The Donlea lab uses the fruit fly as a genetic model to understand why the brain needs sleep. Like humans, flies show impairments both in learning new associations and consolidating recent memories after sleep loss, suggesting that a role for sleep in supporting memory has been widely conserved across evolution. This work uses behavioral genetics and in vivo electrophysiology to investigate the synaptic functions of sleep in memory-encoding circuits and understand how promoting sleep might enhance memory formation.
1. Pimentel D*, Donlea JM*, Talbot CB, Song SH, Thurston AJ, Miesenböck G. (2016) Operation of a homeostatic sleep switch. Nature. 536(7616):333-7.
2. Donlea JM*, Pimentel D*, Miesenböck G. (2014) Neuronal machinery of sleep homeostasis in Drosophila. Neuron. 81(4), 860–72.
3. Donlea JM, Ramanan N, Silverman N, Shaw PJ. (2014) Genetic rescue of functional senescence in synaptic and behavioral plasticity. Sleep. 37(9):1427-37.
4. Donlea JM*, Leahy A*, Thimgan M, Suzuki Y, Gottschalk L, Sokolowski M, Shaw PJ. (2012) foraging alters resilience/vulnerability to sleep disruption and starvation in Drosophila. PNAS. 109(7):2613-8.
5. Donlea JM, Thimgan M, Suzuki Y, Gottschalk L, Shaw PJ. (2011) Inducing sleep by remote control facilitates memory consolidation in Drosophila. Science. 332(6037):1571-6.