• 2410 Citations
1989 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Despite the fact that sleep is conserved throughout the animal kingdom, the function of sleep remains one of the last major unsolved biological mysteries facing neuroscience today. Human, rodent and fly studies clearly demonstrate that sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation. However, recent human studies reveal that sleep plays a much more intricate role in brain functioning than simply stabilizing and consolidating memories. Indeed, sleep is vital for the off-line processing of information including improving creative thinking and promoting the discovery of creative insights: An historical example is the discovery of the structure of the benzene ring during a dream. My lab uses the genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster to elucidate the molecular mechanisms linking sleep to neuronal plasticity. We have demonstrated that we can fully restore cognitive functioning to a diverse set of classic memory mutants simply by enhancing their sleep. In these experiments, sleep was able to reverse cognitive deficits without restoring the causal molecular lesion or structural defect. In addition sleep reversed cognitive deficits in two separate models of Alzheimer’s disease. Current studies are focused on the molecular mechanism that allows sleep to initiate such an extreme form of neuronal plasticity that allows sleep to reverse cognitive deficits even when they are caused by catastrophic genetic and structural lesions

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Research Output

Disrupting flight increases sleep and identifies a novel sleep-promoting pathway in Drosophila

Melnattur, K., Zhang, B. & Shaw, P. J., May 2020, In : Science Advances. 6, 19, eaaz2166.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Sleep restores place learning to the adenylyl cyclase mutant rutabaga

    Dissel, S., Morgan, E., Duong, V., Chan, D., van Swinderen, B., Shaw, P. & Zars, T., Jan 2 2020, In : Journal of Neurogenetics. 34, 1, p. 83-91 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Staying awake to stay alive: A circuit controlling starvation-induced waking

    Melnattur, K. & Shaw, P., Mar 2019, In : PLoS biology. 17, 3, e3000199.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Scopus citations

    Acute control of the sleep switch in drosophila reveals a role for gap junctions in regulating behavioral responsiveness

    Troup, M., Yap, M. H. W., Rohrscheib, C., Grabowska, M. J., Ertekin, D., Randeniya, R., Kottler, B., Larkin, O., Munro, K., Shaw, P. J. & van Swinderen, B., Aug 15 2018, In : eLife. 7, e37105.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Scopus citations

    Place learning overrides innate behaviors in Drosophila

    Baggett, V., Mishra, A., Kehrer, A. L., Robinson, A. O., Shaw, P. & Zars, T., Mar 2018, In : Learning and Memory. 25, 3, p. 122-128 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Scopus citations