Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
2009 Clinical Research Training Fellowship Recipient
Target brain disease(s): Sleep disturbance in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases
Project goal: To understand the biological basis for sleep disturbance in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism.
Project description: Mounting evidence points to a crucial role for normal sleep in health and disease. Dr. Lipton wanted to understand the biological basis for sleep disturbance in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism. Dr. Lipton’s research focused on a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), which results in epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability, and sleep disturbance. The development of meaningful therapies relies on a better understanding of what causes the disease. By using mouse models of TSC, Dr. Lipton has uncovered novel mechanisms by which the internal body clock regulates sleep and circadian phenotypes in the disease. The mechanisms point the way toward novel therapies for TSC and for circadian rhythm disorders as well.
Funding: Received $130,000 in research funds.