Ketema Paul

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. My work examines the neural and genetic regulation of sleep regulatory mechanisms. My research program currently has three foci: 1) to examine sex differences in sleep regulatory mechanisms, 2) to investigate the role of circadian molecules on the ability to recover from sleep loss, and 3) to determine how genetic heterogeneity contributes to resilience against the negative effects of sleep loss and stress. My lab has adopted a forward genetics approach in mice to uncover the core genes responsible for sleep-wake regulation and sleep homeostasis. Another avenue of interest in my lab is the circadian expression of sleep regulatory genes in isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. These studies are expected to identify novel sleep regulatory genes and lead to the development of new therapeutic targets and improved treatments for sleep-related disorders.


Paul Lab


Chiem E, Zhao K, Stark G, Ghiani CA, Colwell CS, Paul KN. Sex differences in sleep architecture in a mouse model of Huntington's disease. J Neurosci Res. 2024 Jan; 102(1):e25290. view on PubMed

Vincent SM, Madani M, Dikeman D, Golden K, Crocker N, Jackson C, Wimmer SP, Dover M, Tucker A, Ghiani CA, Colwell CS, LeBaron TW, Tarnava A, Paul KN. Hydrogen-rich water improves sleep consolidation and enhances forebrain neuronal activation in mice. Sleep Adv. 2024; 5(1):zpad057. view on PubMed

Heller HC, Herzog E, Brager A, Poe G, Allada R, Scheer F, Carskadon M, de la Iglesia HO, Jang R, Montero A, Wright K, Mouraine P, Walker MP, Goel N, Hogenesch J, Van Gelder RN, Kriegsfeld L, Mah C, Colwell C, Zeitzer J, Grandner M, Jackson CL, Roxanne Prichard J, Kay SA, Paul K. The Negative Effects of Travel on Student Athletes Through Sleep and Circadian Disruption. J Biol Rhythms. 2024 Feb; 39(1):5-19. view on PubMed

Brager AJ, Paul KN. Sleep is of the muscle, by the muscle, and for the muscle. Sleep. 2023 09 08; 46(9). view on PubMed

Zamiri K, Kesari S, Paul K, Hwang SH, Hammock B, Kaczor-Urbanowicz KE, Urbanowicz A, Gao L, Whitelegge J, Fiala M. Therapy of autoimmune inflammation in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Dimethyl fumarate and H-151 downregulate inflammatory cytokines in the cGAS-STING pathway. FASEB J. 2023 08; 37(8):e23068. view on PubMed

Chiem E, Zhao K, Stark G, Ghiani CA, Colwell CS, Paul KN. Sex Differences in Sleep Phenotypes in the BACHD Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease. bioRxiv. 2023 Apr 28. view on PubMed

Dover M, Moseley T, Biskaduros A, Paulchakrabarti M, Hwang SH, Hammock B, Choudhury B, Kaczor-Urbanowicz KE, Urbanowicz A, Morselli M, Dang J, Pellegrini M, Paul K, Bentolila LA, Fiala M. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Mend Macrophage Transcriptome, Glycome, and Phenotype in the Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases, Including Alzheimer's Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2023; 91(1):245-261. view on PubMed

Bush BJ, Donnay C, Andrews EA, Lewis-Sanders D, Gray CL, Qiao Z, Brager AJ, Johnson H, Brewer HCS, Sood S, Saafir T, Benveniste M, Paul KN, Ehlen JC. Non-rapid eye movement sleep determines resilience to social stress. Elife. 2022 09 23; 11. view on PubMed

Zhang Z, Reis FMCV, He Y, Park JW, DiVittorio JR, Sivakumar N, van Veen JE, Maesta-Pereira S, Shum M, Nichols I, Massa MG, Anderson S, Paul K, Liesa M, Ajijola OA, Xu Y, Adhikari A, Correa SM. Estrogen-sensitive medial preoptic area neurons coordinate torpor in mice. Nat Commun. 2020 12 11; 11(1):6378. view on PubMed

