Gina Poe, Ph.D.

Gina Poe, Ph.D. has been working since 1995 on the mechanisms through which sleep serves memory consolidation and restructuring. Dr. Poe is a southern California native who graduated from Stanford University and then worked for two post-baccalaureate years at the VA researching Air Force Test Pilots’ brainwave signatures under high-G maneuvers. She earned her Ph.D. in Basic Sleep in the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program at UCLA under the guidance of Ronald Harper. Thereafter, she moved to the University of Arizona for her postdoctoral studies with Carol Barnes and Bruce McNaughton, looking at the graceful degradation of hippocampal function in aged rats as well as hippocampal coding in a 3-D maze navigated in the 1998 space shuttle mission. She brought these multiunit teachings to answer a burning question of whether REM sleep was for remembering or forgetting and found that the activity of neurons during REM sleep is consistent both with the consolidation of novel memories and the elimination of already consolidated memories from the hippocampus, readying the associative memory network for new learning the next day.

Moving first to Washington State University and then to the University of Michigan before joining UCLA in 2016, Poe has over 80 undergraduates, 9 graduate students and 8 postdoctoral scholars and has served in university faculty governance. In addition, she has led 5 different programs designed to diversify the neuroscience workforce and increase the representation of people of the global majority in the STEM fields. At UCLA, she continues research and teaching and directs the COMPASS-Life Sciences and BRI-SURE programs and co-directs the MARC-U*STAR program. Nationally, she has served as course director of the Marine Biological Lab’s SPINES course and co-directs the Society for Neuroscience’s NSP program, which earned the nation’s highest mentoring honor in 2018. These programs have over 1000 Ph.D.-level alumni.

More in this category: « Edward (Eddie) Ndopu
Talk Title:
Sleep on It: Discoveries of How Emotional and Cognitive Functions Reset During Sleep

Thursday, November 16
Opening Keynote
9:00 - 9:30 a.m. MT

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