Penn Sleep Medicine has a long and rich history that encompasses innovative and evidence-based clinical medicine, research, education, and collaboration with many other neuroscience disciplines and medical specialties.
The first sleep-focused center at Penn, The Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology (CSRN), was established in 1991 by Dr. William Kelley when he was Dean of the Medical School. Under the leadership of Dr. Allan Pack, the CSRN became a model for an academic medical school-wide structure for sleep research in the USA, and was recommended in the IOM report in 2006. The clinical multidisciplinary Division of Sleep Medicine was established in 2001 and, as with the CSRN, was the first such structure in any academic medical center in the nation or, indeed, in the world. As described below, in 2019, the former CSRN and 2013 Chronobiology Program merged to become and lead sleep research as the Chronobiology and Sleep Institute (CSI) within the Perelman School of Medicine.
The Division of Sleep Medicine and the Penn Sleep Centers:
The Division of Sleep Medicine and the Penn Sleep Centers form the clinical arm of Penn Sleep Medicine within the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems (UPHS) and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM). Sleep Division PSOM faculty participate in clinical care and/or clinical research. Clinical care is patient-centered, multidisciplinary, and practiced using a Sleep Team approach for patients. Clinical care additionally includes advanced Special Programs such as the CPAP Program and Clinics, the CPAP Alternative Clinic, the Sleep Ventilation Program, the HUP Inpatient Sleep Program, the Insomnia Treatment Program, the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, the Sleep Mental Health Clinic and Treatment Research Program, CHOP Transitioning, and other Special Programs. . The richness and depth of Penn Sleep Medicine clinical care is further enhanced by the strength of faculty and provider academic endeavors, patient and team education, leading and incorporating sleep technologies into clinical care, patient opportunities for clinical research, and involvement of the faculty and team as leaders in the international sleep community. The Penn Sleep Medicine Team is led by Dr. Richard Schwab, the Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine and the Penn Sleep Centers.
History of Penn Sleep Research Entities and the current Chronobiology and Sleep Institute (CSI):
Created in 2019 from previous Penn sleep research entities, the Chronobiology and Sleep Institute (CSI) has a history of multidisciplinary and world-renowned contributions to sleep research. Faculty at Penn led the way in areas critical to the development of the sleep field: introduction of new model systems for the study of sleep (Drosophila, C. elegans); research to inform public policy (medical residents, commercial drivers); new insights into the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea; implementation research leading to new clinical models of care. The CSRN also developed three of only seven T32 research training grants nationally in the sleep field, with one of these developed in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Nursing, the only training grant for nurse PhD investigators in this area.
With the expansion of circadian biology in the early 2000s, the CSRN was renamed the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology (CSCN). Subsequently, circadian research grew at Penn, not only in the neurosciences but also in the circadian regulation of other physiological systems and processes (e.g. metabolic, cardiovascular, cancer, immune). Recognizing this as an area of strength, the Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Dr. Larry Jameson, established the Chronobiology Program in 2013 under the leadership of Dr. Amita Sehgal. Subsequently, the CSCN and the Chronobiology Program worked together to drive research on circadian rhythms and sleep, increase educational opportunities in the area, and promote the careers of trainees, many of whom have launched independent programs. In 2019, these two entities coalesced in the creation of the Chronobiology and Sleep Institute (CSI).