I currently investigate how chemotherapeutics influence sleep. Estimates suggest that 75-96% of cancer patients suffer from chemotherapy-induced fatigue, and 30-50% of cancer patients report sleep disturbances. Despite the high prevalence of these problems, the mechanism by which chemotherapeutics alter vigilance states is not known. Extensive research has demonstrated the somnogenic effects of central inflammation. Many cancers and chemotherapeutics initiate or exacerbate inflammation. This is hypothesized to lead to downstream cytokine production and cancer or chemotherapy-induced side effects. My primary hypothesis is that chemotherapy alters sleep because it promotes hypothalamic inflammation. My preliminary data suggest that chemotherapy increases and fragments sleep in conjunction with increased hypothalamic IL-6 transcription. I aim to further develop our model of chemotherapy-induced sleep disruption, and begin to investigate specific neuronal populations in the hypothalamus which may be selectively influenced by chemotherapy to alter vigilance states. Ultimately, I hope to attenuate chemo-induced sleep disruption via suppression of hypothalamic inflammation.
I also investigate seasonal changes in immune function. Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) dramatically reorganize their behavior and physiology in response to seasonal changes in photoperiod (day length). I aim to understand how these animals transduce photoperiodic signals to change their responses to immune challenges.
2015 - Ohio State University Presidential Fellowship
2014 - Society for Neuroscience Advocacy Ambassador
2014 – Society for Neuroscience Graduate Student Travel Award ($1000)
2014 – Council of Graduate Students Neuroscience Delegate
Weil ZM1, Borniger JC1, Cisse YM, Abi Salloum BA, Nelson RJ. (2015). Neuroendocrine control of photoperiodic changes in immune function. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 37:108-18.(1 indicates co-first authors)
Borniger JC, Gaudier-Diaz MM, Zhang N, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC. (2015). Cytotoxic chemotherapy increases sleep and sleep fragmentation in non-tumor-bearing mice. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 47:218-27.
Borniger JC, Maurya SK, Periasamy M, Nelson RJ (2014). Acute dim light at night increases body mass, alters metabolism, and shifts core body temperature circadian rhythms. Chronobiology International 31(8): 917-925
Borniger JC, McHenry ZD, Abi Salloum BA, Nelson RJ (2014). Exposure to dim light at night during early development increases adult anxiety-like responses. Physiology & Behavior 133:99-106
Borniger JC, Weil ZM, Zhang N, Nelson RJ (2013). Dim light at night does not disrupt timing or quality of sleep in mice. Chronobiol Int 30:1016-1023
Borniger JC, Chaudhry A, Muehlenbein MP (2013) Relationships among Musical Aptitude, Digit Ratio and Testosterone in Men and Women. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57637.