Pierre-Hervé Luppi, PhD

Research Director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Head of the Sleep Team (Physiopathologie des réseaux neuronaux du cycle veille-sommeil)

Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon 1

Awarded in celebration of the life and work of Dr. Pierre-Hervé Luppi, pioneer in elucidating the brain circuitry that controls paradoxical (or rapid eye movement, REM) sleep.

Dr. Luppi’s notable areas of scientific contribution include:

  • Defining the sublaterodorsal nucleus as a key brain region for generating paradoxical sleep and demonstrating that its neurons are largely glutamatergic;
  • Demonstrating the role of the ventromedial medullary GABA/glycine neurons in relaying inputs from the sublaterodorsal nucleus to inhibit spinal motor neurons, causing muscle atonia during paradoxical sleep;
  • Determining the key inputs to the sublaterodorsal nucleus from the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray matter and deep mesencephalic nucleus that inhibit the generation of paradoxical sleep;
  • Elucidating the role of monoaminergic neurons in inhibiting paradoxical sleep, and of GABAergic inputs that inhibit the monoamine neurons and promote paradoxical sleep;
  • Discovering that melanin-concentrating hormone-producing neurons in the hypothalamus play a critical role in promoting paradoxical sleep;
  • Identifying supramammillary neurons that activate the hippocampus and cerebral cortex during paradoxical sleep; and
  • Explicating the role of the brain circuitry controlling paradoxical sleep in the pathophysiology of narcolepsy and REM sleep behavior disorder.

Harvard Medical School
Division of Sleep Medicine

2022 Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine Prize Recipient

See more information about the 2022 Sleep and Health Benefit Dinner.