Amita Sehgal, Ph.D.Musser Professor of Neuroscience and HHMI Investigator
Director, Chronobiology and Sleep Institute (CSI)
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
The need to catch some z’s is common throughout the animal kingdom, from blue whales to fruit flies. Yet, despite its prevalence and importance, sleep’s cause and purpose remain largely a mystery.
In this lecture, Amita Sehgal will describe her group’s research investigating the biology of sleep. In particular, she will discuss recent studies of fruit flies that have helped elucidate why sleep persists across so many different species despite continued evolution. In addition, her research using genetic screens has led to the identification of sleep genes, and her analysis of mutants, coupled with hypothesis-driven approaches, has provided clues to sleep’s cellular functions. A cross-disciplinary approach, she says, is critical to unraveling this biological mystery.