Simon Warby is an Assistant Professor at the University of Montréal studying the genetics of sleep and sleep disorders. He is interested in understanding how sleep loss and disease can influence the activity of the brain, and how variations in the human genome modify this process. Important EEG microarchitectural features that appear during sleep, such as sleep spindles, are markers of healthy brain function and are linked to learning and memory. His lab develops informatic tools to quantitate sleep EEG features from large datasets in order to understand normal sleep, and identify physiological and genetic biomarkers useful for neurological, psychiatric, and sleep disorders.
Dr. Warby is the director of the Canadian Sleep Research Biobank, which facilitates the collection of biological materials such as blood, cells and DNA to enable genetic and biomarker studies within the Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network. Current projects include REM-sleep behavior disorder, sleep disordered breathing, and sleepwalking. One area of specific focus is the genetic basis of insomnia, which is closely linked to psychiatric diseases such as depression and anxiety.
In 2007, Dr Warby received a PhD for his work on the molecular and genetic aspects of Huntington disease with Dr Michael Hayden at the University of British Columbia. He conducted his Postdoctoral work on the quantitative analysis of EEG, and the identification of genetic factors that influence narcolepsy with Dr Emmanuel Mignot at Stanford University.
Dr. Warby has received numerous awards for his research, including a CIHR Banting Fellowship, a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Grant, and Young Investigator Award from the Sleep Research Society. He is currently supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Fonds de Recherche Santé Quebec, and the 'Chaire Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, SmithKline Beecham, Eli Lilly en psychopharmacologie de l'Université de Montréal'.