SAGIC

SAGIC Team

Dr. Allan Pack

Allan I. Pack, MB, ChB, PhD, is the Chairperson of the International Consortium for the Genetics of Sleep Apnea (SAGIC). Dr. Pack is pursuing research on genetics/genomics of sleep and its disorders. His laboratory is conducting studies in Drosophila and mice and translating these findings to humans. A particular focus of Dr. Pack’s work is to evaluate the genetic determinants of sleep homeostasis. Studies are ongoing to evaluate molecular mechanisms of sleepiness and sleep promotion using both hypothesis-driven and discovery science. The latter involves analysis of the changes in the transcription with sleep/wake and sleep deprivation in identified neuronal populations. Techniques being used include behavioral/sleep studies in Drosophila and mice, RT-PCR, Western analysis of protein, expression profiling, laser microcapture dissection, and immunohistochemistry. Dr. Pack is committed to research training and directs two training grants from the National Institutes of Health.

 

Dr. Chen

 

Ning-Hung Chen, MD, is Director of the Sleep Center and Chief of the Department of Internal Medicine in the TaoYuang Branch of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. He is also Vice President of the Asian Society of Sleep Research and the General Secretary of the Taiwan Society of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  Dr. Chen’s primary research interests include the pathogenesis and outcomes resulting from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and restless legs syndrome (RLS). His recent research has focused on RLS in Asian populations and he is particularly interested in the association and long-term consequences of RLS with chronic disorders.  Dr Chen is also involved in research examining airway measurement in different ethnic populations.

 

 

Dr. Cistulli Peter Cistulli, MD, PhD, is Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Discipline of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney, Head of the Centre for Sleep Health & Research at Royal North Shore Hospital, and leads the Upper Airway Structure & Function Research Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. His research interests include the mechanisms of airway collapse in sleep apnea, the influence of craniofacial structure on upper airway function during sleep, and the implications of this for treatment and prevention of OSA. His work on oral appliance therapy has earned him the Pierre Robin and Honorary Member Awards from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. This research has been largely funded by the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia. He is a former President of the Australasian Sleep Association, and is a current director of the National Sleep Foundation in Australia.

 

Annette Fedson

 

Annette C. Fedson, PhD, is pursuing research on genetics/genomics of sleep and its associated cardiovascular and metabolic co-morbidities. She recently completed a project examining the genetic epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea and how obesity affects the inter-relationship between sleep apnea and cardiovascular outcomes. Dr. Fedson is currently conducting a multi-collaborative project focused on the genetics of sleep apnea and links with coronary heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. She is interested in the mechanisms that lead to increased risk of coronary heart disease in subjects with obstructive sleep apnea, particularly the intermittent hypoxia phenomenon.

 

 

Dr. FietzeIngo Fietze, MD, PhD is Professor of Physiology and Head of the Center of Sleep Medicine, which he founded in 1990, at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. He has a degree in Biomedicine/Biophysics from the Medico-Biological Department, University of Moscow. Dr Fietze obtained his second Medical Degree at the Humboldt University Berlin. His specializations include pathophysiology, EEG and sleep medicine, internal medicine and pneumology, and his PhD thesis was focused on EEG rhythms in insomniacs and normal subjects. He studied sleep medicine in Marburg, Detroit and San Diego. Dr Fietze’s primary research includes the development of sleep recording equipment, and he is also active in research focusing on arousal differentiation, cardiovascular interactions in OSAS, particularly noninvasive risk markers, therapy compliance issues, and the relationship between OSAS and pulmonary diseases and stroke. He has published more than 30 articles in national and international journals. Dr Fietze is President of the Sleep Society Berlin/Brandenburg and Vice-President of the German Sleep Society since 2006.

 

Dr. Thorarinn Gislason


Thorarinn Gislason, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine and Supervising Physician at the Landspitali University Hospital. He is also the Director of the Department of Respiratory Medicine and Sleep located at the Landspitali University Hospital in Iceland. Dr. Gislason graduated from Medical University in 1977 and pursued graduate studies in pulmonary medicine in Uppsala, Sweden. He defended his doctoral thesis which investigated sleep apnea at Uppsala University in 1987. Dr. Gislason’s primary research interests include clinical symptoms and epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. In addition to sleep apnea, he is also active in international research which focuses on asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Dr. Gislason is a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Dr. Hillman David Hillman, MBBS, is currently head of the Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia, and Director of the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute. He received his medical degree from the University of Western Australia and subsequently trained in respiratory physiology and anaesthesiology, completing his anaesthesiology fellowship in Perth. His appointment as an anaesthetist and respiratory physiologist some years ago coincided with a worldwide surge in knowledge of sleep and its disorders including sleep apnoea, which have been major professional concerns of his ever since.   His clinical and research interests have centred on the physiology of the respiratory system and upper airway and their relationship to respiratory disease, sleep disorders and anaesthesia. He has published extensively in these and related areas. He is a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and an honorary fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

 

Dr. Levy Patrick Lévy, MD, PhD is Professor of Physiology at Grenoble University, France. He is the head of the Hypoxia Pathophysiology Laboratory (HP2) at Joseph Fourier University, a certified Inserm Unit (unit 1042). He is also Vice-Director of the Locomotion Rehabilitation and Physiology department at Grenoble University Hospital.  He is currently the clinical vice-president of the European Sleep Research Society. Patrick Lévy has been involved in sleep disordered breathing (SDB) for the last 25 years. His clinical and research interests are mainly hypoxia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For this reason, he set one of the most active European Research Laboratory in clinical and experimental research on OSA and intermittent hypoxia. His laboratory has produced more than 150 international articles in the last 10 years and published in the best journals of the Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Sleep fields. The most effective research strategy has been to combined cardiovascular phenotyping of OSA or other SDB patients e.g. Obesity Hypoventilation, and experimental data issued from animal experiments i.e. rodents exposed to intermittent hypoxia.

