Dipesh Chaudhury is a faculty at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). A native of Malaysia who had spent his formative years in the UK, Dipesh is a neuroscientist who received his BSc in Toxicology and Pharmacology from the London School of Pharmacy, University of London (UK) and PhD in Neuroscience from the Open University (UK). He held various post-doctoral positions in the US (UCLA, Cornell and Mount Sinai Medical School) and France (CNRS) before starting his own lab at NYUAD where his group is one of the few in the GCC investigating the connection between sleep-wake cycle and mood disorders. To answer these questions, his group use a multidisciplinary approach combining rodent (behavioural) models of stress/depression, in-vitro / in-vivo electrophysiology, in-vitro / in-vivo imaging, viral tracing and optogenetics to systematically investigate cellular processes in neural circuits of the rodent brain connecting sleep-wake centers to regions that regulate mood. Additionally, his lab uses state of the art molecular assays to investigate changes in the genome profiles of these circuits, which will enable his group to elucidate the molecular basis of sleep disruption and mood disorders. They have published work that suggests abnormal sleep patterns may be predictive of vulnerability to stress. These findings are highly exciting as it may lead to the development of clinical applications where sleep patterns may be used to screen people who may be exposed to high stress job situations (1st responders, soldiers etc). By having simple non-invasive markers of stress susceptibility, such as sleep patterns, it may be possible to develop strategies to protect vulnerable people. Dipesh’s group have also shown mice that are susceptible to stress do not adapt to jet-lag as well as mice that are resilient to stress. Their research is highly relevant to the UAE since night-time exposure to artificial light, shift work, and regular travel across time zones that disrupts sleep-wake cycles can have negative consequences on health. Moreover, sleep and mood disorders are increasing in the UAE because of its comorbidities with other diseases that are prevalent within the local Emirati community such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Thus, having a better understanding the neurobiological cause and consequences of sleep-wake disruptions has critical regional health implications.
Most research interests for a scientist
Stress, Mood Disorders, Circadian Rhythms, Sleep