Ketema Nnamdi Paul

Professor, Integrative Biology And Physiology, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles

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.


  1. 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.. Journal of neuroscience research, 2024.
  2. 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 advances : a journal of the Sleep Research Society, 2023.
  3. 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.. Journal of biological rhythms, 2023.
  4. Brager AJ, Paul KN. Sleep is of the muscle, by the muscle, and for the muscle.. Sleep, 2023.
  5. 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 journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2023.
  6. 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 : the preprint server for biology, 2023.
  7. 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.. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 2023.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.. Nature communications, 2020.
  10. Chiem E, Nichols I, Van C, Kori S, Paul K. Sleep loss mediates the effect of stress on nitrergic signaling in female mice.. Neuroscience letters, 2020.
  11. 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.. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 2020.
  12. Schlinger BA, Paul K, Monks DA. Muscle, a conduit to brain for hormonal control of behavior.. Hormones and behavior, 2018.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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, 2016.
  16. Brager AJ, Yang T, Ehlen JC, Simon RP, Meller R, Paul KN. Sleep Is Critical for Remote Preconditioning-Induced Neuroprotection.. Sleep, 2016.
  17. 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.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2015.
  18. 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 biology, 2015.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Ehlen JC, Hesse S, Pinckney L, Paul KN. Sex chromosomes regulate nighttime sleep propensity during recovery from sleep loss in mice.. PloS one, 2013.
  22. 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.
  23. Paul KN. Serotonin and sleep: breaking the cycle (Commentary on Nakamaru-Ogiso et al.).. The European journal of neuroscience, 2012.
  24. 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.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2011.
  25. 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.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011.
  26. 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.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2010.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.. The Journal of biological chemistry, 2010.
  29. Paul KN, Saafir TB, Tosini G. The role of retinal photoreceptors in the regulation of circadian rhythms.. Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders, 2009.
  30. Paul KN, Losee-Olson S, Pinckney L, Turek FW. The ability of stress to alter sleep in mice is sensitive to reproductive hormones.. Brain research, 2009.
  31. Paul KN, Laposky AD, Turek FW. Reproductive hormone replacement alters sleep in mice.. Neuroscience letters, 2009.
  32. Ehlen JC, Paul KN. Regulation of light's action in the mammalian circadian clock: role of the extrasynaptic GABAA receptor.. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 2009.
  33. Paul KN, Turek FW, Kryger MH. Influence of sex on sleep regulatory mechanisms.. Journal of women's health (2002), 2008.
  34. 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.. The European journal of neuroscience, 2006.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.. The European journal of neuroscience, 2006.
  37. Gamble KL, Paul KN, Karom MC, Tosini G, Albers HE. Paradoxical effects of NPY in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.. The European journal of neuroscience, 2006.
  38. 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 research. Molecular brain research, 2005.
  39. 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.. The European journal of neuroscience, 2004.
  40. Gamble KL, Novak CM, Paul KN, Albers HE. Tetrodotoxin blocks the circadian effects of NMDA during the day but not at night.. Neuroreport, 2003.