Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Sleep Regulation & 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 & 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.

Session Titles

The Conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The Conference Chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by July 1, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Molecular Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation and Reconsolidation
  • Noradrenaline and Dopamine: Evolving Roles in Sleep/Wake Regulation, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory
  • Global and Local Determinants of Sleep Need: Clues from Animal Models
  • The Cost of Being Awake: Cellular and Systems' Effects
  • Enhancement and Disruption of Specific Sleep Rhythms: Implementation and Consequences
  • The New Paradoxes of REM Sleep
  • Sleep Disruption and Metabolism
  • Sleep and Its Role in Promoting Brain Development
  • Sleep, Sleep Loss and Vascular Control
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