Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Center of Sleep Sciences and Medicine and the Center for Narcolepsy. Dr. Mignot is a former student of the Ecole Normale Superieure (Ulm, Paris, France). He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Paris V and VI University in France. He practiced medicine in France for several years before serving as a visiting scholar at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center and later as a visiting assistant professor at Stanford University. He joined the Stanford faculty as acting assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and was named director of the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy in 1993. Dr. Mignot was named professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in 2001. He was named director of the newly developed Stanford Center of Sleep Sciences and Medicine in 2009.
Dr. Mignot identified and cloned a mutation in the hypocretin (orexin) receptor-2 gene from dogs suffering from the symptoms of narcolepsy. He went on to find that human narcolepsy is due to the specific loss of hypocretin-expressing neurons. This discovery is considered one of the most important in sleep research for the last 50 years. It has now led to the development of new hypnotics that block the hypocretin (orexin) receptor, and is likely to have other therapeutic applications as well.
Following on this discovery, his laboratory went on to how that the disorder has a genetic architecture strongly suggesting involvement of HLA presentation to CD4 T cells. Following on this finding, his laboratory demonstrated that narcolepsy is a selective autoimmune disease of the hypocretin system, also showing for the first time the involvement of molecular mimicry in humans, with influenza A in this case. He also works on various other sleep disorders, and has a special interest in developing new biomarkers of disease and brain health using signal processing of nocturnal polysomnography.
Dr. Mignot has received numerous research grants and honors, including National Sleep Foundation and National Institute of Health Research Awards, the Narcolepsy Network professional service award, the Drs. C. and F. Demuth 11th Award for Young Investigators in the Neurosciences, the WC Dement Academic Achievement Award in sleep disorders medicine, the CINP and ACNP awards in neuropharmacology, the Mc Knight Neuroscience award, an Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Award and the Jacobaeus prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the Institute of Medicine. He is the co-author of more than 200 original scientific publications, and he serves on the editorial board of scientific journals in the field of psychiatry and sleep disorders research. Dr. Mignot is an active member of several professional and governmental organizations and is former chair of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research Advisory board (NHLBI) and former chair of the board of Scientific Counselor (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health.
Most of his current research focuses on the neurobiology, genetics and immunology of narcolepsy, a disorder caused by hypocretin (orexin) cell loss, with indirect interest in the neuroimmunology of other brain disorders. His laboratory uses state of the art human genetics techniques, such as genome wide association, exome or whole genome sequencing in the study of human sleep and sleep disorders, with parallel studies in animal models. His laboratory is also interested in web-based assessments of sleep disorders, computer-based processing of polysomnography (PSG), and outcomes research.