Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology

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Graduate Students

Faculty members of the CSCN actively mentor graduate students from the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Arts & Sciences interested in sleep medicine and circadian neurobiology research.

Current Students


Salika Dunatunga — PhD Candidate, Genomics and Computational Biology

"My research focuses on developing algorithms, software, and methods for assessing sleep (REM and non-REM) and wake states in mice using non-invasive techniques. In particular, I work with mini computers and cameras to record video data from mice and then use common image processing algorithms to extract visible, physical features of the mouse. These features are then separated into REM, non-REM and wake using machine learned classifiers trained on paired EEG and video data. The goal is to increase call accuracy such that video systems provide enough information for thorough sleep studies and perhaps allow sleep study designs that may have been limited by EEG surgery."  


Sarah Ly — PhD Candidate, Neuroscience

"I am interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie sleep regulation in the brain. Specifically, I want to understand how molecules that modulate protein homeostasis and synaptic plasticity can determine an animal's behavioral state. I employ a combination of pharmacological, genetic, and behavioral techniques using the Drosophila animal model in order to address these issues." LinkedIn


Isaac Perron — PhD Candidate, Neuroscience

"Previous research has shown eating unhealthy, fatty foods and gaining weight can increase daytime sleepiness. My research focuses on neural mechanisms that may underly these wake impairments." LinkedIn


For more information regarding mentoring opportunities for PhD candidates, please contact Dan Barrett.