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Peng Jiang

Research Assistant Professor

PhD, University of Kentucky


Regions(s): Brain and Behavior; Neurogenetics; Systems Neuroscience

Research interest(s): Sleep, Circadian rhythms, Neuropsychiatric disorders, Gut microbiome

Research Summary

My research uses multi-omic systems approaches to understand the functions and regulatory mechanisms of mammalian sleep. Particularly, I am interested in the interactions between sleep and other brain functions, such as affective and cognitive functions. Such interactions cannot be sufficiently explained by discrete genes but rather involve complex molecular networks that function in a coordinated fashion across different brain regions and relevant neuronal groups. The ultimate goal of my research is to understand such network-level mechanisms, which will not only elucidate the function and regulation of sleep but also enable tailoring personalized interventions for sleep-interacting neuropsychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

My recent work also incorporates a new frontier of the systems biology: the gut microbiome. Numerous studies have demonstrated fascinating roles of the gut microbiome in central nervous system functions. I am interested in developing new tools to analyze microbiome data and understand how the microbiome interacts with host physiology, particularly sleep. I have been involved in multiple NASA-funded studies to characterize microbiome changes during spaceflight and the impact of such changes on mammalian sleep, circadian rhythms, metabolism, and immune functions. The long-term goal of these studies will enable better adaptation to the space environment mitigating risks to astronaut health during long-duration space explorations.

Selected Publications

  • Jiang P, Green SJ, Chlipala GE, Turek FW, Vitaterna MH. (2019) Reproducible Changes in the Gut Microbiome Suggest a Shift in Microbial and Host Metabolism during Spaceflight. 7(1):113
  • Jiang P, Scarpa JR, Gao VD, Vitaterna MH, Kasarskis A, Turek FW. (2019) Parkinson’s Disease Is Associated with Dysregulations of a Dopamine-Modulated Gene Network Relevant to Sleep and Affective Neurobehaviors in the Striatum. Scientific Reports. 9: 4808.
  • Scarpa JR*, Jiang P*, Gao VD*, Fitzpatrick K, Millstein J, Olker C, Gotter A, Winrow CJ, Renger JJ, Kasarskis A, Turek FW, Vitaterna MH. (2018) Cross-species systems analysis identifies gene networks differentially altered by sleep loss and depression. Science Advances.4(7):eaat1294. (* co-first authors)
  • Jiang P*, Scarpa JR*, Fitzpatrick K, Losic B, Gao VD, Hao K, Summa KC, Yang HS, Zhang B, Allada R, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW, Kasarskis A. (2015) A systems approach identifies networks and genes linking sleep and stress: Implications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Cell Reports.11:835-848. (* co-first authors)


Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology

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