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Sleep and Performance Research Center

Molecular And Genetic Approaches to Sleep

Jonathan P. Wisor, Ph.D.

AREAS OF INTEREST

Drugs of Abuse and Sleep, Sleep Regulatory Neuronal Populations, Cerebral Metabolic Changes with Sleep

RESEARCH SCOPE

Humans spend roughly one-third of their lives asleep. Sleep insufficiency has a number of negative effects on health and well-being. The function that is served by sleep and the mechanisms by which sleep insufficiency causes health problems are not well understood. The purpose of my research program is to identify functional consequences of sleep and sleep loss within the nervous system.

My laboratory has received funding from the Department of Defense (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Young Faculty Award) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to apply molecular genetic and biochemical techniques in studies of the regulation of sleep.

RESEARCH FOCUS

Sleep regulatory cell populations and molecules

Our projects are aimed at characterizing the roles of genetic loci and discrete cell populations within the cerebral cortex in regulating sleep and sleep-related electroencephalographic wave forms. We use gene expression and protein profiling in neuronal and non-neuronal brain cell populations to identify putative regulators of sleep. We use germ line targeted optogenetic constructs to modulate the activity of discrete cell types and measure the effects of these manipulations on sleep. Working with research partners, we perform studies on human subject populations to apply the findings of basic neurobiological studies to issues related to human health.

STAFF AND TRAINEES

Will Clegern BS (research technologist)
Michelle Schmidt MS (research technologist)
Janne Grønli PhD (research assistant professor)
Michael Rempe PhD (adjunct professor)

APPROACHES USED

Sleep neurophysiology
Cerebral metabolic monitoring
Optogenetics
Genotyping
Immunohistochemistry
Gene expression analysis (qPCR, RNAseq)
Time/frequency analysis of EEG waveforms

GRANT SUPPORT

  • NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:
    • NINDS
    • NIDA
  • DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

PUBLICATIONS

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Faculty and Staff for the Wisor Lab