Saxena Lab

Genetics of Sleep

  • What genes underlie differences in sleep patterns between people?
  • What are the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep disorders?
  • Why do we sleep?

Genetics of Circadian Rhythms

  • What molecular pathways cause changes in daily biological rhythms such as morningness-eveningness preference?
  • How does clock gene variation impact human physiology, behavior and disease?
  • What genetic variation influences timing of gene expression?

Genetics of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

  • What maternal and fetal genetic factors cause preeclampsia?
  • How does preeclampsia relate to cardiometabolic risk factors and outcomes?
  • What genetic factors contribute to post-partum hemorrhage?

Sleep, Rhythms and Disease

  • Does sleep and circadian rhythm disruption cause, mark or result from chronic disease?
  • What mechanisms connect sleep, circadian rhythms and disease?
  • Do sleep or behavioral timing interventions prevent or ameliorate disease features?

Links to Cardiometabolic Disease

  • What are the molecular links between circadian rhythms and metabolism?
  • How does insomnia contribute to development of cardio-metabolic disease?
  • How does the MTNR1B diabetes risk gene link circadian rhythms to type 2 diabetes?

Links to Neurological Disease

  • What are the mechanistic links between sleep, circadian rhythms and Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Can sleep be a longitudinal biomarker of early Alzheimer’s disease?
  • What are the causes and consequences of circadian rhythm disruption in neurodegenerative disease?