Christopher S. Colwell is a Neuroscientist who has served on the UCLA School of Medicine faculty since he joined the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in 1997. He became a Professor in 2008. Dr. Colwell earned his B.S. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in 1985. During this time, he started his research in circadian rhythms under the mentorship of Dr. T. Page. Dr. Colwell earned his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Virginia in 1991. His thesis work explored the neural mechanisms by which light regulates circadian rhythms. Dr. Colwell continued this line of research during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia with Dr. G. Block. A second postdoctoral fellowship was carried out on the topics of motor control and excitotoxicity in the laboratory of Dr. M. Levine at UCLA. Dr. Colwell learned how to utilize imaging techniques to measure calcium levels inside neurons while a visiting scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Konnerth at the University of Saarland, Germany. Since Dr. Colwell’s faculty appointment at UCLA, his laboratory’s research has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms in mammals. Dysfunction in the timing these daily cycles is a key symptom in a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Better understanding the basic biology of this timing system should result in new therapies to improve the quality of life of these patients and the people who care for them.
Paul M. Macey is a neuroscientist who has worked at UCLA since 1999. He is an Associate Professor of Nursing, and serves in the School of Nursing Administration as Director of Information Technology and Innovation, and Chief Innovation Officer. Dr. Macey completed a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he focused on bringing engineering approaches to the analysis of breathing signals recorded from infants during sleep. He started at UCLA in a post-doctoral position in the Department of Neurobiology, and continued as and Assistant then Associate Researcher. Dr. Macey then joined the School of Nursing and Brain Research Institute as a faculty member. Dr. Macey teaches in the undergraduate Nursing program, and serves on various faculty committees.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from Howard University I went on to study neurobiology and circadian biology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia where I received my doctorate in 2003. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois in 2006 at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology under the guidance of Dr. Fred Turek, after which I accepted a faculty position at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). I spent ten years at MSM and joined the faculty at UCLA in 2016.
My work examines the genetic regulation of sleep and more importantly, how genetic heterogeneity influences the ability to recover from sleep loss. My research program currently has two foci: 1) to determine if disruptions of biological timing result in sleep-wake disorders and if so, which specific genes are involved and, 2) to determine if sex differences in the risk and severity of sleep abnormalities are chromosomally driven. My lab has recently undertaken a forward genetics approach to identify novel sleep genes. We have characterized a variety of sleep phenotypes in inbred mouse strains in sleep-replete and sleep-deprived conditions. We are expanding this dataset to provide sufficient statistical power for quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis and subsequent follow-up studies. This endeavor combines a well-established paradigm of comparative phenotyping of a genetically tractable animal model with powerful genetic mapping tools to identify novel sleep-regulatory genes. Consequently, these experiments will not only identify new sleep genes, they will also help verify and clarify previously mapped genes whose roles are not yet clearly defined.
B.S., Biology, Howard University 1994
Ph.D., Biology, Georgia State University 2003
Ehlen, J.C., Brager, A.J., Baggs, J., Pinckney, L., Gray, C.L., Debruyne, J.P., Esser, K.A., Takahashi, J.S., Paul, K.N., “Bmal1 function in skeletal muscle regulates sleep”, eLife, 1-15 (2017) .
Clark, K.P., Ehlen, J.C., Paul, K.N., “Race and Gender Disparities in Sleep-Disordered Breathing”, Journal of Sleep Disorders: Treatment & Care, 6 (1): 1-4 (2017) .
Brager A.J., Heemstra, L., Bhambra, R., Ehlen, J.C., Esser, K., Paul, K.N., Novak, C. M., “Homeostatic effects of exercise and sleep on metabolic processes in mice with an overexpressed skeletal muscle clock”, Biochimie, 132 : 161-165 (2017) .
Brager, A.J., Yang, T., Ehlen, J.C., Simon, R.P., Meller, R., Paul, K.N., “Sleep is critical for remote preconditioning-induce neuroprotection”, Sleep, 39 : 2033-2040 (2016) .
Ehlen, J.C., Jones, K.A., Pinckney, L., Gray, C.L. Burette, S., Weinberg, R.J., Evans, J.A., Brager, A., Zylka, M.J., Paul, K.N., Philphot, B.D., Debruyne, J.P, “Maternal Ube3a loss disrupts sleep homeostasis but leaves circadian rhythmicity largely intact”, Sleep, 35 : 13587-13598 (2015) .
Evans, J.A., Suen, T-C., Calif, B., Mitchell, A., Castanon-Cervantes, O., Baker, K.M., Kloehn, I., Baba, K., Teubner, B.J.W., Ehlen, J.C., Paul, K.N., Bartness, T.J., Tosini, G., Leise, T.L., Davidson, A.J, “Shell neurons of the master circadian clock coordinate the phase of tissue clocks throughout the brain and body”, Sleep, 13 : 1-15 (2015) .
Jefferson, F., Ehlen, J.C., Williams, N.S., Paul, K.N, “A dopamine D2-receptor agonist attenuates the ability of stress to alter sleep in mice”, Sleep, 155 : 4411-4421 (2014) .
Ehlen, J.C., Jefferson, F. Brager, A.J., Benveniste, M., Paul, K.N., “Period-Amplitude Analysis Reveals Wake-Dependent Changes in the Electroencephalogram during Sleep Deprivation”, Sleep, 36 : 1723-1735 (2013) .
Brager, A.J., Ehlen, J.C., Castanon-Cervantes, O., Natarajan, D., Delisser, P., Davidson, A., Paul, K.N, “Sleep loss and inflammatory markers under chronic environmental circadian disruption”, Sleep, 8 : 1-8 (2013) .
Ehlen, J.C., Hesse S., Pinckney, L., Paul, K.N, “Sex chromosomes regulate nighttime sleep propensity during recovery from sleep loss”, Sleep, 8 : 1-6 (2013) .