Chiem E, Nichols I, Van C, Kori S, Paul K. Sleep loss mediates the effect of stress on nitrergic signaling in female mice. Neurosci Lett. 2021 01 01; 740:135362. view on PubMed

Fiala M, Lau YCC, Aghajani A, Bhargava S, Aminpour E, Kaczor-Urbanowicz KE, Mirzoyan H, Nichols I, Ko MW, Morselli M, Santana J, Dang J, Sayre J, Paul K, Pellegrini M. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Amyloid-β Immunity, Energy, and Circadian Rhythm for Cognitive Protection of Alzheimer's Disease Patients Beyond Cholinesterase Inhibitors. J Alzheimers Dis. 2020; 75(3):993-1002. view on PubMed

Schlinger BA, Paul K, Monks DA. Muscle, a conduit to brain for hormonal control of behavior. Horm Behav. 2018 09; 105:58-65. view on PubMed

Nichols IS, Jones MI, Okere C, Ananaba G, Bush B, Gray C, Brager A, Ehlen JC, Paul K. Nitrergic neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus encode information about stress duration. PLoS One. 2017; 12(11):e0187071. view on PubMed

Ehlen JC, Brager AJ, Baggs J, Pinckney L, Gray CL, DeBruyne JP, Esser KA, Takahashi JS, Paul KN. Bmal1 function in skeletal muscle regulates sleep. Elife. 2017 07 20; 6. view on PubMed

Brager AJ, Heemstra L, Bhambra R, Ehlen JC, Esser KA, Paul KN, Novak CM. Homeostatic effects of exercise and sleep on metabolic processes in mice with an overexpressed skeletal muscle clock. Biochimie. 2017 Jan; 132:161-165. view on PubMed

Brager AJ, Yang T, Ehlen JC, Simon RP, Meller R, Paul KN. Sleep Is Critical for Remote Preconditioning-Induced Neuroprotection. Sleep. 2016 Nov 01; 39(11):2033-2040. view on PubMed

Ehlen JC, Jones KA, Pinckney L, Gray CL, Burette S, Weinberg RJ, Evans JA, Brager AJ, Zylka MJ, Paul KN, Philpot BD, DeBruyne JP. Maternal Ube3a Loss Disrupts Sleep Homeostasis But Leaves Circadian Rhythmicity Largely Intact. J Neurosci. 2015 Oct 07; 35(40):13587-98. view on PubMed

Evans JA, Suen TC, Callif BL, Mitchell AS, Castanon-Cervantes O, Baker KM, Kloehn I, Baba K, Teubner BJ, Ehlen JC, Paul KN, Bartness TJ, Tosini G, Leise T, Davidson AJ. Shell neurons of the master circadian clock coordinate the phase of tissue clocks throughout the brain and body. BMC Biol. 2015 Jun 23; 13:43. view on PubMed

Ehlen JC, Jefferson F, Brager AJ, Benveniste M, Paul KN. Period-amplitude analysis reveals wake-dependent changes in the electroencephalogram during sleep deprivation. Sleep. 2013 Nov 01; 36(11):1723-35. view on PubMed

Brager AJ, Ehlen JC, Castanon-Cervantes O, Natarajan D, Delisser P, Davidson AJ, Paul KN. Sleep loss and the inflammatory response in mice under chronic environmental circadian disruption. PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e63752. view on PubMed

Ehlen JC, Hesse S, Pinckney L, Paul KN. Sex chromosomes regulate nighttime sleep propensity during recovery from sleep loss in mice. PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e62205. view on PubMed

Papale LA, Makinson CD, Christopher Ehlen J, Tufik S, Decker MJ, Paul KN, Escayg A. Altered sleep regulation in a mouse model of SCN1A-derived genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). Epilepsia. 2013 Apr; 54(4):625-34. view on PubMed

Paul KN. Serotonin and sleep: breaking the cycle (Commentary on Nakamaru-Ogiso et al.). Eur J Neurosci. 2012 Jun; 35(11):1761. view on PubMed

