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Cellular metabolism and circadian systems

The research group led by Professor Peter Ruoff studies cellular metabolism and circadian systems using both molecular biology and computational methods.

Ruoff is a physical chemist at the University of Stavanger with interest in reaction kinetics of chemical and biological systems, as well as industry related research. 

The research group works on chemical and biological oscillators; especially with the BZ reaction and circadian rhythms. The BZ reaction is a chemical oscillator that can show concentration oscillations, sometimes for hours, even in a simple beaker.

Apart from oscillatory behavior, chemical oscillators show a variety of surprising (and quite fascinating!) phenomena that normally are associated with biological systems; for example excitability, bistability, chemical pulse propagation and spontaneous structure or pattern formation. Even chaos can be observed.

Enzyme kinetics

Other fields of research are enzyme kinetics and the study of dynamics and properties as well as temperature compensation of circadian clocks. In these studies the fungus Neurospora crassa is used as a model organism. The Ruoff group also works on an systems biology approach how metabolic pathways adapt to changing environmental conditions. 

Offshore and food

In industry-related projects the group has studied precipitation kinetics of gas hydrates, polymer crosslinking as well as applying NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy to various problems in offshore industry.

In cooperation with food research institutes we have been using PCR and RT-PCR techniques for rapid identification of toxic gene products from contaminating microorganisms in foods. 

Current group members

  • Professor Peter Ruoff
  • Xiang Ming Xu, Engineer
  • Christina Helèn Selstø, PhD Student
  • Gunhild Fjeld, PhD Student

Past group members

  • Pradeep Soni
  • Ingunn Westvik Jolma
  • Oleg Agafonov
  • Kristine Marie Olsen

Collaborators and affiliations

  • Tormod Drengstig, UiS dep. electrical engineering and computer science
  • Kristian Thorsen
  • Daniel Myklatun Tveit
  • Geir Risvoll
Peter Ruoff in lab coat showing a clock to illustrate circadian rythms

Professor Peter Ruoff and his group study circadian rhythms in biological systems