Virtually all cells in the body have an intracellular clockwork based on a negative feedback mechanism. The circadian timekeeping system in mammals is a hierarchical multi-oscillator network, with the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) acting as the central pacemaker. The SCN synchronizes to daily light-dark cycles and coordinates rhythmic physiology and behavior. Synchronization in the SCN and at the organismal level is a key feature of the circadian clock system. In particular, intercellular coupling in the SCN synchronizes neuron oscillators and confers robustness against perturbations. Recent advances in our knowledge of and ability to manipulate circadian rhythms make available cell-based clock models, which lack strong coupling and are ideal for target discovery and chemical biology.