About the Speakers

Michael L. Perlis, PhD   

Michael L. Perlis, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, University of Pennsylvania 
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania 

Course Role: Dr. Perlis is the primary lecturer for the Basic Seminar and co-leads the Advanced Seminar with Drs. Posner and Ellis. The Basic Seminar was developed 11 years ago to provide clinicians from all walks of professional life the education and tools they need to provide CBT-I. Dr. Perlis has been continually updating the course material and course offerings since 2005. Over this course of this time the seminar has been given in venues around the world and has attracted increasingly multidisciplinary audiences. The seminar, according to Dr. Perlis, represents his best effort towards a singular goal: "Make CBT-I widely available". 

Background: Dr. Perlis is internationally known for his work in the area of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM). He is a coauthor of the first text book in this field and he is the senior author of a published CBT-I treatment manual and a larger text summarizing all BSM treatments. The CBT-I manual (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: A Session-by-Session Guide (New York: Springer/Verlag) has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Chinese. In addition, his program offers an Advanced CBT-I Course (also taught by Drs. ‘Posner and Ellis), individual and group supervision, a BSM mini-fellowship, and (via CBT-I Educational Products) a video mock case vignette DVD. 

Dr. Perlis has published, as an author or co-author, more than 150 articles and chapters on sleep research related topics and he serves on the editorial boards of Sleep, the Journal of Sleep Research, the journal of Sleep Medicine Research, the journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and the journal of Health Psychology. Dr. Perlis has also served as a member, or chair, of several committees and task forces of the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and he was the assistant chair for the training program of the SRS for five years. Finally, Dr. Perlis was one of the five organizing and founding members of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM).  He also served as the SBSM’s first president (2010-2011).

Dr. Perlis’s educational activities also include his service as a mentor to 95 trainees including 24 junior or peer faculty, 18 interns or post-doctoral fellows, 6 medical students, 12 graduate or post-masters students, and 35 undergraduates or post-baccalaureates. Most notable among his prior mentees (i.e., those who have gone on to independent research careers) are Sean Drummond PhD, Kenneth Wright PhD, Michael Smith PhD, Carla Jungquist PhD, Wilfred Pigeon PhD, Sheila Garland, PhD and Michael Grander, PhD. 

Company Role Years
Nexalin Project Oversight Contract Pending (Planned for 2015-2016)
Marpac Pilot Study Contract Pending (Planned for 2015-2016)
Sleep Easily Science Writing 2015 - Present
Teva Pharmaceuticals Pilot Study 2015 - Present
University of Buffalo Grant Consultant 2013-2014
Cantor Colburn LLP Consultant 2013
InsomniSolv Consultant 2012 - 2013
CBT-I Ed. Products Contributor 2009 - Present
PESI CE Services Contributor 2009 - Present
Academic press Book Author 2005 - Present
Guide Point Consultant 2005 - Present (inactive since 2009)
Gerson Lehman Consultant 2005 - Present (inactive since 2009)
Clinical Advisors Consultant 2005 - Present (inactive since 2009)
Society Affiliations: SRS 1998 - Present
  AASM 1992 - Present
  ABCT 2008 - Present
  ESRS 2008 - Present
  SBSM 2008 - Present

Donn Posner, PhD

Dr. Donn Posner, PhD

Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 

Stanford University School of Medicine 

Clinical/Research Psychologist, Palo Alto Institute for Research 

Course Role: Dr Posner will be bringing his 27 years of clinical and supervisory expertise to the course to serve as a discussant on clinical issues raised during the didactic lectures. He will bring a “hands on” perspective that will highlight the nuances of CBT-I that makes the therapy come alive and work for insomnia patients. Over the 2 days he will be highlighting common problems and pitfalls for therapists new to CBT-I to avoid. Finally, he will also bring clinical expertise in Anxiety disorders to the course to help with the anxiety issues that frequently present with insomnia

Background: Dr. Donn Posner is currently an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University School of medicine and a clinical/research psychologist at the Palo Alto VA. He is working on a grant, which hopes to clarify the relative efficacy of each of the components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and for whom each piece works best.

Prior to his role at Stanford and the VA he spent 25 years serving as the Director of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Rhode Island and Miriam Hospitals, and was also the Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine for the Sleep Disorders Center of Lifespan Hospitals. Finally he was a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. In his years at Brown he served as the primary supervisor for a rotation of the Behavioral Medicine track of the clinical psychology internship, which focused on the assessment and treatment of Sleep and Anxiety Disorders.

