The Borjigin laboratory is interested in both basic science as well translational research with the ultimate goal of stimulating scientific discovery and improving human health. Within these efforts, two interrelated projects are appropriate for the SURP undergraduate students : (1) Improving detection of cardiac arrhythmias in patients with sleep apnea (sleep-heart project); and (2) improving detection of cardiac arrhythmias in patients using our newly invented ECM technology (ECM project). See our lab website for more details. These projects bridge the state of art analytical tools (patent pending) with unmet clinical needs, and are conducted in collaboration with a number of UM physicians in Cardiology, Anesthesiology, Neurology, and Emergency medicine, which allows ample interactions of students with faculty members in both basic science departments as well as clinical departments.
The Burgess lab investigates the neural circuitry underlying fundamental behaviors, including feeding and sleep. We use neuroscience tools, including optogenetics, photometry, and two-photon calcium imaging, in mice to identify the role of specific neurons in sleep, learning, and motivation. We also use mouse models of sleep disorders to establish their neural underpinnings and to identify targets for future therapies.
The Eban-Rothschild lab investigates the neuronal underpinnings of sleep-wake states and sleep-preparatory behaviors, in health and disease. We probe the neuronal mechanisms linking motivational processes with sleep-wake regulation, and the neuronal substrates underlying the strong association between sleep-wake disturbances and psychiatric disorders. The lab takes a multidisciplinary approach combining ethologically-relevant behavioral manipulations with innovative techniques to record and manipulate neuronal circuits, including EEG/EMG recordings, in vivo calcium imaging, optogenetics, chemogenetics, and input/output circuit tracing.
Research Associate Professor, Neurology
Research Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Associate Research Scientist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. O'Brien's primary research interest is in the impact of maternal sleep practices in pregnancy and the association with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, fetal growth restriction, and stillbirth. She also conducts research examining the role of sleep problems in couples seeking treatment for infertility. Another interest is in the neurobehavioral consequences of sleep-disordered breathing in children and sleep in children with medical problems such as cleft palate repair and craniofacial anomalies. Dr. O'Brien participates in the training of sleep medicine fellows, maternal-fetal medicine fellows, and acts as a mentor for students, post-docs, fellows, and junior faculty interested in sleep research.
Associate Professor Department of Anesthesiology Molecular & Integrative Physiology Neuroscience Graduate program Michigan Neuroscience Institute Center for Consciousness Science Michigan Psychedelic Center
We study neural mechanisms of physiological (sleep, wakefulness) and pharmacological (anesthesia, psychedelic) states of consciousness in rodents. Our studies employ electroencephalographic recordings, in vivo neurotransmitter quantification, pharmacological interventions, and chemogenetic tools. We also use information-theoretic measures, complexity measures, and spectral analysis of electroencephalographic data to understand the neural changes accompanying different behavioral states.
William H. Howell Collegiate Professor of Physiology
The Pletcher laboratory combines genetic, biochemical and behaviroal techniques to understand the nature of aging-related disease. We also seek to harness technological advancements in computational analysis and robotics to improve the capabilities and efficiency of high-throughput measurements. We use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system and focus on highly evolutionarily conserved molecular pathways. Currently, we are studying genes involved in linking neurosensory function, diet and immune function with aging and aging-related disease.
Dr. Pletcher is NOT accepting fellows for Summer 2023.
Cristina Sáenz de Miera
Research Investigator, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Dr. Sáenz de Miera's primary research interest is in the impact of early life factors on the development of the neural systems controlling reproduction and metabolism. Her current work focuses on studying effects of prenatal photoperiod exposure on offspring's brain development in different mouse strains, using techniques such as single cell RNA sequencing, studying cell proliferation and metabolic phenotype. Another interest is the study of the neural pathways used by the metabolic hormone Leptin to influence reproduction, using transgenic mouse models and genetic tools to manipulate brain circuits.
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology / Principal Investigator
Our research uses a systems neuroscience approach to understand how brain circuits regulate interacting states of sleep, wakefulness, anesthesia, and pain. To this end, we use a combination of behavioral assays, electroencephalographic and electromyographic (EEG and EMG) recordings, neurochemical monitoring, calcium imaging in freely behaving mice, neuroanatomical viral tracing, as well as chemogenetic/optogenetic tools to identify and probe neural networks controlling sleep, wakefulness, and nociception.
We use electrodes and optogenetics to record from and manipulate dozens of neurons simultaneously in the brains of behaving rats and mice. Our goal is to answer questions aimed both at fundamental neurobiological understanding of the cortex and understanding the role of cortex in disease treatment.
We use an approach informed by an understanding of neuronal microcircuit dynamics, macrocircuit connectivity and organism-level behavior to connect between the level of single neurons, networks of those neurons and animal behavior.
Associate Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
The Yin laboratory largely focuses on understanding the molecular regulation of circadian rhythms in mammalian system. The core clock proteins are the driving forces to generate and maintain the 24h circadian rhythms. Post-translational modifications of those core clock proteins play important function in determining the basic features of a circadian cycle, including period length, amplitude and phase response. Our lab is currently studying the role of ubiquitination in regulation of circadian oscillation of the core circadian clock proteins. One of our long-term goals is to identify the unique E3 ligase and de-ubiquitin specific protease (USP) for individual clock protein and determine their circadian functions in vivo.