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Faculty and Staff Directory


Department of Translational Medicine and Physiology


MD, University of Szeged, Faculty of Medicine, Hungary
PhD, University of Szeged, Faculty of Medicine, Hungary


Microscopic Anatomy
Case-based learning small group facilitator
Nervous System


The focus of Dr. Szentirmai’s research is on neuronal circuits that are involved in regulating sleep-wake activity, feeding and metabolism. The purpose of her research is to understand how the brain uses metabolic and hormonal signals from metabolic organs (e.g. adipose tissues and liver), the gastrointestinal tract and the hypothalamus to control sleep and coordinate metabolism and vigilance. Her laboratory uses interdisciplinary approaches, from molecular neuroscience to behavior and organismal physiology.

Additional Information

Dr. Szentirmai is an associate professor at WSU Spokane’s medical education program. She is also affiliated with the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at WSU Pullman, as well as the Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane. She received her Doctor of Medicine and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Szeged, Faculty of Medicine, in Hungary. She started her post-doctoral training in the Department of Physiology at the same university. In 2005, Dr. Szentirmai joined Dr. James Krueger’s sleep research lab at Washington State University Pullman, where she continued her post-doctoral research on the neurobiology of sleep. Dr. Szentirmai joined the faculty in 2009, she teaches first and second-year students and conducts research.

Selected Publications

Szentirmai É, Massie A, Millican N and Kapás L. (2019) Butyrate, a metabolite of intestinal bacteria, enhances sleep.  Butyrate, a metabolite of intestinal bacteria, enhances sleep. Sci Rep. 9(1):7035. PMCID: PMC6504874

Szentirmai É and Kapás L. (2019) Sleep and body temperature in TNFα knockout mice: the effects of sleep deprivation, β3-AR stimulation and exogenous TNFα.  Brain, behavior, and Immunity, 81, 260-271. PMCID: PMC6754767

Szentirmai É and Kapás L. (2019) Nicotinic acid promotes sleep through prostaglandin synthesis in mice. Sci Rep. 9(1): 17084.

Massie A, Boland E, Kapás L, Szentirmai É. (2018) Mice Lacking Alternatively Activated (M2) Macrophages show impairments in restorative sleep after sleep loss and in cold environment. Sci Rep. 8(1):8625. PMCID: PMC5988741

Szentirmai É and Kapás L. (2017) The role of the brown adipose tissue in β3-adrenergic receptor activation-induced sleep, metabolic and feeding responses. Sci Rep. 7:958 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-01047-1. PMCID: PMC5430421

Ames C, Boland E and Szentirmai É. (2016) Effects of macrophage depletion on sleep in mice. PloS one 11 (7), e0159812. PMCID: PMC4956207

Szentirmai É and Kapás L. (2014) Intact brown adipose tissue thermogenesis is required for restorative sleep responses after sleep loss. Eur J Neuroscience,39(6):984-98.

Szentirmai É, Krueger JM. (2014) Sickness behaviour after lipopolysaccharide treatment in ghrelin deficient mice. Brain Behav Immun. 36:200-6.

Szentirmai É. (2012) Central but not systemic administration of ghrelin induces wakefulness in mice, PLoS One,7:e41172. PMCID:PMC3398952

Pellinen J, Szentirmai É. (2012) The effects of C75, an inhibitor of fatty acid synthase, on sleep and metabolism in mice. PLoS One, 7: e30651. PMCID: PMC3278418

Esposito M, Pellinen J, Kapás L and Szentirmai É. (2012) Impaired wake-promoting mechanisms in ghrelin receptor deficient mice. Eur. J. Neurosci, 35: 233-243

Gardi J, Nelson OL, Robbins CT, Szentirmai É, Kapás L and Krueger J.M. (2011) Energy homeostasis regulatory peptides in hibernating grizzly bears. Gen Comp Endocrinol, 172: 181-183. 243.

Krueger JM, Taishi P, De A, Davis CJ, Winters BD, Clinton J, Szentirmai É, Zielinski M.R.  (2010)  ATP and the purine type 2 X7 receptor affect sleep. J Appl Phys 109(5):1318-27.

Szentirmai É., Kapás L., Sun Y., Smith R.G., Krueger J.M. Restricted feeding-induced sleep, activity and body temperature changes in normal and preproghrelin deficient mice. Am J Physiol. 2010 298(2):R467-77. PMCID: PMC2828180

Szentirmai É., Kapás L., Sun Y., Smith R.G., Krueger J.M. The preproghrelin gene is required for normal integration of thermoregulation and sleep in mice. (2009) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(33):14069-14074. PMCID: PMC2729021

Kapás L, Bohnet GS, Traynor RT, Majde JA, Szentirmai É, Magrath P, Taishi P, Krueger J.M.  (2008) Spontaneous and influenza virus-induced sleep are altered in TNF-α double-receptor deficient mice.  J Appl Physiol. 105(4):1187-98.

Szentirmai É, Yasuda T, Taishi P, Wang M, Churchill L, Bohnet S, Magrath P, Kacsóh B, Jimenez L, Krueger J.M.  (2007)  Growth hormone-releasing hormone: cerebral cortical sleep-related EEG actions and expression.  Am J Physiol.  293: R922-R930.\

Majde JA, Bohnet S, Ellis GA, Churchill L, Leyva-Grado V, Wu M, Szentirmai É, Rehman A, Krueger J.M.  (2007)  Detection of mouse-adapted human influenza virus in the olfactory bulbs of mice within hours after intranasal infection.  J Neuro Virol 13: 1‑11.

Szentirmai É, Kapás L, Sun Y, Smith RG, Krueger J.M.  (2007)  Spontaneous sleep and homeostatic sleep regulation in ghrelin knockout mice.  Am J Physiol 293(1): R510-R517.

Szentirmai É, Kapás L, Krueger J.M.  (2007)  Ghrelin microinjection into forebrain sites induces wakefulness and feeding in rats.  Am J Physiol 292(1): R575-R585.

Alföldi P, Kapás L, Szentirmai É, Taishi P, Gardi J, Peterfi Z, Kacsóh B, Krueger J.M.  (2006)  The somatotropic axis in sleep and thermoregulation: a tribute to Ferenc Obál, Jr. (1948-2004).  J Therm Biol 31(1-2): 30-39.

Szentirmai É, Hajdu I, Obál F Jr., Krueger J.M.  (2006)  Ghrelin-induced sleep responses in ad libitum fed and food-restricted rats.  Brain Res 1088: 131-140.

Szentirmai É, Krueger J.M.  (2006)  Central administration of neuropeptide Y induces wakefulness in rats.  Am J Physiol 291(2): R473-R480.

Szentirmai É, Krueger J.M.  (2006)  Obestatin alters sleep in rats.  Neurosci Lett 404 (1‑2): 222-226.

Bodosi B, Gardi J, Hajdu I, Szentirmai É, Obál F Jr., Krueger J.M.  (2004)  Rhythms of ghrelin, leptin and sleep in rats: effects of the normal diurnal cycle, restricted feeding, and sleep deprivation.  Am J Physiol 287: R1071-R1079.

Hajdu I, Szentirmai É, Obál F Jr., Krueger J.M.  (2003)  Different brain structures mediate drinking and sleep suppression elicited by the somatostatin analog, octreotide, in rats.  Brain Res 994: 115-123.

Gardi J, Szentirmai É, Hajdu I, Obál F Jr., Krueger J.M.  (2001)  The somatostatin analog, octreotide, causes accumulation of growth hormone-releasing hormone and depletion of angiotensin in the rat hypothalamus.  Neurosci Lett 315: 37-40.

More publications

Eva Szentirmai