William Moody received his B.S. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University in 1972 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University in 1977. He then did research in laboratories at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Bristol, England. In 1983, he joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he has worked ever since.
Moody’s laboratory studies the roles of electrical activity in the early development of the brain. His studies have investigated the mechanisms by which the developing brain spontaneously generates large-scale waves of activity that cross the entire cerebral cortex early in development; studies of these waves have been performed in isolated tissue as well as in the intact animal.
Recently, his research group has developed optical methods to measure activity over the entire brain of neonatal mice through the intact skull. These studies have led to the discovery that large-scale waves of activity in the neonatal brain occur almost exclusively during sleep. His group is now extending this finding to study potential abnormalities in early electrical activity in mouse models of autism spectrum disorders, since disruptions in sleep-wake cycles are known to occur in individuals with these disorders.