Research

Mission

The mission of the Laboratory of Sleep, Rhythms, and Addiction at Boston University School of Medicine is to provide a highly collaborative, inclusive research training environment focused on investigating the biology of psychiatric disorders at the intersection of sleep and circadian rhythms.

Overview

Our research focuses on three major themes:

  1. Understand the impact of sleep and/or circadian disruptions on the vulnerability to psychiatric disorders
  2. Understand the impact of stress and drugs of abuse on sleep and circadian rhythms
  3. Identification of biological targets to develop treatments for psychiatric disorders

Sleep and circadian rhythms are critical for maintaining optimal health and well-being, while disruptions to sleep and rhythms are implicated in a variety of adverse health outcomes. In particular, misalignment of circadian rhythms, and sleep loss and disturbances, are associated with elevated risk for affective and substance use related problems. Factors including chronic stress and repeated substance use also impact sleep and circadian rhythms, which contribute to the development and progression of affective and substance use disorders. Much of the current evidence associating psychiatric disorders to sleep and circadian dysfunction are correlational, requiring further, in-depth investigations into the biological mechanisms underlying these relationships.

Translational Approach

Our laboratory investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms at the intersection of sleep, circadian rhythms, and affective and substance use disorders. We use a translational approach by using both human tissues and animal models to reveal potential mechanisms associated with psychiatric disorders and identify viable candidates for therapeutic development.

Techniques

We use a broad array of techniques in humans and rodents that cut across multiple biological scales to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms of behaviors associated with mood, motivation, and reward.

Molecular Biology

Bioinformatics

Systems Neuroscience

Complex Behaviors