Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Rebecca S. Moore, PhD

Sleep problems may be a risk factor for developing certain types of cancer—lung, colon, pancreas, and breast—and may affect the progression of these cancers and the effectiveness of their treatment. Conversely, symptoms of cancer or side effects of treatment, including restless legs and obstructive sleep apnea, may cause sleeping problems, reducing quality of life. Understanding the complex relationship between cancer and sleep creates opportunities to improve health, treatment options, and quality of life. Specifically, understanding how the peripheral nervous system and the brain regulate both the timing and rhythmicity of sleep (i.e., circadian control), and the balance between time awake and growing sleep pressure (i.e., homeostatic control), could improve survival rates and the quality of cancer treatment. To this end, Dr. Moore [HHMI Fellow] aims to identify the role of circulating dietary cholesterol on sleep and to conduct a targeted genetic screen to identify peripherally secreted proteins that affect either the circadian or the homeostatic control of sleep. These results will provide a means for therapeutic interventions to ameliorate the effects of sleep disruption. Dr. Moore received her PhD from Princeton University and her MS and BS from the City College of New York.

Project title: "Investigation of the role of peripheral secreted molecules on sleep and circadian rhythms"
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Amita Sehgal, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Basic Genetics