SNSF-Professor, Eccellenza Fellowship, PD, Dr. sc. nat.
Salome Kurth is Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Fribourg. Salome’s research interests are the maturation of sleep rhythm, sleep neurophysiology across the developmental period, cognitive development in early childhood and interactions with family context, nutrition, and gut microbiome.
She pioneered pediatric research using high-spatial resolution EEG. She created sleep maps of the developing brain and discovered that slow wave activity (SWA, 1-4.5 Hz; a deep-sleep marker) shifts from posterior-to-anterior scalp regions, mirroring cortical anatomical maturation and associated behavioral functions. This research elucidates the brain connectome using a non-invasive, innovative approach. Her lab initiated research on novel connectivity markers and behavioral outcomes in infancy. They pioneered the exploration of the dynamic relationship between infant sleep regulation, gut microbiota, and neurodevelopment. Her findings show that SWA maps relate to gut microbiome profiles, with the strongest links occurring around 3 months of age, a critical period for predicting behavioral and developmental outcomes based on sleep habits and bacterial markers. Her latest work focused on early-life nutrition, and shows that maintaining a regular eating rhythm is reflected in gut microbiota and that high eating regularity predicts less fragmented nighttime sleep in infants. This opens new possibilities for interventions, including dietary adjustments and pediatric sleep education - a proactive approach to protecting long-term neurodevelopment.
Since 2019, she holds a SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship at the University of Fribourg. Prior to her position in Fribourg, she held a Junior Start-up grant from the Clinical Research Priority Program “Sleep and Health” at the University of Zurich, in the Departments of Neurology and Pulmonology at the University Hospital Zurich (2016 - 2018). Between 2012 and 2016 she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Salome received her Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 2011, with the International PhD Program in Neuroscience from the Neuroscience Center Zurich, she obtained her M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Bern in 2007.
- Find out more: www.baby-sleep.ch
- Outreach activities: www.baby-sleep.ch/blog-en/
- SNSF projects: https://data.snf.ch/grants/grant/181279