Nalaka S. Gooneratne, M.D., M.Sc.

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center
Department: Medicine

Contact information
Ralston Penn Center, Room 220
3615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215 662-7772 clinical
Fax: 215-573-8684 no clinical inf
Lab: 215-746-3098 no clinical calls
Cert. (French)
Ecole de Français Moderne, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, 1989.
B.S. (Medical Education)
Northwestern University (Honors Program) (Graduated with Distinction), 1991.
M.D. (Medicine)
Northwestern University School of Medicine (Graduated with Distinction), 1993.
M.Sc. (Clinical Epidemiology)
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, 2002.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:

Aging, sleep, complementary/alternative medicine, melatonin, patient-oriented research, translational research, categorical data, clinical trials, multivariate analysis, time series.

Description of Research:

Dr. Gooneratne’s research interests are centered around studying the nature of sleep disorders in the elderly. While many older adults complain of difficulties with sleep, it is an area about which modern medicine has only a limited understanding. Funded initially by a National Institute on Aging Mentored Research Career Development Award (K23), he is pursuing research examining the role of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, in sleep in the elderly and the effects of sleep apnea treatment on cognitive function in older adults. Dr.Gooneratne also runs a Sleep Disorders Clinic for Seniors in an effort to address the medical needs of older patients with sleep disorders. In addition, Dr. Gooneratne is the Associate Director of the Masters in Translational Research Program, with a focus on Entrepreneurial Science education at the University of Pennsylvania's ITMATEd program. He is the director of the mHealth mobile app development service at ITMAT (CTSA/Penn). He also helps to coordinate the research activities of the Geriatric fellows in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and mentors research fellows in the Division of Sleep Medicine.

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Gooneratne's clinical focus is in the area of sleep disorders in older adults. He has been invited to lecture on this topic at national conferences, such as those hosted by the American Association of Sleep Medicine, the American Thoracic Society as well as the National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science conference on Chronic Insomnia. Dr. Gooneratne runs a Sleep Disorders Clinic for Seniors which is tailored to the unique needs of older adults as they seek to address their sleep disturbances.

Description of Other Expertise

Dr. Gooneratne has an interest in education and implementation of academic entrepreneurship in the life sciences. He currently teaches two classes in this area, and is the Director of the Entrepreneurship concentration in the Masters in Translational Research (MTR) Program.

Selected Publications

Perlis ML, Vargas I, Ellis JG, Grandner MA, Morales KH, Gencarelli A, Khader W, Kloss JD, Gooneratne NS, Thase ME: The Natural History of Insomnia: the incidence of acute insomnia and subsequent progression to chronic insomnia or recovery in good sleeper subjects. Sleep 43(6): zsz299, June 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz299.

Li J, Hodgson N, Lyons MM, Chen KC, Yu F, Gooneratne NS: A personalized behavioral intervention implementing mHealth technologies for older adults: A pilot feasibility study. Geriatric Nursing 41(3): 313-319, May-Jun 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2019.11.011.

Wang Y, Cheng C, Moelter S, Fuentecilla JL, Kincheloe K, Lozano AJ, Carter P, Gooneratne N, Richards KC.: One Year of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Adherence Improves Cognition in Older Adults With Mild Apnea and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Nursing Research 69(2): 157-164, Mar/Apr 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000420.

McPhillips MV, Dickson VV, Cacchione PZ, Li J, Gooneratne NS, Riegel B: Nursing Home Eligible, Community-Dwelling Older Adults' Perceptions and Beliefs About Sleep: A Mixed-Methods Study. Clinical Nursing Research 29(3): 177-188, March 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1177/1054773819849348.

Chhatre S, Chang YHA, Gooneratne NS, Kuna S, Strollo P, Jayadevappa R: Association between adherence to continuous positive airway pressure treatment and cost among medicare enrollees. Sleep 43(1): zsz188, Jan 2020 Notes: doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz188.

Robbins R, Jean-Louis G, Gallagher RA, Hale L, Branas CC, Gooneratne NS, Alfonso-Miller P, Perlis M, Grandner MA: Examining social capital in relation to sleep duration, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness. Sleep medicine 60: 165-172, Aug 2019.

Richards KC, Gooneratne NS, Dicicco B, Hanlon A, Moelter S, Onen F, Wang Y, Sawyer A, Weaver T, Lozano A, Carter P, Johnson J: CPAP Adherence May Slow 1-Year Cognitive Decline in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Apnea. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 67(3): 558-564, Mar 2019.

Gooneratne, N.S., Bastian, R., Winston, F. (eds.): Academic Entrepreneurship for Medical and Health Scientists. Book. Scholarly Commons/UPenn, Page: 420, Feb 2019.

Fox EC, Wang K, Aquino M, Grandner MA, Xie D, Branas CC, Gooneratne NS: Sleep debt at the community level: impact of age, sex, race/ethnicity and health. Sleep Health 4(4): 317-324, Aug 2018.

Grant Shakira J, Kothari Shawn, Gimotty Phyllis A, Gooneratne Nalaka S, Cuker Adam: Quality of direct oral anticoagulant prescribing in elderly patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation: results from a large urban health system. Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis 46(1): 1-6, Jul 2018.

back to top
Last updated: 06/26/2020
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania