ITbM-IGER Seminar (Profs. Tsuyoshi Saito and Yu Hayashi)
Date: 2016/7/11, Mon. 15:00〜18:00
Venue: Lecture Room, ITbM building 1st floor
Speaker: Prof. Tsuyoshi Saitoh (Assistant Professor, WPI-IIIS, University of Tsukuba)
Title: "Development of non-peptidic orexin receptor agonists for controlling sleep-wake cycles"
How to create molecules that control sleep? Prof. Saitoh is the Assistant Professor of the medicinal chemistry group led by Prof. Nagase in the IIIS. The group is conducting design and synthesis of non-peptidic orexin receptor agonists which are related with sleep/wake switching, eating, and emotion behavior. Creation of such non-peptide small molecules as alternatives for the hypothalamic neuropeptide orexin would lead to a drug for sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy. In addition, the orexin receptor is considered to be related with eating and emotional behavior, thus the research development of not only agonists but antagonists is expected to be useful for clarifying the mechanism of eating behavior, depressant and anxiety symptoms.
Speaker: Prof. Yu Hayashi (IIIS-Young Fellow, Assosiate Professor, WPI-IIIS, University of Tsukuba)
Title: "Identification of the REM/NREM sleep brain circuitry and implications for the function and evolution of sleep"
Why do we sleep? What are dreams? Prof. Hayashi's research group is interested in evolution and function of sleep. Currently, his lab has two major themes: 1. elucidation of the individual roles and evolutionary origins of REM and non-REM sleep using mice, and 2. identification of widely conserved molecular mechanisms underlying sleep using the nematode C. elegans. To the end, his group will combine pharmacogenetic or optogenetic approaches with behavioral studies, neuronal recording studies, or imaging studies. His group's recent publication shows the neurons that regulate sleep stages. They identified a genetically marked population of neurons that promote non-REM sleep at the expense of REM sleep (Hayashi et al., Science 350, 957-961(2015)).