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Nirmala Nirinjini Naidoo, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor of Medicine
Committee Member, Center for Sleep Seminar Series , University of Pennsylvania
Member, Seminar Speaker Committee, Chronobiology and Sleep Institute
Department: Medicine

Contact information
Translational Research Laboratories
125 South 31st Street, Suite 2100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3403
Office: 215-746-4811
Fax: 2156-746-4814
Graduate Group Affiliations
B.S. (Biochemistry and Microbiology)
University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, 1982.
B.S. (Biochemistry, Honors)
University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, 1984.
M.S. (Biochemistry)
University of Durban-Westville, South Africa Dissertation: An Investigation of the Preparation and Interaction of Glycoprotein-DNA Conjugates with Eukaryotic Cell Receptors, 1986.
Ph.D. (Chemistry)
University of Pennsylvania Dissertation: Structure-Function Studies on Alpha-1-Antichymotrypsin, 1994.
Post-Graduate Training
Honors and Masters Student with Drs. A. Hawtrey and M. Ariatti, Department of Biochemistry, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa , 1984-1986.
Doctoral Student with Dr. Barry Cooperman, Chemistry Department , Structure-function studies on the serine protease inhibitor antichymotrypsin, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA , 1988-1994.
Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Gary Cohen, Department of Microbiology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1994-1995.
Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Amita Sehgal, Department of Neuroscience, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1996-1999.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Naidoo’s research focuses on proteostatic mechanisms underlying age related changes in sleep and wake regulation. She has established that sleep loss induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress that up-regulates an adaptive homeostatic signaling pathway, the unfolded protein response (UPR). She has demonstrated that the UPR becomes impaired with aging. ER stress and the UPR are critical to the initiation and integration of pathways of inflammation as well as in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Using two model systems, mouse and Drosophila, to carry out research on proteostasis mechanisms her group is beginning to unravel the role of the UPR in behavior and pathologies. Other research in her group is focused on the role of the synaptic scaffolding protein, Homer, in the maintenance of wakefulness.

Selected Publications

Raozhou Lin , Lisa N Learman , M Ali Bangash , Tatiana Melnikova , Erica Leyder , Sai C Reddy , Nirinjini Naidoo , Joo Min Park , Alena Savonenko , Paul F Worley: Homer1a Regulates Shank3 Expression and Underlies Behavioral Vulnerability to Stress in a model of Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Cell Reports 2021.

Ly S, Lee D, Strus E, Prober D, Naidoo N: Evolutionarily conserved regulation of sleep by the protein translational regulator PERK. Current Biology 30(9): 1639-1648, May 2020.

Zhu J, Hafycz J, Keenan BT, Guo X, Pack A, Naidoo N: Acute sleep loss upregulates the synaptic scaffolding protein, Homer1a, in non-canonical sleep/wake brain regions, claustrum, periform and cingulate cortices. Front Neurosci 14: 188, Mar 2020 Notes: doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00188.

Ly SL, Strus E, Naidoo N: Genetic disruption of the putative binding site for Homer on DmGluRA reduces sleep in Drosophila Sleep 43(1), Jan 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz190.

Ly SL, Naidoo N: Loss of DmGluRA exacerbates age-related sleep disruption and reduces lifespan. Neurobiology of Aging 80: 83-90, Aug 2019.

Chellapa K, Perron I, Naidoo N*, Baur J* (co-senior/corresponding author): The leptin sensitizer celastrol reduces age-associated obesity and modulates behavioral rhythms. Aging Cell 18(e): e12874, Jun 2019.

Naidoo N, Zhu J, Galante RJ, Lian J, Strus E, Lee A, Keenan BT, Pack AI: Reduction of the molecular chaperone BiP accentuates the effect of aging on sleep-wake behavior. Neurobiology of Aging 69: 10-25, Sept 2018.

Ly S, Pack AI, Naidoo N: The neurobiological basis of sleep: insights from Drosophila. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 87: 67-86, Apr 2018.

Brown MK, Strus E, Naidoo: Reduced sleep during social isolation leads to cellular stress and induction of the unfolded protein response. Sleep. Journal of Sleep 1(7): 40, July 2017 Notes: Sleep. 2017 Jul 1;40(7). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx095.

Gardner B, Strus E, Meng QC, Coradetti T, Naidoo NN, Kelz MB, Williams JA: Sleep homeostasis and general anesthesia: Are fruit flies well-rested after emergence from propofol? Anesthesiology 124(2): 404-416, February 2016.

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Last updated: 11/29/2021
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