Institute of Medical Psychology

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Systems Chronobiology-Robles Lab


 Systems Chronobiology Oct2019


The circadian clock is an endogenous timing system that regulates in a daily manner physiological functions and behavior by modulating gene expression and protein function. Circadian control of transcription regulation is widely studied however the understanding of circadian dynamics in protein function is in its infancy. My work in the last years has pioneered the use of mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics to study temporal dynamics of protein abundance, cellular localization and post-transcriptional modifications (PTMs). This technology has thus proven instrumental in chronobiology to comprehensively understand post-translational mechanism regulating circadian metabolism and physiology. Our group has acquired a state of the art instrument (Q-Exactive™ HF-X) located at the BMC building ( that allows us to study basic circadian molecular mechanism. In addition, our work also focuses in the interplay of metabolic, behavioral and cognitive disorders with circadian asynchrony, a condition frequently associated with modern lifestyle.


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Ongoing projects: 

 -The Fourth Dimension: Integration of time to shape co-operativity and survival in the biosphere

Life? Volkswagen Stiftung:

-Proteomics subtyping and circadian dynamics of PDACs to develop novel therapeutic strategies

SFB1321 Modelling and Targeting Pancreatic Cancer

EU H2020 Consortium REVEAL: Neuronal Microscopy For Cell Behavioural Examination And Manipulation

We currently offer a postdoc position in this project, please go to:

Group members:

Tanja Bange

Franziska Brüning

Stella Koutsouli

Fatih Aygenli

Fabian Kliem


Research consortiums and activities

Research group of the BMC LMU:



PhD program IMPRS for Molecular Life Sciences:



News and conferences

June 2021:

Leben im Takt. Der Rhythmus des Stoffwechsels: Die Biologin Maria Robles analysiert, wie die innere Uhr Tag und Nacht Proteinstatus und -aktivität in den Zellen steuert.

LMU Einsichten 1/2021 page 46

December 2020:

Maria Robles named New EMBO Young Investigator

October 2020:

Maria Robles wins manuscript competition at the HUPO Connect 2020
The 19th Human Proteome Organization World Congress "HUPO Connect 2020" took place on 19-22 October – this year in an online format. Part of the rich scientific program was the Early Career Researcher Manuscript Competition "Proteomics highlight of the year" offering young researchers a platform to present their work. In the finals, three scientists presented their publications and a committee of experts evaluated their talks. Institute of Medical Psychology and BMC scientist Maria Robles was awarded the first prize for her work on circadian rhythms (title of the publication in Science: Sleep-wake cycles drive daily dynamics of synaptic phosphorylation).

May 2020:

SRBR Junior Faculty Award
At the biannual meeting SRBR honors scientific and leadership contributions through the Junior Faculty Research Award that recognizes exemplary scholarly work in Chronobiology by principal investigators at the Assistant Professor level (untenured)

Maria Robles has been the recipient of the 2020 Junior Faculty Research Award based on her accomplishments and contributions to the field “for discoveries related to circadian proteomics and phosphoproteomics in mammalian systems.”

October 2019:

Highlights of our Science articles
Perspective in Science written by Cirelli and Tononi:

Selected Publications:

Falcomatà C, Bärthel S, Ulrich A, S Diersch, …Robles MS, …, Schneider G and Saur D. (2021) Genetic screens identify a context-specific PI3K/p27Kip1 node driving extrahepatic biliary cancer. Cancer Discov., 2021 Jul 19;. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0209.

Hansen FM, Tanzer MC, Brüning F, Bludau I, Stafford C, Schulman BA, Robles MS*, Karayel O*, Mann M*. (2021) Data-independent acquisition method for ubiquitinome analysis reveals regulation of circadian biology. Nat Commun. Jan 11;12(1):254. *co-corresponding author.

Brüning F, Humphrey SJ, Robles MS (2020) Phosphoproteome and Proteome Sample Preparation from Mouse Tissues for Circadian Analysis. Methods Mol Biol.; 2130:185-193.

Hansen FM, Tanzer MC, Brüning F, Bludau I, Stafford C, Schulman BA, Robles MS*, Karayel O*, Mann M*. (2021) Data-independent acquisition method for ubiquitinome analysis reveals regulation of circadian biology. Nat Commun. Jan 11;12(1):254. *co-corresponding author.

Brüning F, Noya SB, Bange T, Koutsouli S, Rudolph JD, Tyagarajan SK, Cox J, Mann M, Brown SA*, Robles MS*. (2019) Sleep-wake cycles drive daily dynamics of synaptic phosphorylation. Science. Oct 11;366(6462). doi: 10.1126/science.aav3617. *co-corresponding author

Noya SB, Colameo D, Brüning F, Spinnler A, Mircsof D, Opitz L, Mann M, Tyagarajan SK*, Robles MS*, Brown SA*. (2019) The forebrain synaptic transcriptome is organized by clocks but its proteome is driven by sleep. Science. Oct 11;366(6462). doi: 10.1126/science.aav2642 *co-corresponding author

Harpprecht L, Baldi S, Schauer T, Schmidt A, Bange T, Robles MS, Kremmer E, Imhof A, Becker PB (2019) A Drosophila cell-free system that senses DNA breaks and triggers phosphorylation signalling. Nucleic Acids Res. Aug 22; 47(14): 7444–7459. 

Korge, S, Maier, B, Brüning, F, Ehrhardt, L, Korte, T, Mann, M, Herrmann, A, Robles MS and Kramer A. (2018) The non-classical nuclear import carrier Transportin 1 modulates circadian rhythms through its effect on PER1 nuclear localization. PLoS Genet. Jan 29;14(1): e1007189.

Hughes ME,… Robles MS,…, Hogenesch JB. (2017) Guidelines for genome-scale analysis of biological rhythms. J Biol Rhythms Oct;32(5):380-393.

Robles MS, Humphrey SJ and Mann, M (2017) Central role of phosphorylation in the circadian control of liver metabolism. Cell Metab Jan 10; 25(1):118-127.

Neufeld-Cohen A*, Robles MS*#, Adamovich Y, Nir D, Rousso-Noori L, Yael Kuperman Y, Golik M, Mann M and Asher G#. (2016) Circadian control of mitochondrial nutrient utilization through regulation of rate-limiting mitochondrial enzymes. PNAS, doi: 10.1073 *Equal contribution; #co-corresponding author

Tamayo AG, Duong HA, Robles MS, Mann M, Weitz CJ. (2015) Histone mono-ubiquitination by a Clock–Bmal1 complex marks circadian clock genes for feedback repression. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, Oct; 22(10):759-66

Robles MS, Cox J, Mann M. (2014) In-vivo quantitative proteomics reveals a key contribution of post-transcriptional mechanisms to the circadian regulation of liver metabolism. PLoS Genet. Jan; 10(1): e1004047.

Robles MS, Mann M. (2013) Proteomic approaches in circadian biology. Handb Exp Pharmacol.; (217): 389-407.

Padmanabhan K, Robles MS, Westerling T, Weitz CJ. (2012) Feedback regulation of transcriptional termination by the mammalian circadian clock PERIOD complex. Science. Aug 3; 337 (6094): 599-602.

Duong HA*, Robles MS*, Knutti D, Weitz CJ. (2011) A molecular mechanism for circadian clock negative feedback. Science. Jun 17; 332 (6036): 1436-9. *Equal contribution

Robles MS*, Boyault C*, Knutti D*, Padmanabhan K, Weitz CJ. (2010) Identification of RACK1 and protein kinase C alpha as integral components of the mammalian circadian clock.  Science. Jan 22; 327 (5964): 463-6. *Equal contribution