The Neurosciences program welcomes alumna Dr. Jordan Gaines Lewis ’11, a neuroscientist and award-winning science writer. Her topic:
To Sleep – Perchance, to Breathe: Untangling the Pathophysiology of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent sleep disorder characterized by obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, resulting in intermittent hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Patients with OSA are more likely to have elevations in systemic inflammation, hyperactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and develop the metabolic syndrome compared to normal sleepers. But what sets off this vicious cycle? Using data from large general population studies as well as smaller treatment trials over the last 20 years, this talk will explore how researchers are have been untangling the patholophysiology of OSA – with particular emphasis on how studying a young population, the Penn State Child Cohort, is adding a unique perspective to the story.
“Jordan combines her passion for science communication and the brain on her blog Gaines, on Brains, which introduces neuroscience research to readers — minus all the heavy scientific jargon.
Jordan is currently a sleep researcher at Penn State College of Medicine
examining mechanisms underlying the relationship between obesity and sleep apnea.
Check out her TED talk on “Why does Time Fly as We Get Older”
Co-sponsored by the Lecture & Fine Arts Committee.