Leen is originally from Sudan but has called Colorado home since 2016. She is completing her undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Integrative physiology while conducting research at the Sleep and Development Lab. Her current research interests are about sleep and circadian health in children. She will be completing her Master’s degree at CU Boulder in Integrative Physiology in Fall 2022. When she's not in school, she loves to bake, read books and go to the gym.
Napping in children is necessary for their neurological and emotional development. Yet, the literature concerning this age group is not as robustly available as for adults. The objectives of this research are: (1) Identify clock genes associated with napping
behavior in children; (2) Identify the impact of variable napping behaviors on child development. To identify the genetic loci associated with the sleep phenotype of interest, a genome-wide association study was conducted using a 23andMe study cohort. 26 variants were shown to play a role specific to daytime napping. Variants at FADS1 and HCRTR2 were strongly associated with longer duration of daytime inactivity. The results from the Polygenic risk score analysis will provide insight into the genes responsible for variable napping behavior in children.
Research Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Monique L. LeBourgeois, Associate Professor, Integrative Physiology
Leen's McNair Scholars mentor was Sidney Aki.