David Earnest's Portrait

Dr. David Earnest


College of Medicine


David Earnest’s research interests are focused on neuroscience and biological clocks that regulate circadian rhythms in sleep and other body processes.

Circadian clocks in cells throughout the body regulate the local 24-hour timing of important cellular processes necessary for normal functioning and help keep inflammatory responses in check.

His research uses multidisciplinary approaches to study how pathologies and environmental disturbances in the regulation of circadian rhythms are linked to variety of human health disorders including obesity and diabetes, increased cancer risk, cardiovascular disease and stroke, Alzheimer's Disease, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, sleep-wake cycle disturbances and depression, and implications of circadian disruption and shift work in human health.

Among other recent findings, Earnest’s research determined that administration of several proinflammatory cytokines “jet-lagged” our body clocks in the same fashion as the saturated fat palmitate. Conversely, if these cytokines with drugs similar to those used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are blocked, palmitate no longer resets the clock to a different time.

Earnest is a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. He is also an executive member of the Texas A&M University Center for Biological Clocks Research.

Earnest received his BS in 1976 from the University of Michigan, MS in 1979 from Northwestern University and PhD in neurobiology from Northwestern University in 1984. He also was a NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Rochester School of Medicine from 1984-87.