Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Sleep Regulation and Function
Gordon Research Conference

Novel Controversies on the "How and Why" of Sleep


March 18-23, 2018


Hotel Galvez
Galveston, TX Site Information


Chiara Cirelli

Vice Chair:
Paul Shaw

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by February 18, 2018. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

The 2018 meeting will be the third Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on "Sleep Regulation and Function" and will be preceded, as in 2016, by a Gordon Research Seminar organized by and for trainees. The main goal of the GRC meeting is to create an informal, highly interactive forum to freely discuss the newest results and transmit our passion for sleep research to the next generation of scientists. We will examine the latest progress in our understanding of the molecular and electrophysiological mechanisms that regulate sleep and sleep need, as well as the insights provided by different animal models, from worms and flies to rodents. We will also evaluate the increasingly compelling evidence for a role of sleep in promoting growth during development and in maintaining general health at later stages of life. As highlighted by the subtitle of the 2018 meeting - "Novel Controversies on the 'How and Why' of Sleep" – our main goal is to openly and informally address the latest most controversial questions that arise from the progress in our field. These questions include the "forgotten" role of dopamine in sleep/wake regulation and the basis of sleep regulation (local and/or global?); the cellular and systems' costs of wake and how they differ for brain and body; the extent to which worms and flies can inform mammalian sleep research; the essential (or not?) function of REM sleep; the essential (or not?) roles played by specific sleep stages or sleep features, such as slow waves and sleep spindles; the extent to which sleep need varies across individuals; the evidence that chronic sleep restriction leads to reduced lifespan; and the factors (sleep quantity or quality or timing?) underlying the link between sleep disruption and metabolic and cardiovascular dysregulation. While some of these questions are not new, only now do we have specific and powerful tools to address them. For instance, we can specifically disrupt or enhance slow waves and spindles and determine effects on cognition. Similarly, we can now independently manipulate sleep quantity or sleep quality or sleep timing, and assess their effects on general health. The meeting will also foster interdisciplinary cross-talk by featuring several non-sleep research speakers whose work on memory and brain development is directly relevant to the sleep field.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Sleep Regulation and Function" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Gordon Research Conferences

Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by November 18, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Molecular Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation and Reconsolidation
    (Paul Shaw / Cristina Alberini)
  • Noradrenaline and Dopamine: Evolving Roles in Sleep/Wake Regulation, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory
    (Elda Arrigoni / Ada Eban-Rothschild / Robert Greene / Jimmy Fraigne / Graham Diering)
  • Global and Local Determinants of Sleep Need: Clues from Animal Models
    (Charlotte Helfrich-Forster / Mark Wu / Divya Sitaraman / William Joiner)
  • The Cost of Being Awake: Cellular and Systems' Effects
    (Maiken Nedergaard / Sigrid Veasey / Ted Abel / David Raizen / Susan Harbison)
  • Enhancement and Disruption of Specific Sleep Rhythms: Implementation and Consequences
    (Sara Aton / Caroline Lustenberger / Sara Fattinger / Ashley Ingiosi)
  • The New Paradoxes of REM Sleep
    (Peter Meerlo / Niels Rattenborg / John Peever / Derk-Jan Dijk / Gina Poe)
  • Sleep Disruption and Metabolism
    (Kristen Knutson / Frank Scheer / Satchidananda Panda / Josiane Broussard)
  • Sleep and Its Role in Promoting Brain Development
    (Ronald Szymusiak / Matthew Colonnese / Heiko Luhmann / Carlos Del Rio-Bermudez / Guang Yang)
  • Sleep, Sleep Loss and Vascular Control
    (Janet Mullington / Jason Carter / Virend Somers / Aristidis Veves)
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