Kaspar Vogt

Affiliation:International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine, University of Tsukuba

Research Title


Sleep and sleep regulation - understanding cortical slow waves.

01 Research Summary

Missing sleep for even a few hours is unpleasant and normal mental tasks, such as driving, become more and more difficult. Luckily, sleep, especially deep, slow wave sleep will restore the brain's ability to function. During slow wave sleep neurons in the cortex alternate between silent OFF states and active ON states in a highly synchronous manner - giving rise to characteristic waves in the electro-encephalogram (EEG). The activity during the ON states resembles waking, but we are now finding important differences between wake activity and the activity patterns observed in sleep. We want to characterize the activity of neurons and of neural networks during slow wave sleep to understand the function of this specific activity pattern and its regulation.


02 Major achievements

Locus coeruleus and dopaminergic consolidation of everyday memory. Takeuchi T, Duszkiewicz AJ, Sonneborn A, Spooner PA, Yamasaki M, Watanabe M, Smith CC, Fernández G, Deisseroth K, Greene RW, Morris RG. Nature. 2016 Sep 15;537(7620):357-362. doi: 10.1038/nature19325. Epub 2016 Sep 7

An Adenosine-Mediated Glial-Neuronal Circuit for Homeostatic Sleep. Bjorness TE, Dale N, Mettlach G, Sonneborn A, Sahin B, Fienberg AA, Yanagisawa M, Bibb JA, Greene RW. J Neurosci. 2016 Mar 30;36(13):3709-21. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3906-15.2016

Diversity in GABAergic signaling. Vogt K. Adv Pharmacol. 2015;73:203-22. doi: 10.1016/bs.apha.2014.11.009. Epub 2015 Jan 14

03 Education/Academic background and major awards

I graduated from Medical School in Bern, Switzerland in 1993 and then entered an MD-PhD. program at the University of Bern from which I graduated in 1996.

From 1996 to 2001 I did postdoctoral research in neuroscience in Roger Nicoll's lab at UCSF and Wade Regehr's at Harvard Medical School. In 2002 I received a National Assistant Professor's Grant in Switzerland to pursue my own research. In 2006 I started an Assistant Professorship at the Biozentrum at University of Basel, focusing on the neurobiology of the GABAergic system and on novel imaging techniques in neuroscience. in 2014 I moved to Tsukuba as an associate professor at IIIS.


Why did you become a scientist?

The pleasure of finding out.

I did not have one bright moment when I know I wanted to be a scientist. It grew on me. The more I was allowed to do science the more I enjoyed it. It helps that I find myself part of a global endeavor with colleagues all over the world who share my fascination and motivation.

What are you most interested in lately?

Getting to know Japanese Culture

It does not really qualify as a hobby, but it occupies a large fraction of what I do outside of the lab. Just slowly getting to know the language is quite a task. It shows me new perspectives and challenges me to see things from new perspectives.