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Ketema Paul

Ketema Paul


Office: 1014 TLSB
Phone: (310) 794-7755


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 under the guidance of Dr. Fred Turek, after which I accepted a faculty position at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). I spent ten years at MSM and joined the faculty at UCLA in 2016.

Research Interests

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. 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.


B.S., Biology, Howard University 1994
Ph.D., Biology, Georgia State University 2003

Selected Publications

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Mend Macrophage Transcriptome, Glycome, and Phenotype in the Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases, Including Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2023; 91(1):245-261. Dover M, Moseley T, Biskaduros A, Paulchakrabarti M, Hwang SH, Hammock B, Choudhury B, Kaczor-Urbanowicz KE, Urbanowicz A, Morselli M, Dang J, Pellegrini MPaul K, Bentolila LA, Fiala M. PMID: 36373322.

Non-rapid eye movement sleep determines resilience to social stress. Elife. 2022 09 23; 11. 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. PMID: 36149059; PMCID: PMC9586557.

Estrogen-sensitive medial preoptic area neurons coordinate torpor in mice. Nat Commun. 2020 12 11; 11(1):6378. 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. PMID: 33311503; PMCID: PMC7732979.

Sleep loss mediates the effect of stress on nitrergic signaling in female mice. Neurosci Lett. 2021 01 01; 740:135362. Chiem E, Nichols I, Van C, Kori S, Paul K. PMID: 33166635.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Amyloid-β Immunity, Energy, and Circadian Rhythm for Cognitive Protection of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Beyond Cholinesterase Inhibitors. J Alzheimers Dis. 2020; 75(3):993-1002. 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 KPellegrini M. PMID: 32390637.

Muscle, a conduit to brain for hormonal control of behavior. Horm Behav. 2018 09; 105:58-65.Schlinger BA, Paul K, Monks DA. PMID: 30040953.

Ehlen, J.C., Brager, A.J., Baggs, J., Pinckney, L., Gray, C.L., Debruyne, J.P., Esser, K.A., Takahashi, J.S., Paul, K.N., “Bmal1 function in skeletal muscle regulates sleep”, eLife, 1-15 (2017) .

Clark, K.P., Ehlen, J.C., Paul, K.N., “Race and Gender Disparities in Sleep-Disordered Breathing”, Journal of Sleep Disorders: Treatment & Care, 6 (1): 1-4 (2017) .

Brager A.J., Heemstra, L., Bhambra, R., Ehlen, J.C., Esser, K., Paul, K.N., Novak, C. M., “Homeostatic effects of exercise and sleep on metabolic processes in mice with an overexpressed skeletal muscle clock”, Biochimie, 132 : 161-165 (2017) .

Brager, A.J., Yang, T., Ehlen, J.C., Simon, R.P., Meller, R., Paul, K.N., “Sleep is critical for remote preconditioning-induce neuroprotection”, Sleep, 39 : 2033-2040 (2016) .

Ehlen, J.C., Jones, K.A., Pinckney, L., Gray, C.L. Burette, S., Weinberg, R.J., Evans, J.A., Brager, A., Zylka, M.J., Paul, K.N., Philphot, B.D., Debruyne, J.P, “Maternal Ube3a loss disrupts sleep homeostasis but leaves circadian rhythmicity largely intact”, Sleep, 35 : 13587-13598 (2015) .

Evans, J.A., Suen, T-C., Calif, B., Mitchell, A., Castanon-Cervantes, O., Baker, K.M., Kloehn, I., Baba, K., Teubner, B.J.W., Ehlen, J.C., Paul, K.N., Bartness, T.J., Tosini, G., Leise, T.L., Davidson, A.J, “Shell neurons of the master circadian clock coordinate the phase of tissue clocks throughout the brain and body”, Sleep, 13 : 1-15 (2015) .

Jefferson, F., Ehlen, J.C., Williams, N.S., Paul, K.N, “A dopamine D2-receptor agonist attenuates the ability of stress to alter sleep in mice”, Sleep, 155 : 4411-4421 (2014) .

Ehlen, J.C., Jefferson, F. Brager, A.J., Benveniste, M., Paul, K.N., “Period-Amplitude Analysis Reveals Wake-Dependent Changes in the Electroencephalogram during Sleep Deprivation”, Sleep, 36 : 1723-1735 (2013) .

Brager, A.J., Ehlen, J.C., Castanon-Cervantes, O., Natarajan, D., Delisser, P., Davidson, A., Paul, K.N, “Sleep loss and inflammatory markers under chronic environmental circadian disruption”, Sleep, 8 : 1-8 (2013) .

Ehlen, J.C., Hesse S., Pinckney, L., Paul, K.N, “Sex chromosomes regulate nighttime sleep propensity during recovery from sleep loss”, Sleep, 8 : 1-6 (2013) .