Jon T. Willie MD, PhD

Emory University

Jon T. Willie received his MD and PhD degrees from University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas where he was mentored in molecular genetics by Masashi Yanagisawa, MD, PhD. His thesis work helped define the critical role of loss of the orexin/hypocretin neuropeptide signaling system in the pathophysiology of narcolepsy and cataplexy using mouse models. He went on to residency in neurosurgery at Washington University in St. Louis where, in the lab of David Brody, MD, PhD, he also developed a mouse model to correlate neurochemistry and sleep/wake behavior after traumatic brain injury. He completed a clinical fellowship in functional, stereotactic, and epilepsy surgery at Emory University in Atlanta, where he has been on faculty for the last 6 years. In addition to publishing minimally invasive stereotactic laser ablation as an alternative to open surgery for epilepsy, his laboratory studies the use of translational neuromodulatory therapies for sleep/wake, memory, and anxiety disorders using rodent models and neurosurgery patients. He has been the recipient of research funding from the Neurosurgery Research and Education Fund, Sleep Research Society Foundation, NIH, and DARPA. He also receives industry funding in support of clinical trials of minimally invasive surgical therapies for epilepsy and brain injuries.