Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology

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Sleep is universal much like our need to eat and breath. We know sleep is essential to health, and sleep is the first thing we do when we are sick, but we still do not know why sleep is so important. These and many other questions about sleep and circadian processes is what the CSCN is trying to answer.


Our mission is to develop and support programs of excellence in sleep and circadian research and education throughout the University of Pennsylvania. To achieve this, we promote leadership, foster collaboration, and commit core resources to create opportunities for faculty and students.

Center Goals

  • Maintain a dynamic infrastructure and pipeline of new outstanding investigators in this still emerging discipline. To facilitate this, the Center has administered two T32 grants and a K12 award to train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Create a community of scholars and state of the art didactics in sleep and circadian rhythm. To facilitate this, the Center hosts many seminar series as well as an annual research retreat.
  • Translate basic science findings to clinical sleep medicine. To facilitate this, the Center is involved in Personalized Medicine and comparative effectiveness research.




Recognizing that sleep medicine is an inherently interdisciplinary field, the University of Pennsylvania established the first medical school-wide sleep center in 1991. In 2006, Penn's comprehensive center for sleep was one of two centers acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine as a model center for other major academic centers to follow. Since then other universities have adopted this model including Emory, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Stanford, and Wisconsin. Furthermore, the Center's model is being adopted internationally in Sydney, Australia, Taipei, Taiwan, and Berlin, Germany.