From the pineal to biological rhythms through melatonin. A Conference in honour of Prof. Paul Pévet

January 26 - 27, 2023

Strasbourg (France)


On site registrations are now closed.


This farewell workshop in honour of Prof. Paul Pévet will feature the research topics to which he provided the most prominent contributions during his prolific career. The two days will focus mainly on the role of melatonin, the regulation of circadian and seasonal rhythms, and the use of diurnal rodents in biomedical research that Paul pioneered.

The temporal organization of physiology and behaviour around 24 h is controlled by a network of multiple circadian clocks, reset by different inputs and delivering circadian and seasonal signals to the brain and peripheral organs. Light perceived by the retina is the most potent synchronizer of the master clock that, in turn, drives various rhythms, notably via the nocturnal secretion of melatonin. In addition, the annual change in the nocturnal melatonin peak duration is critical to drive seasonal rhythmicity. A further aspect concerns the retina itself, how diurnal rodents exhibit features more closely resembling human retinas and thus representing novel valuable models for vision research. During this event, various aspects of the neurobiology of rhythms will be discussed with a special focus on comparative approaches, strongly advocated by Paul, and which have been decisive in many discoveries in chronobiology and neuroscience.

The speakers, from various continents, are Paul’s former close collaborators or people mentored by Paul early during their careers.

The symposium is the occasion to celebrate Paul’s scientific achievements and his many services to the local, national and international scientific communities.

A Neurex worshop co-organized by Etienne CHALLET, Marie-Paule Felder-SCHMITTBUHL and Valérie SIMONNEAUX with the support of ITI-Neurostra, USIAS, INCI, FHU NEUROGENYCS and the Société Francophone de Chronobiologie.


THURSDAY 26TH (afternoon)


13h30-13h45 Welcome : E. Challet, M.P. Felder-Schmittbuhl, V. Simonneaux

13h45-14h00 Keynote : C. Florentz, Vice-President of University of Strasbourg


14h00-15h00 Introductory plenary lecture (Chair: M. Masson-Pévet)

R.M. Buijs, Mexico City, Mexico

The suprachiasmatic nucleus: the central player in the multi-oscillatory circadian system


15h00-17h00 Melatonin (Chairs: B. Claustrat & F. Gauer)

D.J. Skene, Guildford, UK

Role of melatonin in health and disease

P. Klosen, Strasbourg, France

The distributions of MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors in the mouse brain

J. Stehle, Frankfurt, Germany

Melatonin, hippocampus and memory processes

B. Guardiola-Lemaitre, Suresnes, France

Valdoxan: from concept to drug


17h00-17h30 : Coffee break


17h30-19h00 Rhythms in the retina (Chair: V. Gydé-Laurent)

M.P. Felder-Schmittbuhl, Strasbourg, France

The retina: a network of clocks

C. Ribelayga, Houston, USA 

Molecular and functional architecture of the mouse photoreceptors network

D. Hicks, Strasbourg, France

Retina of diurnal models: a key for studying human retina pathology



FRIDAY 27TH, 8h30-16h00


8h30-9h00 Historical lecture (Chair: D. Skene)

J. Arendt, Guildford, UK

Melatonin: evolution of concepts


9h00-11h00 Circadian biology (Chairs: S. Raison & N. Lakhdar-Ghazal)

A. Kalsbeek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

How to repair the disturbed circadian system

E. Challet, Strasbourg, France

Circadian clocks, hypothalamus and metabolism

J. Menet, Texas, USA

Clock-controlled rhythmic transcription: is the clock enough and how does it work?

J.H. Meijer, Leiden, The Netherlands

Behavioural feedback on the central clock in diurnal mammals


11h00-11h30 : Coffee break


11h30-13h30 Seasonal biology (Chairs: P. Vuillez & F. Raynaud)

V. Simonneaux, Strasbourg, France

Melatonin and seasonal reproduction

H. Dardente, Nouzilly, France

Thyroid hormones and seasonality in sheep

D.G. Hazlerigg, Tromso, Norway

Towards an understanding of seasonal programming

S. Monecke, Munich, Germany

Circannual rhythmicity in the European hamster


13h30-14h30 : Lunch


14h30-16h30 Comparative physiological rhythms (Chairs: B. Vivien & C. Haldar-Misra)

H.W. Korf, Dusseldorf, Germany

The comparative approach: a key for pineal and biological rhythms research

K. El Allali, Rabat, Morocco

Synchronization of the circadian system in the desert environment

A. Herwig, Ulm, Germany

Why does a mammal become torpid in winter?

N. Foulkes, Kalsruhe, Germany

Fish models shed new light on the vertebrate circadian timing system


16h30 : Paul Pévet’s conclusive remarks


January 26th & 27th, 2023.



CDE (Collège Doctoral Européen, European Doctoral College), 46 boulevard de la Victoire, Strasbourg, France.



The conferences will be broadcasted online.
The Zoom link will be sent to the online registered participants prior to the meeting.


Neurex workshops are part of the cycle B5 of the University of Basel. They allow students to gain Credit Points from attending workshops/meetings.

This specific workshop will give rise to the attribution of 0.5 CP.

Important: Full rules & how to proceed available here.