Kazue Semba



Email: k.semba@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-2008
Mailing Address: 
Room 13MN, Tupper Medical Building, 5850 College Street; PO Box 15000, 
Dalhousie University, 
Halifax, Nova Scotia
, Canada 
B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Neurobehavioural and physiological impacts of chronic sleep restriction
  • Role of astrocytes in sleep wake regulation
  • Basal forebrain mechanisms of sleep and wakefulness
  • Hormonal modulation of sleep regulation
  • Circadian control of sleep and waking


  • PhD (Rutgers University, Institute of Animal Behavior, USA)
  • MA (Tokyo University of Education, Japan)
  • BEd Honours (Tokyo University of Education, Japan)

Research interests

Dr. Semba’s research focus is on the neurobiology of sleep. Her approach is multifaceted, including basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of sleep/wake regulation, as well as cognitive and physiological consequences of chronic sleep loss. These questions are addressed using various combinations of behavioural, electrophysiological, anatomical, biochemical, and molecular techniques in rodent models.

Selected publications

  • Deurveilher, S. and Semba, K. (2005) Indirect projections from the suprachiasmatic nucleus to major arousal-promoting cell groups in rat: Implications for the circadian control of behavioural state. Neuroscience 130:165-183.
  • Kaur, S., Junek, A., Black, M.A., and Semba, K. (2008) Effects of ibotenate and 192IgG-saporin lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis/substantia innominata on spontaneous sleep and wake states and on recovery sleep after sleep deprivation in rats. J Neurosci 28:491-504.
  • Deurveilher, S., Rusak, B., Semba, K. (2012) Time-of-day modulation of homeostatic and allostatic sleep responses to chronic sleep restriction in rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 302: R1411-R1425.
  • Deurveilher, S., Seary ME, Semba, K. (2013) Ovarian hormones promote recovery from sleep deprivation by increasing sleep intensity in middle-aged ovariectomized rats. Hormones and Behavior 63:566-576.
  • Wallingford J, Deurveilher S, Currie RW, Fawcett JP, Semba K (2014) Increases in mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein in the frontal cortex and basal forebrain during chronic sleep restriction in rats: Possible role in initiating allostatic adaptation. Neuroscience 277:174-183.

Selected awards and honours

  • British Columbia Health Care Research Foundation Research Scholar Award, 1989-93 (declined)
  • Medical Research Council of Canada Scholar Award, 1990-95
  • Murray L. Barr Junior Scientist Award, Canadian Association of Anatomists, 1992
  • Service and Dedication Awards, Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, 2000, 2002
  • Visiting Scientist, Osaka Bioscience Institute, Japan, 2004

Academic positions held

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Iowa State University, 1979-80
  • Research specialist - Instructor, Rutgers Medical School, 1980-84
  • Research associate, University of British Columbia, 1984-1989
  • Associate professor, Dalhousie University, 1989-94
  • Professor, Dalhousie University, 1994-present

Selected services and professional activities

  • Editorial board member, The journal SLEEP, 2003 to present
  • NIH Study Section Integrative, Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience-3, member, 1999-2003
  • NIH Study Section Biological Rhythms and Sleep, member, 2003-05
  • CIHR Behavioural Sciences A, member, 2005, 2006, 2007-10, 2013