Sara Aton, PhD
Sara Aton, PhD
2006 Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
2006-2012 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - Department of Neuroscience; Advisor: Dr. Marcos G. Frank
2012-Present Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Why do we sleep?
What does sleep do for the brain?
The consolidation of recent experiences into long-term memories is a fundamental function of the brain and critical for survival. Consolidation is linked to plastic changes at synapses between neurons. However, very little is known about how this plasticity is brought about by ongoing activity in neuronal networks, and how different brain states (e.g. sleep and waking) contribute to the consolidation process.
Our lab studies how neuronal and network activity in sleeping and awake brain states contributes to plasticity following novel sensory experiences. By combining behavioral, biochemical, electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques, we study the effects of waking experiences and sleep on neural circuits in the rodent brain.
2001-2004 Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation
2004-2006 National Research Service Award (F31), National Institute of Mental Health
2006-2008 Pickwick Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sleep Research, National Sleep Foundation
2007 Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience, Grass Foundation and Society For Neuroscience
2007 Barbara Jakschik Award, Washington University
2008-2009 Fellowship for Women in Science, L’Oréal USA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
2008-2011 National Research Service Award (F32), National Eye Institute
2009 Young Investigator Award, Sleep Research Society
2011 ACNP Travel Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
2011-2014 Young Investigator Award, Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation
2011-2016 Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), National Eye Institute
2012 Neuroscience Scholar, University of Michigan
2013 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship
2013-2018 New Innovator Award, NIH Directors Office and National Institute of Mental Health
2015, 2018 Selected Kavli Fellow, Kavli US Frontiers of Science Symposium, Kavli Foundation and National Academy of Science
2017-2020 Young Investigator Award, Human Frontiers Science Program
Delorme J, Kodoth V, Aton SJ (2018) Sleep loss disrupts Arc expression in dentate gyrus neurons. In press, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Roach JP, Pidde O, Katz E, Wu J, Ognjanovski N, Aton SJ, Zochowski M (2018) Resonance with subthreshold oscillatory drive organizes activity and optimizes learning in neural networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716933115
Wu J, Skilling Q, Maruyama D, Li C, Ognjanovski N, Aton SJ, Zochowski M (2018) Functional Network Stability and Average Minimal Distance – A framework to rapidly assess dynamics of functional network representations. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 296: 69-83, DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2017.12.021
Durkin JM, Suresh A, Colbath J, Broussard C, Wu J, Zochowski M, Aton SJ (2017) Thalamocortical oscillations in NREM sleep play an essential, instructive role in visual system plasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114:10485-10490 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1710613114
Puentes-Mestril C, Aton SJ (2017) Linking network activity to synaptic plasticity during sleep: hypotheses and recent data. Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 11(61): DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2017.00061
Ognjanovski N, Schaeffer S, Mofakham S, Wu X, Maruyama D, Zochowski M, Aton SJ (2017) Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons coordinate hippocampal network dynamics required for memory consolidation. Nature Communications, 8:15039: DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15039
Havekes R, Park AJ, Ferri SL, Tudor JC, Bruinenberg V, Poplawski SG, Day JP, Aton SJ, Radwańska K, Meerlo P, Houslay MD, Baillie GS, Abel T (2016) Sleep deprivation causes memory deficits by negatively impacting neuronal connectivity in hippocampal area CA1. eLife 10.7554/eLife.13424
Clawson B, Durkin J, Aton SJ (2016) Form and function of sleep spindles across the lifespan. Neural Plasticity, 2016: Article ID 6936381
Durkin JM, Aton SJ (2016) Sleep-dependent potentiation in the visual system is at odds with the Synaptic Homeostasis Hypothesis. SLEEP, 39(1):155–9.
Gerstner JR, Aton SJ, Heller HC (2015) Waking up to the alarm: Sleep, clocks, and making memory (s)tick. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9: 65.
Bridi MCD, Aton SJ, Seibt J, Renouard L, Coleman T, Frank MG (2015) Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing cat. Science Advances, 1(6):e1500105.
Ognjanovski N, Maruyama D, Lashner N, Zochowski M, Aton SJ (2014) CA1 hippocampal network activity changes during sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8: 61.
