Sleep, plasticity, psychiatric disorders
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.
We study these questions in the mouse model employing an inter-disciplinary approach including optogenetics, in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, viral tracing, 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.