Mong JA, Baker FC, Mahoney MM, Paul KN, Schwartz MD, Semba K, Silver R. Sleep, rhythms, and the endocrine brain: influence of sex and gonadal hormones. J Neurosci. 2011 Nov 09; 31(45):16107-16. view on PubMed

Sompol P, Liu X, Baba K, Paul KN, Tosini G, Iuvone PM, Ye K. N-acetylserotonin promotes hippocampal neuroprogenitor cell proliferation in sleep-deprived mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 24; 108(21):8844-9. view on PubMed

Castanon-Cervantes O, Wu M, Ehlen JC, Paul K, Gamble KL, Johnson RL, Besing RC, Menaker M, Gewirtz AT, Davidson AJ. Dysregulation of inflammatory responses by chronic circadian disruption. J Immunol. 2010 Nov 15; 185(10):5796-805. view on PubMed

Pinotti M, Bertolucci C, Frigato E, Branchini A, Cavallari N, Baba K, Contreras-Alcantara S, Ehlen JC, Bernardi F, Paul KN, Tosini G. Chronic sleep deprivation markedly reduces coagulation factor VII expression. Haematologica. 2010 Aug; 95(8):1429-32. view on PubMed

Papale LA, Paul KN, Sawyer NT, Manns JR, Tufik S, Escayg A. Dysfunction of the Scn8a voltage-gated sodium channel alters sleep architecture, reduces diurnal corticosterone levels, and enhances spatial memory. J Biol Chem. 2010 May 28; 285(22):16553-61. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Saafir TB, Tosini G. The role of retinal photoreceptors in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2009 Dec; 10(4):271-8. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Losee-Olson S, Pinckney L, Turek FW. The ability of stress to alter sleep in mice is sensitive to reproductive hormones. Brain Res. 2009 Dec 11; 1305:74-85. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Laposky AD, Turek FW. Reproductive hormone replacement alters sleep in mice. Neurosci Lett. 2009 Oct 09; 463(3):239-43. view on PubMed

Ehlen JC, Paul KN. Regulation of light's action in the mammalian circadian clock: role of the extrasynaptic GABAA receptor. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 May; 296(5):R1606-12. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Turek FW, Kryger MH. Influence of sex on sleep regulatory mechanisms. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 Sep; 17(7):1201-8. view on PubMed

Novak CM, Ehlen JC, Paul KN, Fukuhara C, Albers HE. Light and GABA)(A) receptor activation alter period mRNA levels in the SCN of diurnal Nile grass rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Nov; 24(10):2843-52. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Dugovic C, Turek FW, Laposky AD. Diurnal sex differences in the sleep-wake cycle of mice are dependent on gonadal function. Sleep. 2006 Sep; 29(9):1211-23. view on PubMed

Ehlen JC, Novak CM, Karom MC, Gamble KL, Paul KN, Albers HE. GABAA receptor activation suppresses Period 1 mRNA and Period 2 mRNA in the suprachiasmatic nucleus during the mid-subjective day. Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Jun; 23(12):3328-36. view on PubMed

Gamble KL, Paul KN, Karom MC, Tosini G, Albers HE. Paradoxical effects of NPY in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Eur J Neurosci. 2006 May; 23(9):2488-94. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Fukuhara C, Karom M, Tosini G, Albers HE. AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist DNQX blocks the acute increase of Per2 mRNA levels in most but not all areas of the SCN. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2005 Sep 13; 139(1):129-36. view on PubMed

Paul KN, Gamble KL, Fukuhara C, Novak CM, Tosini G, Albers HE. Tetrodotoxin administration in the suprachiasmatic nucleus prevents NMDA-induced reductions in pineal melatonin without influencing Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels. Eur J Neurosci. 2004 May; 19(10):2808-14. view on PubMed

Gamble KL, Novak CM, Paul KN, Albers HE. Tetrodotoxin blocks the circadian effects of NMDA during the day but not at night. Neuroreport. 2003 Mar 24; 14(4):641-4. view on PubMed