Dr. Posner is one of the authors of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: A Session-by-Session Guide (New York: Springer/Verlag). The book is intended for clinical trainees, and non-insomnia sleep specialists, as well as more experienced clinicians from outside the sleep medicine field, who wish to learn how to provide empirically validated cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia (CBT-I). He also co-authored Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Those with Depression, which is a clinical guide for clinicians working with insomnia in the context of mood disorders.

Dr. Posner was a consultant for the Veteran’s Administration roll out of CBT-I and continues to consult with clinical psychology programs and sleep centers assisting them on how to set up a Behavioral Sleep Medicine program and how to effectively deliver these treatments.  He continues to consult around the country helping clinicians develop behavioral sleep medicine programs and to make CBT-I a part of their clinical practices.

Dr. Posner is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and is one of the first certified behavioral sleep medicine specialists recognized by that group. He is also a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and received the society’s Peter Hauri Career Distinguished Achievement Award.  

Company Role Year
Pulsar Informatics Inc. Medical Advisor 2015 - Present
CBT-I Ed. Products Contributor 2009 - Present
PESI CE Services Contributor 2009 - Present
Springer Publishing Author 2005 - Present
Routeledge Publishing Author 2015 - Present
Brown University Grant Consultant 2013 - Present
Society Memberships: American Psychological Association 1988 - Present
  Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 1988 - Present
  American Academy of Sleep Medicine 1995 - Present
  Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine 2008 - Present

Jason Ellis, PhD

Jason Ellis, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Northumbria University
Director, Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research

Course Role(s): Dr. Ellis is an internationally prominent sleep researcher and an experienced CBT-I therapist. His role in the Basic Seminar, like Dr. Posner's, is to: 1) Provide the "in-clinic point of view" on the didactic material presented during the seminar, 2) Highlight and flesh out issues that arise during lectures or during the QnA components of the course, and 3) Provide "color commentary." Dr. Ellis, along with Drs. Perlis and Posner, is available throughout the Basic Seminar to provide one-on-one responses to questions and concerns. His role in the Advanced Seminar is as both a lecturer and a discussion leader.

Background: Dr. Ellis is a Professor of Sleep Science and Director of the Northumbria Sleep Laboratory and Clinic in the United Kingdom. He is a qualified Somnologist - Expert in Behavioural Sleep Medicine from European Sleep Research Society and a Practicing Health Psychologist under the HCPC. He splits his time between his basic research interests: the pathophysiology of sleep disorders (Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, and Circadian Rhythm Disorders), the natural history of Insomnia, and his applied work on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). Within the latter framework he examines the impact of novel adjunct therapies, the influence of social factors on adherence, and the effective delivery of CBT-I in complex cases and environments.  He has worked within the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, delivering CBT-I to individuals with a range of physical and psychological conditions and serves on the editorial boards of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and Sleep Health. He has consulted for various industries and third-sector organizations and provided national guidelines to the British and Scottish governments on the identification and management of sleep problems. He is a serious advocate of public engagement and professional education with regard to behavioral sleep medicine and regularly trains CBT-I to clinicians and primary care physicians in the United Kingdom.

Company Role Years
Tune Hotels Consultant 2015-2015
Champneys Consultant 2013-Present
Olympic Council Ireland Consultant 2015-Present
Institute of Sport Consultant 2016-Present
Mammoth Technology Consultant 2009-2014
Slumberdown Consultant 2014-2015
UCB Pharma Consultant 2011-Present
Penguin/Random House Author 2015-Present
Taylors of Harrogate Consultant 2015-2015
British Broadcasting Corporation Presenter 2011-2012
  British Sleep Society 2004-Present
  Sleep Research Society 2004-Present
  European Sleep Research Society 2007-Present
  Health and Social Care Professions Council 2010-Present
Grants Role Years
Action 4 Me Principal Investigator 2013-2015
ME Association Co-Investigator 2014-2015
Wellcome Trust Co-Investigator 2015-2016
Economic and Social Research Council Principal Investigator 2007-2011
National Institute of Health Research Co-Investigator 2014-2015
Gateshead Primary Care Trust Co-Investigator 2010-2012
UCB Pharma Principal Investigator 2015-Present

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