Sleep is a fundamental and evolutionarily conserved behavior, and the only major behavior for which the function remains unknown. The goal of our lab is to understand the synaptic and circuit mechanisms underlying sleep and its function in the brain. To address these questions, we employ multi-disciplinary approaches, including Drosophila genetics, quantitative behavior analysis, electrophysiology, functional imaging, as well as neural circuit mapping and manipulation.
Current areas of interest include the roles of sleep in synaptic and network plasticity, and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying these sleep-dependent processes. In addition, our lab is also interested in developing novel tools for precisely dissecting the neuronal and glial components of the fly brain. These tools will facilitate our own research in sleep, but we also intend for them to be more generally useful to the neuroscience community.