Faculty Profile

Satvinder Kaur, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

See publications

Society Memberships

Society for Neuroscience
Sleep Research Society

Research Unit(s)

Division of Sleep Medicine
Systems Neurobiology Group (Saper)

Research Interests

Creative and motivated System Neuroscientist, with established and proven record for publications and completing various projects. I study the neuronal networking in sleeping and awake brain states. Exceptional skills to conduct behavioral, biochemical, electrophysiological studies. Use novel genetic tools for selective manipulation of neural circuits involved in regulation of neuro-behavioral processes such as Sleep, Arousal, Pain, and Sleep Homeostasis.


Dr. Clifford. B. Saper

Dr. Peter Shiromani
Dr. Kazue Semba

Research Funding

NIH/ NHLBI, PI- CB Saper, MD: Mechanisms of Arousal in sleep apnea
Grant: 2PO1HL095491-06,
Role: Co-Investigator;
Goals: The goal of this project is to examine the role of pathways from the parabrachial nucleus, locus coeruleus and raphe neurons that project to the forebrain in EEG arousals to CO2 stimulation.

NIH/ NINDS, PI- S Kaur, PhD, Dissection of the circuitry regulating arousal to pain.
Grant: 1 R01 NS112175-01
Role: Principal investigator
Goal: To investigate the pathways underlying the waking up in response to acute pain using selective strategies that allows manipulation of selective brain circuits


2011- Present        
System Neurobiology Weekly Meetings. Attended by the Harvard fellows, residents, postdocs and faculty.

2011- Present       
Monthly Program Project Meetings, attended by Harvard faculty and fellows.

Tutored a course ‘Human Nervous System and Behavior’ (HNSB) for the second year medical students at the Harvard Medical School.
Harvard Medical School. 3 days/ wk. for 7 wks, with 2h/each session.

Report of Regional, National and International Invited Teaching
and Presentations

2017    A presentation of my work (A brain Circuit for Arousal during Apnea) for the invited “Key Note Address” for the 15th International Research Symposium on Sleep and Breathing, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, July 17-19th, 2017.

2017    My abstract titled “Dorsal raphe serotonergic neurons are part of the neuronal circuitry regulating CO2 - induced arousals’ chosen for the oral presentation at 15th International Research Symposium on Sleep and Breathing, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, on July 17th, 2017. This meeting is by- invitation only.

2018    My abstract titled ”Serotonergic Dorsal Raphe Neurons and the Neuronal Circuit for the Hypercapnia Induced Arousal was selected for the DATA BLITZ presentation at the 32nd Annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Socitey, held in Baltimore, MD, SLEEP 2018.

2019    Presented at 50th Society for Neuroscience Meeting, held in Chicago: “FoxP2 cells in the lateral parabrachial area (PBFOX-P2) regulate respiratory response to hypercapnia”.

Selected Publications

Haack, M., Simpson, N., Sethna, N, Kaur S, Mullington J, Sleep deficiency and chronic pain: potential underlying mechanisms and clinical implications. Neuropsychopharmacol. 45, 205–216 (2020) doi:10.1038/s41386-019-0439-z.

S Kaur, Saper CB. Neural Circuitry Underlying Waking Up to Hypercapnia. Front Neurosci. 2019 Apr 26;13: 401. PMID:31080401, PMCID: PMC6497806.

Saper CB, Kaur S.  Brain Circuitry for Arousal from Apnea. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2019 Apr 23. pii: 038125. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31015281.

Venner A, Todd W D,  Fraigne  J, Bowrey  H, Eban-Rothschild A, Kaur S, Anaclet C. Newly Identified Sleep-Wake and Circadian Circuits as Potential Therapeutic Targets. SLEEP 2019 (in press).

Todd W D, Fenselau H, Wang JL, Zhang R, Machado NL, Venner A, Broadhurst RY, Kaur S, Lynagh T, Olson D P, Lowell BB, Fuller PM, Saper CB. A hypothalamic circuit for the circadian control of aggression. Nat Neurosci. 2018 May;21(5):717-724. PubMed Central PMID:29632359 PMCID:PMC5920747.

Kaur S, Wang JL, Ferrari L, Thankachan S, Kroeger D, Venner A, Lazarus M, Wellman A, Arrigoni E, Fuller PM, Saper CB. A Genetically Defined Circuit for Arousal from Sleep during Hypercapnia. Neuron. 2017 Dec 6;96(5):1153-1167.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.10.009. Epub 2017 Nov 2. PubMed [citation] PMID: 29103805, PMCID: PMC5720904.

Yokota S, Kaur S, VanderHorst VG, Saper CB, Chamberlin NL. Respiratory-relatedoutputs of glutamatergic, hypercapnia-responsive parabrachial neurons in mice. J Comp Neurol. 2015 Apr 15;523(6):907-20. doi: 10.1002/cne.23720. Epub 2015 Jan 14.PubMed [citation] PMID: 25424719, PMCID: PMC4329052.

