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Matthew S Kayser

Karl E. Rickels Associate Professor of Psychiatry II
Attending in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Physician-of-Record, Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry
Associate Program Director, Psychiatry Residency, Department of Psychiatry
Member, Chronobiology and Sleep Institute
Training Director, NIMH R25, Department of Psychiatry
Department: Psychiatry

Contact information
415 Curie Blvd
CRB 322A
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 2158988268
ScB (Neuroscience)
Brown University, 2000.
MD, PhD (Neuroscience)
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2009.
Post-Graduate Training
Resident in Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2009-2013.
Research Fellow, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2013-2014.
Permanent link
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Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Kayser is a practicing psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, specializing in issues related to sleep and mental health.

Description of Research Expertise

Key words:
sleep, synapse, development, drosophila, psychiatry, behavior

Research interests:
We study how neural circuits give rise to complex behaviors, and how dysfunction of neural processes can cause mental illness. Our particular focus is in understanding how sleep -- a highly conserved behavior whose core function remains a mystery -- contributes to sculpting brain circuits during development and in other times of life.

Please visit www.kayserlab.com for more information

Research techniques:
drosophila genetics, behavioral assays, molecular biology, imaging approaches

Research summary:
Sleep abnormalities are pervasive across nearly all psychiatric disorders, and disrupted sleep early in life has been linked to mental illness in adulthood. Work in the Kayser Lab stands to connect this fundamental behavior – sleep – to both pathogenesis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disease. We primarily utilize the powerful genetic system Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly). The fly provides unparalleled neurogenetic approaches towards unraveling the neural logic of complex behaviors. In addition, genetic and molecular insights from Drosophila have repeatedly translated to higher organisms, even humans. The Kayser Lab is a "question-driven" lab. We use or develop any approaches necessary to further our understanding of biological processes that, when awry, contribute to neuropsychiatric disease.

Projects include

1. How does sleep early in life affect brain development and, ultimately, normal adult function?

2. What role does sleep play in promoting the formation of new synaptic connections in the brain?

2. How do disruptions to sleep impact aggressive behaviors?

Selected Publications

Poe AR, Zhu L, McClanahan P, Szuperak M, Anafi RC, Scholl B, Thum AS, Cavanaugh DJ, Kayser MS. : Developmental emergence of sleep rhythms enables long-term memory capabilities in Drosophila. Science Advances 9(36), September 2023.

Durkin J, Poe AR, Belfer SJ, Rodriguez A, Tang SH, Walker JA, Kayser MS.: Neurofibromin 1 regulates early developmental sleep in Drosophila. Neurobiol Sleep Circadian Rhythms 15(100101), August 2023.

Gong NN, Luong HNB, Dang AH, Mainwaring B, Shields E, Schmeckpeper K, Bonasio R, Kayser MS. : Intrinsic maturation of sleep output neurons regulates sleep ontogeny in Drosophila. Curr Bio 32(18), Sept 2022.

Gehrman P, Gunter P, Findley J, Frasso R, Weljie AM, Kuna ST, Kayser MS: Randomized non-inferiority trial of telehealth delivery of cognitive behavioral treatment of insomnia compared to in-person care. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 82(5), August 2021.

Goldschmied JR, Sengupta A, Sharma A, Taylor L, Morales KN, Thase ME, Weljie A, Kayser MS: Treatment of Insomnia with Zaleplon in HIV+ Significantly Improves Sleep and Depression. Psychopharmacology Bulletin 51(3): 50-64, June 2021.

Coll-Tané M, Gong NN, Belfer SJ, van Renssen LV, Kurtz-Nelson EC, Szuperak M, Eidhof I, van Reijmersdal B, Terwindt I, Durkin J, Verheij MMM, Kim CN, Hudac CM, Nowakowski TJ, Bernier RA, Pillen S, Earl RK, Eichler EE, Kleefstra T, Kayser MS, Schenck A: The CHD8/CHD7/Kismet family links blood-brain barrier glia and serotonin to ASD-associated sleep defects. Science Advances 7(23), June 2021.

Li D, Wang Q, Gong NN, Kurolap A, Feldman HB, Boy N, Brugger M, Grand K, McWalter K, Guillen Sacoto MJ, Wakeling E, Hurst J, March ME, Bhoj EJ, Nowaczyk M, Gonzaga-Jauregui C, Mathew M, Dava-Wala A, Siemon A, Bartholomew D, Huang Y, Lee H, Martinez JA, Schwaibold EMC, Brunet T, Choukair D, Pais LS, White SM, Christodoulou J, Brown D, Lindstrom D, Grebe T, Tiosano D, Kayser MS, Tan TY, Deardorff MA, Song Y, Hakonarson H: Pathogenic variants in SMARCA5, a chromatin remodeler, cause a range of syndromic neurodevelopmental features. Science Advances 7(20), May 2021.

Belfer SJ, Bashaw AG, Perlis ML, Kayser MS: A Drosophila model of sleep restriction therapy for insomnia. Mol Psychiatry 26(2): 492-507, February 2021.

Gong NN, Dilley LC, Williams CE, Moscato EH, Szuperak M, Wang Q, Jensen M, Girirajan S, Tan TY, Deardorff MA, Li D, Song Y, Kayser MS: The chromatin remodeler ISWI acts during Drosophila development to regulate adult sleep. Science Advances 7(8), February 2021.

Moscato EH, Dubowy C, Walker JA, Kayser MS : Social behavioral deficits with loss of neurofibromin emerge from peripheral chemosensory neuron dysfunction. Cell Reports 32(1), July 2020.

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Last updated: 10/18/2023
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