Han Wang, Ph.D.
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
California Institute of Technology
Sleep is a fundamental process that is essential for survival, but remains one of the most intriguing mysteries in biology. Sleep disorders in humans are prevalent and abnormal sleep can lead to adverse effects on neuronal function and contribute to various diseases. However, it is unclear how sleep is controlled at the molecular and circuit levels. By studying stress-induced sleep in C. elegans, I identified several novel sleep regulators and discovered a new mechanism underlying sleep regulation by neuropeptide signaling. I have also been developing genetic tools for systematic dissection of neural circuits for sleep in C. elegans. Specifically, I engineered a “cool” GAL4 to develop a bipartite cGAL system and its split derivative that allow unprecedented genetic access to the C. elegans nervous system at single neuron resolution. I am currently working on the characterization of novel sleep regulators and using the cGAL system for functional circuit mapping for sleep in C. elegans.
Host: Dr. Annalise Paaby