Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Paul, Ketema, Ph.D.


Genetic, molecular, and neural underpinnings of sleep and sleep deprivation


  • Associate Professor; Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology


Dr. Paul studies the genetic, molecular, and neural underpinnings of sleep. His primary interests are comprised of uncovering the mechanisms responsible for the negative effects of sleep deprivation in adults and children. He also probes the origins of gender/sex differences in the ability to recover from sleep loss to develop therapeutic targets for sleep disorders that disproportionately affect females.

His work has shown that sex differences in daily sleep amount are dependent on circulating reproductive hormones while sex differences in the ability to recover from sleep loss are relatively insensitive to them. Dr. Paul’s current research involves applying a forward genetics approach to uncover the core genes responsible for sleep-wake regulation and the impairing effects of sleep loss. Effective treatments for common sleep-wake disorders are elusive.

Dr. Paul conducts a forward genetics approach to facilitate gene identification that takes advantage of natural variation occurring in sleep-replete and sleep-deprived mice. This approach applies the most cutting edge genome mapping, positional cloning, and DNA sequencing techniques to identifying the genetic origins of unique sleep phenotypes in transgenic mouse models. These studies are expected to identify novel sleep regulatory genes and lead to the development of new therapeutic targets and improved treatments for sleep disorders.


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