Luis de Lecea obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Barcelona. He then moved to The Scripps Research Institute where he identified two neuropeptides with key functions in cortical excitability and sleep regulation: cortistatin and the hypocretins (Hcrts).
In the early 2000s Dr. de Lecea continued to decipher the role of Hcrt neurons on normal sleep/wake regulation and in brain reward function. In 2006 he moved to Stanford University, where he is currently a tenured Professor, and pioneered optogenetic methods in vivo to deconstruct the neuronal underpinnings of sleep and arousal. During the last decade, his group has demonstrated a causal role of neuromodulators on wake stability. Prof. de Lecea’s work has had a profound impact in sleep neuroscience, accumulating more than 150 manuscripts cited over 26,000 times, and received broad recognition, including the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Sleep Research Society.