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Examining the Physiology of Sleep Using Genetic Models
Dr. Paul’s lab focuses on the study of the genes, molecules, and hormones that influence sleep and wakefulness. Detrimental sleep-wake patterns that arise from daily environmental and social challenges increase the risk for cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Though many of the neural circuits and hormonal axes that drive sleep and wakefulness have been identified, the specific role of neurons and hormones in facilitating the adverse effects of poor sleep remains ambiguous.
In our lab, we study how the hypothalamic nuclei that regulate sleep promote and respond to the deleterious effects of extended wakefulness and stress in mice. We accomplish this by recording sleep-wake states in genetic and mutant mouse models of abnormal sleep and circadian function under environmental challenge conditions, and measuring the impact on hypothalamic gene expression and hormonal regulation.
Ketema Paul, Ph.D.
J. Christopher Ehlen, Ph.D.
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