Systems Neuroscience and Genetic Approaches to Study Sleep Regulation and Function – Gordon Research Conference
March 8 - March 13
At the 2020 Sleep Regulation and Function GRC, we will discuss the latest progress in understanding sleep circuitry and how sleep intersects with circuits important for cognitive well-being. At its core, a systems level approach requires that investigators can identify and manipulate subsets of defined neurons, understand how these neurons are modulated, and show how sleep modulates brain functioning. Thus, we will begin by discussing the latest approaches for defining neuronal identity including functionally characterizing neurons using activity-dependent tagging. We will then discuss the latest approaches for monitoring global brain dynamics during sleep and waking in C. elegans, Drosophila, and mice and try and identify common, and evolutionarily conserved, regulatory principles. Sleep is important for mental health both during development and in adults. Thus, during the 2020 Sleep GRC we will discuss new evidence exploring how sleep circuits are wired up during development and how sleep circuits intersect with circuitry involved in emotional regulation. Moreover, since important information can be learned from instances in which developmental programs are disrupted, we will learn about new data examining common mechanisms underlying sleep problems across the Autism Spectrum. Finally, we will explore the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). We will begin by discussing the latest findings exploring how sleep and waking modulate and are modulated by metabolic factors that likely influence AD using healthy C. elegans, flies, mice and humans. We will then discuss new Human brain transcriptome and imaging studies that are revealing bidirectional links between AD, sleep disruption, and cognition.