REM Sleep: Regulation & Functions
We seek to understand the neural and homeostatic mechanisms that control wakefulness and sleep in health and disease. We are particularly interested in REM sleep - the sleep stage associated with vivid dreaming - as this brain state constitutes a unique neurophysiological and neurochemical environment, which largely impacts the status of neural circuits and single neurons. Current projects in the lab focus on the brain-wide circuits controlling this brain state, its function in memory and learning, and understanding dynamical principles that govern the timing of REM sleep.
We study these questions in the mouse model employing an inter-disciplinary approach including optogenetics, high-density in vivo electrophysiology using Neuropixels, calcium imaging, behavioral assays, and computational modeling.
Our lab is part of the newly founded Chronobiology and Sleep Institute. U Penn offers a unique environment for the inter-disciplinary study of sleep across multiple model organisms in health and disease.