 

Dr. Magalang

Ulysses J. Magalang, MD, is Professor of Medicine at the Ohio State University and is member of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy. Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. He is the Director of the Sleep Disorders Center and the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program. Dr. Magalang’s research interests include the control of upper airway patency as it relates to the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea. He has utilized animal models to examine the effects of obesity and aging, and the role of the serotoninergic neuronal system, on pharyngeal collapsibility. More recently, his research has focused on the effects of intermittent hypoxia on adipose tissue function. As an active clinician, he is also involved in clinical research and has utilized cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to assess the effects of CPAP treatment on heart structure and function. Dr. Magalang’s ongoing research is currently supported by an RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

 

Dr. Mukherjee Sutapa Mukherjee, MBBS, PhD, is a respiratory and sleep physician with a strong research background in epidemiology, lung malignancy and sleep medicine. She holds clinical appointments as a respiratory and sleep physician at the WA Sleep Disorders Research Institute in Perth, Western Australia (WA) and runs her own private practice. Dr. Mukherjee is the Director of the Western Australian Sleep Health study which includes several thousand sleep clinic patients with sleep apnea. She is the Chairperson of the Sleep Epidemiology Research Group in WA and Chair of the Research Committee of the Australian Sleep Trials Network from 2006-2009. She has been invited to speak at National meetings and symposia on sleep apnoea genetics and biobanking strategies related to sleep medicine. Dr Mukherjee’s research interests include asbestos-related lung disease and diesel exposure (comprising part of her post-doctoral research at Harvard School of Public Health, 2000-2003). Since 2003 she has continued her research interests with the 2 major foci being sleep and occupational epidemiology. She reviews for the International Journal of Epidemiology, Carcinogenesis and Sleep.

 

Dr. Palmer Lyle J. Palmer, PhD, is Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and the Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study, a large population-based cohort study. Prior to moving to Canada in July 2010, Dr. Palmer was the foundation Winthrop Chair in Genetic Epidemiology and the founding Director of the Centre for Genetic Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of Western Australia, where he was also a Professor in the Schools of Medicine & Pharmacology and Population Health. Until 2003, he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Statistical Genomics at the Channing Laboratory. Dr. Palmer is an expert in the genetics of complex respiratory diseases and has a particular interest in the areas of life-course genetic epidemiology and the developmental origins of health and disease. He has been recognized for his leadership role in biomedical research by numerous awards, including Fulbright and Churchill Fellowships.

 

Dr. Thomas Penzel

 

Thomas Penzel, PhD, is Professor of Physiology and the Scientific Director at the Centre of Sleep Medicine, Charité University Hospital in Berlin. The Center is affiliated with the Department of Cardiology. Research focuses on the development of devices for ambulatory investigation of sleep and sleep disorders and the development of new analysis algorithms to detect sleep disorders. Dr. Penzel has been a member of the German Sleep Society Board from 1993 to 2001. In 2001 he received the Bial price for clinical medicine with an international group working on neurotelemedicine in the republic of Portugal. In 2008 Dr. Penzel received the Bill Gruen award for innovations in sleep research given by the American Sleep Research Society. Dr. Penzel has published more than 160 papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals and edited 6 books. Since 2003 he is the editor-in-chief of the German journal Somnologie.

 

Dr. Schwab

Richard J. Schwab, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Penn Sleep Center at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Dr. Schwab's research has focused on the pathogenesis, genetics and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea utilizing novel upper airway imaging techniques. The focus of his research is to understand the mechanisms leading to sleep apnea by evaluating the structure and function of the upper airway using physiologic imaging techniques. He has studied patients with magnetic resonance imaging in order to understand the biomechanical interrelationships between the craniofacial and soft tissue structures and how changes to these structures mediate upper airway caliber. He has developed a morphometric paradigm examining the upper airway using digital pictures with a laser ruler in order to quantify the size of the soft tissue and craniofacial structures of the pharynx.

 

 

Dr. TufikSergio Tufik, PhD, is Professor of Psychobiology at the Universidade de SAO Paulo, and the Coordinator at the Centro de Estudos do Sono (Instituto do Sono). Dr. Tufik graduated from the Medical Sciences Faculty of the Santa Casa de SAO Paulo (1972) and holds a Master's Degree in Physiology (1976) from this university. He completed his PhD in Psychcopharmacology at the Escola Paulista de Medicina (1978). Dr. Tufik is the Scientific Advisor to FAPESP and CAPES and presides over the Associaçao Fundo de Incentivo a  Psicofarmacologia. He is a member of many societies including the Sociedade Brasileira de Sono, Sociedade Brasileira de Neurociencias e Comportamento, Federaçao Latino-americana de Sociedades de Sono, American Association of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Research Society, World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine, World Association of Sleep Medicine, European Sleep Research Societies and American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Tufik is on the Editorial Board of the journal Sleep Medicine, and works with Brazilian journals as well as the Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Sleep, Psychopharmacology, Life Sciences, Sleep Research Online, European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience.

 

 

 

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