Aton SJ, Suresh A, Broussard C, Frank MG (2014) Sleep promotes cortical response potentiation following visual experience. SLEEP, 37(7):1163-70.
Prince TM, Choi J, Wimmer M, Havekes R, Aton S, Abel T (2014) Sleep deprivation during a specific 3-hour time window post-training impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 109: 122-30.
Dumoulin M, Aton SJ, Watson A, Coleman T, Frank MG (2013) Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity during sleep consolidates cortical plasticity in vivo. Cerebral Cortex, 25(2):507-15.
Freeman GM Jr, Krock RM, Aton SJ, Thaben P, Herzog ED. (2013). GABA Networks Destabilize Genetic Oscillations in the Circadian Pacemaker. Neuron, 78(5):799-806.
Aton SJ. (2013). Set and setting: How behavioral state regulates sensory function and plasticity. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 106: 1-10.
Aton SJ, Broussard C, Dumoulin M, Seibt J, Watson A, Coleman T, Frank MG. (2013). Visual experience and subsequent sleep induce sequential plastic changes in putative inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(8):3101-6.
Frank M, Waldrop R, Dumoulin M, Aton SJ, Boal JG . (2012). Sleep-like states in the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. PLoS ONE, 7(6):e38125.
Seibt J, Dumoulin M, Aton SJ, Coleman T, Watson A, Naidoo N, Frank MG. (2012). Protein synthesis during sleep consolidates cortical plasticity in vivo. Current Biology, 22(8):676-82.
Aton SJ, Seibt J, Dumoulin M, Coleman T, Shiraishi M, Frank MG. (2009). The sedating antidepressant trazodone impairs sleep-dependent cortical plasticity. PLoS ONE, 4(7): e6078.
Aton SJ, Seibt J, Dumoulin M, Jha SK, Steinmetz N, Coleman T, Naidoo N, Frank MG. (2009). Mechanisms of sleep-dependent consolidation of cortical plasticity. Neuron, 61(3): 454–466.
Aton SJ, Seibt J, Frank MG. (2009). Sleep and memory. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester.
Uebele VN, Nuss CE, Santarelli VP, Garson SL, Kraus RL, Stauffer SR, Barrow JC, Koblan KS, Renger JJ, Aton S, Seibt J, Dumoulin M, Jha SK, Coleman T, Frank MG. (2009). T-type calcium channels regulate cortical plasticity in vivo. NeuroReport, 20(3): 257–262.
Seibt J, Aton SJ, Jha SK, Coleman T, Dumoulin MC, Frank MG. (2008). The non-benzodiazepine hypnotic Zolpidem impairs sleep-dependent cortical plasticity. SLEEP, 31(10): 1381-91.
Saxena MT, Aton SJ, Hildebolt C, Prior J, Abraham U, Piwnica-Worms D, Herzog ED. (2007). Bioluminescence imaging of Period1 gene expression in utero. Molecular Imaging, 6(1): 68-72.
Aton SJ, Huettner JE, Straume M, Herzog ED. (2006). GABA and Gi/o differentially control circadian rhythms and synchrony in clock neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(50): 19188-93.
Aton SJ, Herzog ED. (2005). Come together, right… now: Synchronization of rhythms in a mammalian circadian clock. Neuron, 48(4): 531-4.
Aton SJ, Colwell CS, Harmar AJ, Waschek J, Herzog ED. (2005). Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide mediates circadian rhythmicity and synchrony in mammalian clock neurons. Nature Neuroscience, 8(4): 476-83 .
Aton SJ, Block GD, Tei H, Yamazaki S, Herzog ED. (2004). Plasticity of circadian behavior and the suprachiasmatic nucleus following exposure to non-24 hour light cycles. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 19(3): 198-207.
Herzog ED, Aton SJ, Numano R, Sakaki Y, & Tei H. (2004). Temporal precision in the mammalian circadian system: a reliable clock from less reliable neurons. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 19(1): 35-46.
Granados-Fuentes D, Saxena MT, Prolo LM, Aton SJ, Herzog ED. (2004). Olfactory bulb neurons express functional, entrainable circadian rhythms. European Journal of Neuroscience, 19(4): 898-906.