Pittman-Polletta B, Hsieh WH, Kaur S, Lo MT, Hu K. Detecting phase-amplitude coupling with high frequency resolution using adaptive decompositions. J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Apr 15;226:15-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Jan 19. PubMed [citation] PMID: 24452055, PMCID: PMC4048932.

Kaur S, Pedersen NP, Yokota S, Hur EE, Fuller PM, Lazarus M, Chamberlin NL, Saper CB. Glutamatergic signaling from the parabrachial nucleus plays a critical role in hypercapnic arousal. J Neurosci. 2013 May 1;33(18):7627-40. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0173-13.2013. PubMed [citation] PMID: 23637157, PMCID:PMC3674488.

Kaur S, Thankachan S, Begum S, Liu M, Blanco-Centurion C, Shiromani PJ. Hypocretin-2 saporin lesions of the ventrolateral periaquaductal gray (vlPAG) increase REM sleep in hypocretin knockout mice.
PLoS One. 2009 Jul 22;4(7):e6346. [PMID: 19623260]

Thankachan S, Kaur S, Shiromani PJ. Activity of pontine neurons during sleep and cataplexy in hypocretin knock-out mice.
J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 4;29(5):1580-5. [PMID: 19193905]

Liu M, Thankachan S, Kaur S, Begum S, Blanco-Centurion C, Sakurai T, Yanagisawa M, Neve R, Shiromani PJ. Orexin (hypocretin) gene transfer diminishes narcoleptic sleep behavior in mice.
Eur J Neurosci. 2008 Oct;28(7):1382-93. [PMID: 18973565]

Kaur S, Junek A, Black MA, Semba K. Effects of ibotenate and 192IgG-saporin lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis/substantia innominata on spontaneous sleep and wake states and on recovery sleep after sleep deprivation in rats.
J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 9;28(2):491-504. [PMID: 18184792]

Kaur S, Thankachan S, Begum S, Blanco-Centurion C, Sakurai T, Yanagisawa M, Shiromani PJ. Entrainment of temperature and activity rhythms to restricted feeding in orexin knock out mice.
Brain Res. 2008 Apr 18;1205:47-54. Epub 2008 Feb 21. [PMID: 18343358]

Zhang S, Lin L, Kaur S, Thankachan S, Blanco-Centurion C, Yanagisawa M, Mignot E, Shiromani PJ. The development of hypocretin (orexin) deficiency in hypocretin/ataxin-3 transgenic rats.
Neuroscience. 2007 Aug 10;148(1):34-43. Epub 2007 Jul 6. [PMID: 17618058]

Kaur S, Rusak B. Optic enucleation eliminates circadian rhythm shifts induced by stimulating the intergeniculate leaflet in Syrian hamsters.
Neurosci Lett. 2007 Nov 5;427(2):107-11. Epub 2007 Sep 19. [PMID: 17931778]

Book Chapters

Sleep and Sleep Disorders: A Neuropsycholpharmacological Approach
Mallick BN, Kaur S, Thankachan S, Pal D. Lader M, Cardinali DP, Pandi-Perumal SR, editors. Texas, USA: Landes Biosciences; 2004. Role of wakefulness area in the brainstem reticular formation in regulating rapid eye movement sleep. 1-8p.

Biophysical Processes in Living Systems
Mallick BN, Thankachan S, Kaur S, Jha SK. Saradhi PP, editor. Enfield, NH, USA: Science Publishers Inc.; 2001. Application of biophysical correlates to study neural regulation of some physiological phenomena. 327-341p.

The rapid eye movement sleep. Mallick BN, Kaur S, Jha SK, Siegel JM.
Mallick BN, S I, editors. New York: Marcel and Dekker; 1999. Possible role of GABA in the regulation of REM sleep with special reference to REM-OFF neurons. 153-166p.

Book Articles

Mallick, B.N., Kaur, S, Thankachan, S. and Pal, D. (2004) Role of wakefulness area in the brainstem reticular formation in regulating rapid eye movement sleep. In: Lader, M, Daniel P. Cardinali and Pandi-Perumal, S.R. (eds.) Sleep and Sleep Disorders: A Neuropsycholpharmacological Approach (Vol. 1& 2), Landes Bioscience. Texas, USA; 1-8.

Mallick, B. N, Thankachan S, Kaur S, Jha S.K. (2001) Application of biophysical correlates to study neural regulation of some physiological phenomena. In: Saradhi, P.P. (eds.) Biophysical Processes in Living Systems, Science Publishers Inc. Enfield, NH, USA; 327-341.

Mallick B N, Kaur S, Jha S K and Siegel J M (1999) Possible role of GABA in the regulation of REM sleep with special reference to REM-OFF neurons. In Mallick, B. N. and Inoue, S. (eds.), The rapid eye movement sleep, Marcel and Dekker, New York, pp. 153-166.

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