Molecular basis of sleep regulation and function
Drosophila; mutagenesis; sleep-like rest; behavioral genetics
Behavioral, gene expression profiling, and biochemical assays to characterize correlates of states of arousal in Drosophila; mutagenesis to identify genes involved in sleep-like rest homeostasis; drug testing and mutagenesis for novel mechanisms of wake promotion.
After decades of studying physiology and anatomy of sleep and an animal model of sleep apnea (the English bulldog), I have turned my attention to a simpler model-Drosophila. I showed, using behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular approaches, that Drosophila's rest state has sleep-like properties. We have since 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 research program is rapidly expanding to use the Drosophila model to discover genes involved in rest homeostasis using comprehensive mutagenesis as well as the candidate gene approach. We are also collaborating with other researchers in the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology to characterize the biochemical profile of rest and waking in flies. We are also using wake-promoting drugs whose mechanism is poorly understood as a probe to identify the genetic basis of rest and waking in flies.
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BS (Biology/Psychology) Yale University, 1974VMD, PhD (Veterinary Medicine) University of Pennsylvania, 1980