Yo-El S. Ju, MD, MSCI
B. Burton & R.M. Morriss III Professor of Neurology
Sleep Medicine Center
Washington University School of Medicine
Yo-El Ju is an associate professor of neurology and a physician-scientist studying the relationship of sleep and neurodegenerative diseases. Ju earned her undergraduate degree in neurobiology at Harvard College, followed by a MD at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. She completed her residency training in neurology, fellowship training in sleep medicine, and a master’s degree in clinical investigation, all at Washington University in St Louis. She is board-certified in neurology and sleep medicine. She joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in 2011.
Ju sees patients with a variety of sleep disorders, and runs a clinic devoted to REM sleep behavior disorder, which is a key research area. She is the principal investigator for the North American Prodromal Synucleinopathy Consortium, which has the goal of clinical trials of neuroprotective therapies in REM sleep behavior disorder to prevent Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Another major area of Ju’s research is the bi-directional relationship of sleep disruption and Alzheimer disease risk. Her research lab is currently enrolling volunteers for several clinical research studies, including how sleep and electroencephalography (EEG, or brain waves) can be used as biomarkers of brain changes related to Alzheimer disease, prior to any symptoms. She is co-director of the Washington University Center on Biological Rhythms and Sleep (COBRAS), which serves as a hub for sleep and circadian researchers across the university. Ju is the recipient of multiple awards for her research, including the Wayne Hening Sleep Medicine Investigator Award from the American Academy of Neurology, and the Young Investigator award from the World Association of Sleep Medicine.