Joan C. Hendricks
Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Group: Anatomy
Thesis Topic: Studies of the effects of small pontine lesions producing paradoxical sleep without atonia in freely behaving cats
After decades studying physiology and anatomy of sleep and an animal model of sleep apnea (the English bulldog), Dr. Hendricks turned her attention to a simpler model - Drosophila. She showed, using behavioral, pharmaceutical, and molecular approaches, that Drosophila's rest state has sleep-like properties. Dr. Hendricks' lab used this model organism to show that the cAMP-PKA-CREB signaling pathway is involved in rest regulation as well as its well-known role in long-term memory consolidation. This role is conserved in mice. The Drosophila model can be used to discover genes involved in rest homeostasis using comprehensive mutagenesis as well as the canddiate gene approach and for characterizing the biochemical profile of rest and waking in flies.