"Neural control of sleep and circadian rhythms" by Prof Ravi Allada

Past Event

16 May 2014, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This lecture is organised by the Programme on Mind and Machine, an Oxford Martin School Programme and The Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

Speaker: Professor Ravi Allada, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, Northwestern University

Summary: In invertebrates and vertebrates, networks of interconnected pacemaker neurons control waking behavior. The mechanisms regulating the daily activity of these neurons and the extent of their conservation are unknown. Using patch clamp electrophysiology, we define a novel mechanism by which core clocks regulate membrane excitability. Moreover, we find that this pathway is conserved between Drosophila and the mouse, suggesting an ancient evolutionary origin of a set of neurons governing sleep/wake behavior. Sleep is also intimately linked to learning and memory processes. I will present a model by which the control of sleep and arousal by the mushroom bodies may contribute to their well-established roles in learning and memory.

For further information please contact Fiona Woods at fiona.woods@cncb.ox.ac.uk

About the Speaker

Ravi Allada received his M.D from the University of Michigan and completed a residency in clinical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. During medical school he was an HHMI–NIH Research Scholar working on the molecular genetics of general anesthesia in Drosophila. As an HHMI Physician Postdoctoral Fellow with Michael Rosbash at Brandeis University he cloned the Drosophila clock gene, a master transcription factor for circadian rhythms. In 2000, he joined the faculty at Northwestern University, where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology, Professor in the Department of Pathology, and Associate Director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology.