Sleep Research Society &

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Undergraduate, Graduate and Postgraduate Training Opportunities 

in Basic and Clinical Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine

2001 - V Edition


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Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and UCLA School of Medicine


Research Service (151A3)


16111 Plummer Street

North Hills, CA 91343



Faculty (Name, Email address)

Dennis McGinty, Ph.D.

Ronald Szymusiak, Ph.D.

Md. Noor Alam, Ph.D. 

Types of Training Available


Types of Funding Available

Undergraduate and graduate trainees funded from V.A. or NIH grants.
Postdoctoral trainees funded from V.A. or NIH grants and may apply for Fellowships from NIH and NRC.

Current Trainees

Rubin Guzman-Marin, M.D., Ph.D.

Natalia Suntsova, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Melvi Methiapara, Ph.D.

Hui Gong, M.D.

Xinzheng Xi, M.D., Ph.D.

Students Who Have Completed Training in the Past Five Years and Current Status

Stephen Morairty, Ph.D., Research Associate, Stanford Research Institute

Teresa Steininger, Ph.D. Research Associate, Dept. Psychiatry, Univ. Wisconsin, School of Medicine

Timothy Hays, Ph.D. National Institute of Mental Health

Primary Research Focus of Laboratory

Neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of hypothalamic and forebrain mechanisms of sleep and arousal regulation. Regulation of body temperature and interactions between sleep and thermoregulation. Basic mechanisms of the control of breathing during sleep. Basic mechanisms underlying interactions between circadian rhythms and sleep regulation.

Technical Capabilities of the Lab

Chronic electrophysiology in laboratory animals.
Single unit recording in unanesthetized, unrestrained animals
Monitoring of thermoregulatory and respiratory variables in chronic animals
In vivo microdialysis
Retrograde and anterograde anatomical tract tracing methodologies
Immunohistochemical staining of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and immediate-early gene products
In vitro slice neurophysiology

Primary Training Focus

Basic mechanisms of sleep regulation in animal models

Other Training Opportunities


Representative Publications for Last Five Years

Szymusiak, R., M.N. Shouse and D. McGinty. Brainstem stimulation during sleep evokes abnormal rhythmic activity in thalamic neurons in feline penicillin epilepsy. Brain Res. 713:253-260, 1996.

Alam, M.N., D. McGinty and R. Szymusiak. Thermosensitive neurons of the diagonal band in rats: relation to wakefulness and non rapid eye movement sleep. Brain Res. 752:81-89, 1997.

Hays, T., S. Morairty, R. Szymusiak and D. McGinty. The effects of temperature and synaptic blockade in vitro on neurons of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca in the rat basal forebrain. Brain Res. 746:52-58, 1997.

Szymusiak, R., M.N. Alam, T.L. Steininger and D. McGinty. Sleep-waking discharge patterns of ventrolateral preoptic/anterior hypothalamic neurons in rats. Brain Res. 803:178-188, 1998.

Hays, T. R. Szymusiak and D. McGinty. GABAA receptor modulation of temperature sensitive neurons in the diagonal band of Broca in vitro. Brain Res. 845:215-223, 1999.

Steininger, T.L., M.N. Alam, Hui Gong, R. Szymusiak and D. McGinty. Sleep-waking discharge of neurons in the posterior lateral hypothalamus of the albino rat. Brain Res. 840: 138-147, 1999.

Nakao, M., H. Nishiyama, D. McGinty, R. Szymusiak and M. Yamamoto. A model-based interpretation of the biphasic daily pattern of sleepiness. Biol. Cybern. 81: 403-414, 1999.

Nakao, M., H., D. McGinty, R. Szymusiak and M. Yamamoto Thermoregulatory model of sleep control: Losing the heat memory. J. Biol. Rhythms 14:547-556, 1999.

Alam, M.N., R. Szymusiak, H. Gong, J. King and D. McGinty. Adenosinergic modulation of rat basal forebrain neurons during sleep and waking: neuronal recording with

microdialysis. J. Physiol. 521:679-690, 1999.

Guzman-Marin, R., M.N. Alam, R. Szymusiak, R. Drucker-Colin, H. Gong and D. McGinty. Discharge modulation of rat dorsal raphe neurons during sleep and waking: effects of preoptic/basal forebrain warming. Brain Res. 875:23-34, 2000.

Szymusiak, R., M.N. Alam and D. McGinty. Discharge patterns of neurons in cholinergic regions of the basal forebrain during waking and sleep. Behav. Brain Res. 115:.171-182, 2000

Gong, H, R. Szymusiak, J. King, T. Steininger and D. McGinty. Sleep-related c-fos protein expression in the preoptic hypothalamus: effects of ambient warming. Am J. Physiol., 279: R2079-R2088, 2000.

McGinty, D. and R. Szymusiak. The sleep-wake switch: A neuronal alarm clock. Nature Medicine 6:510-511, 2000.

Methipparra, M.M., M.N. Alam, R. Szymusiak and D. McGinty. Effects of lateral preoptic area application of orexin-A on sleep-wakefulness. Neuroreport 11:3423-3426. 2000.

Steininger, T.L., H. Gong, D. McGinty, and R. Szymusiak. Subregional organization of preoptic area/anterior hypothalamic projections to arousal-related monoaminergic cell groups. J. Comp. Neurol 429:638,653, 2001.

Szymusiak, R., T.L. Steininger, M.N. Alam and D. McGinty. Preoptic area sleep-regulating mechanisms. Arch Ital. Biol. 139: 77-92, 2001.

McGinty, D., M.N. Alam, R. Szymusiak, M. Nakao and M. Yamamoto, Hypothalamic sleep-promoting mechanisms: coupling to thermoregulation. Arch. Ital. Biol. 139:63-57, 2001.