There is no consensus on if sleep is for the brain, body or both. But the difference in how we feel following disrupted sleep or having a good night of continuous sleep is striking. Understanding how and why we sleep will likely give insights into many aspects of health. In this talk I will outline our recent work on how the prefrontal cortex can signal to the hypothalamus to regulate sleep preparatory behaviours and sleep itself, and how other brain regions, including the ventral tegmental area, respond to psychosocial stress to induce beneficial sleep. 


William (Bill) Wisden studied Natural Sciences (zoology) at the University of Cambridge, and did his PhD with Stephen Hunt at the MRC Molecular Neurobiology Unit, Cambridge, followed by a postdoc with Peter Seeburg at University of Heidelberg. Bill was at the centre of studies characterising gene families for GABA and glutamate receptors. Since 2009, Bill has been at Imperial College London, and in a long-term collaboration with Nick Franks (also at Imperial) he has used mouse genetics to investigate sleep. Bill is a member of the UK Dementia Research Institute.