The How and Why of Sleep

  • Speaker
  • Portrait photo of Dan YangYang Dan, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley
Date & Time

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Sleep is a fundamental biological process, and its disruption profoundly impacts human health. In this lecture, Yang Dan will describe her team’s effort to identify neurons involved in sleep generation using a combination of optogenetics, electrophysiology, imaging and gene expression profiling. They found that sleep is controlled by a highly distributed network spanning the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. They also discovered that sleep neurons are part of the central somatic and autonomic motor circuits. To address the question of “why” we sleep, they are now exploring how sleep interacts with the cardiovascular, immune and neuroendocrine systems.

About the Speaker

Portrait photo of Dan Yang

Dan is the Nan Fung Life Sciences Chancellor’s Chair in Neuroscience in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She studied physics as an undergraduate at Peking University and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She did her postdoctoral research on vision at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School. Her recent interest is understanding how and why we sleep and the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive control.

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