A major challenge in understanding the neural circuits controlling sleep is to identify sleep neurons. Using anatomical tracing, gene profiling, activity-dependent genetic labeling and functional testing, we have identified multiple groups of sleep neurons in the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. I will summarize these recent studies and propose a new model for sleep control.
Yang Dan is Paul Licht Distinguished Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. She studied physics as an undergraduate student at Peking University and received her Ph.D. training in Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where she worked on cellular mechanisms of neurotransmitter secretion and synaptic plasticity. She did her postdoctoral research on information coding in the visual system at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School. Dan has received Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Beckman Young Investigator Award, Society for Neuroscience Research Awards for Innovation in Neuroscience, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
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