Good sleep wards off cancer UofL psychologist explains how disrupting your biological rhythm can lead to cancer at Beer with a Scientist

    Alarm Clock
    Alarm Clock

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When did you last travel overseas? Do you remember how long it took for your sleep cycle to return to normal?

    That feeling of jet lag signals a disruption to your naturally occurring circadian, or daily, biological rhythms. Circadian rhythms help our bodies know when to eat, when to sleep and when to be active. They also control the life cycle of every cell in the body.

    “When our circadian rhythms become disrupted, humans and animals are at greater risk for the rise and spread of cancer,” said Liz Cash, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and director of research for the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders at the University of Louisville. She also holds adjunct positions in the Departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Family and Geriatric Medicine.

    Liz Cash, Ph.D.
    Liz Cash, Ph.D.

    At the next Beer with a Scientist, Cash will deliver, “Tick-tock:  How disrupting your body clock and sleep cycle gives rise to cancer … and what you can do about it.” Her talk will include evidence of how circadian disruption contributes to cancer incidence and progression, as well as some simple, effective strategies to maintain or regain good circadian rhythms. 

    The talk begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

    Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

    Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

    UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. At these events, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.


    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.