions of the serotonin and circadian systems: Nature and nurture in rhythms and blues. Neuroscience. 197: 8-16. PMID: 21963350.  *Cover story.


K.L. Gamble, A.A. Motsinger-Reif, A. Hida, H.M. Borsetti, S.V. Servick, C.M. Ciarleglio, S. Robbins, J. Hicks, K. Carver, N. Hamilton, N. Wells, M.L. Summar, D.G. McMahon and C.H. Johnson (2011). Shift work in nurses: Contribution of phenotypes and genotypes to adaptation. PLoS One. 6(4): e18395.  PMCID: PMC3076422


C.M. Ciarleglio, J.C. Axley, B.R. Strauss, K.L. Gamble and D.G. McMahon (2011). Perinatal photoperiod imprints the circadian clock. Nat. Neurosci. 14(1): 25-27.  PMCID: PMC3058292


K.L. Gamble and C.M. Ciarleglio (2009).  Ryanodine receptors are regulated by the circadian clock and implicated in gating photic entrainment.” J. Neuroscience. 29(38): 11717-9.  NIHMS: 155913.


C.M. Ciarleglio, K.L. Gamble, J.C. Axley, B.R. Strauss, J.Y. Cohen, C.S. Colwell and D.G. McMahon (2009).  Population Encoding by Circadian Clock Neurons Organizes Circadian Behavior. J. Neuroscience. 29(6): 1670-6.  PMCID: PMC2670758


C.M. Ciarleglio, K. Ryckman, S.V. Servick, A. Hida, S. Robbins, N. Wells, J. Hicks, S.A. Larson, J.P. Wiedermann, K. Carver, N. Hamilton, K.K. Kidd, J.R. Kidd, J. Smith, J. Friedlaender, D.G. McMahon, S. Williams, M.L. Summar and C.H. Johnson (2008). Population Frequencies of Genetic Polymorphisms in Human Circadian Clock Genes.  J. Biological Rhythms. 23(4): 330-340.  PMCID: PMC2579796