Research Grant Funded in the Biological Sciences Department

Sleep Behavior Study Awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Grant Award

Keene LabDr. Alex Keene, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has received a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant totaling $333,000 for his project entitled “Neural mechanisms of sleep loss in the Mexican cavefish.” This project utilizes the Mexican cavefish Astyanax mexicanus to investigate the basis for the evolution of sleep loss in response to environmental change. A. mexicanus exists as geographically isolated populations that include eyed surface fish and 29 blind cave populations of the same species that diverged 2-5 million years ago, providing a powerful model system to study how evolution and ecological environment shape sleep behavior. The long-term goals of this research program are to identify novel neural and genetic mechanisms regulating sleep and to understand how sleep is shaped by evolutionary history.