Message from Center Director Allan I. Pack, MBChB, PhD
2016 marks the 25th year anniversary of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology. The Center started in 1991 with the support of Dr. William Kelley, then Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine. Originally named the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, the Center was renamed to reflect the growing interest of our faculty members in issues related to circadian rhythm.
Initially, there were only a few faculty members in the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine pursuing research in this area. Over the years the Center has flourished with the addition of new faculty who have been recruited both from other institutions as well as among our own trainees. Programs have expanded with new vibrant enterprises at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, VA Medical Center, and School of Nursing, while other components, such as the Division of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology in the Department of Psychiatry and the new Chronobiology Program have added to the rich intellectual environment that has been created.
Since its inception, our faculty has had a strong commitment to research training. We have had a T32 grant continuously funded since the Center started. As a result, many of our former trainees have gone on to highly successful academic careers, not only at the University of Pennsylvania but at other institutions both in the United States and Canada. These former trainees are conducting research in all the major approaches to sleep and circadian research.
As we look ahead, the Center endeavors to continue its longstanding role as an advocate and home of innovative interdisciplinary research, exceptional clinical training & research mentoring, and global collaboration in the field of sleep medicine research and circadian neurobiology. Examples of such initiatives currently underway include a recently funded $8 million NIH program project grant to develop a personalized approach to risk assessment, diagnosis and management of sleep apnea, online sleep medicine continuing medical education, and the Sleep Apnea Global Interdisciplinary Consortium.