Sigrid C. Veasey, M.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Medicine (Sleep Medicine)
Attending Physician, Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Division of Sleep Medicine/Department of Medicine
Translational Research Laboratories
125 South 31st Street, Suite 2100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3403
Office: 215-746-4812
Fax: 215-746-4814
B.S. (Biochemistry)
Sweet Briar College, 1981.
M.D. (Medicine)
University of Virginia, 1985.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Veasey’s laboratory focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying neural injury in sleep disorders and sleep disruption. The present focus of her lab is understanding the molecular mechanisms by which sleep disruption injures and even kills select neurons. Previously sleep researchers believed that all neurobehavioral consequences of sleep loss were fully reversible. Dr. Veasey's lab has led the way in discovering that chronic short sleep and sleep fragmentation induce loss of wake-activated neurons, neurons essential for alertness and optimal cognitive performance. Most recently her lab has discovered that chronic sleep loss incites an amyloid cascade within locus coeruleus neurons and that this cascade leads to an unstoppable progression of tau degeneration marching throughout the forebrain.

Wake-active neurons in the brain are essential for optimal wakefulness and cognitive performance. Although there are many groups of these neurons, each playing unique roles in wake responses, the catecholaminergic wake neurons in the locus coeruleus and dorsal midbrain are particularly sensitive to diverse injuries, including aging and neurodegenerative processes. We recently identified SIRT1 as a key regulator of wake-active neuron function and integrity, a metabolic homeostat that is lost with aging. A key focus for the lab now is to identify why this is lost and why wake neurons rely so heavily on this protectant. Her lab is now keenly intrigued by sleep loss neuroinflammatory injury to locus coeruleus neurons that results in synaptic pruning and cognitive impairments.

Selected Publications

Nick H, Fenik P, Zhu Y, Veasey S. : Hypocretin/orexin influences chronic sleep disruption injury in the hippocampus. Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Oct 6;14:1025402. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.1025402. eCollection 2022. PMID: 36275002 14: 1025402, Oct 2022.

Zamore Z, Veasey SC.: Neural consequences of chronic sleep disruption. Trends Neurosci 45(9): 678-691, Sept 2022.

Eacret D, Lemchi C, Caulfield JI, Cavigelli SA, Veasey SC, Blendy JA.: Chronic Sleep Deprivation Blocks Voluntary Morphine Consumption but Not Conditioned Place Preference in Mice. Front Neurosci 16, Feb 2022.

Duncan MJ, Veasey SC, Zee P. : Roles of Sleep Disruption and Circadian Rhythm Alterations on Neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's Disease. Front Neurosci. 15: 737895, Sep 2021.

Owen JE, Zhu Y, Fenik P, Zhan G, Bell P, Liu C, Veasey S. : Late-in-life neurodegeneration after chronic sleep loss in young adult mice. Sleep 44(8): zsab057, August 2021 Notes: doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab057.

Eacret D, Veasey SC, Blendy JA: Bidirectional Relationship between Opioids and Disrupted Sleep. Mol Pharmacol 98(4): 445-453, Oct 2020.

Veasey, S: An X on the Map for Sleep Apnea's Holy Grail: Drug Therapy. Am J Resp Crit Care Med Aug 2020 Notes: Ahead of print.

Owen JE, Veasey SC: Impact of Sleep Disturbances on Neurodegeneration: Insight from Studies in Animal Models. Neurobio Dis 139, June 2020.

Veasey SC, Rosen IM.: Obstructive sleep apnea in adults NEJM 380(15): 1442-1449, April 2019.

Zhu Y, Zhan G, Fenik P, Brandes M, Bell P, Francois N, Shulman K, Veasey S.: Chronic sleep disruption advances the temporal progression of tauopathy in P301S mutant mice. Journal of Neuroscience 38(48): 10255-10270, Nov 2018.

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Last updated: 12/19/2022
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