The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine

Research Programs

The Stanford Center for Sleep Medicine is coordinating a myriad researchers and physicians involved in sleep. This field touches not only many traditional medical disciplines and specialties, but also hybrid areas such as bioengineering, genetics, and biochemistry. Therefore, integrating research and treatment requires reaching across traditional academic boundaries to take an interdisciplinary approach.

Stanford’s Sleep Center will provide seed grants for pilot studies, help affiliated faculty to prepare outside grant applications, and provide the structure for much needed cross-fertilization across the university. Crucially, the division will design and implement the systems that link researchers all along the cycle from basic science through clinical care.

In addition, the sleep center will coordinate sleep education for Stanford undergraduates, medical students, other graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. The center will also expand Stanford’s outreach efforts to primary care physicians and their patients, an essential ingredient in the national effort on sleep medicine, which the university is help­ing to lead.

The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine is comprised of eight Core Research Labs and collaborates with many other researchers both within Stanford and outside institutions around the world.

Participate in Research

To learn more about participating in a research study, click here. We regularly have new clinical studies opening across a wide number of medical specialties.  If you would like to be contacted if/when such studies become available, please enroll in our Sleep Research Subject Database project and complete this secure, on-line survey.

Recent Publications

To see some of the exciting journal articles that have been published this year by members of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, click here.

Core Research Labs

de Lecea Laboratory: Neurobiology of Brain States

The de Lecea Lab focuses on exploring the role of neuromodulators in mammalian behavior, especially behaviors related to sleep, reward, stress, and learning/memory.  In the late 1990s Dr. de Lecea was involved in the discovery of hypocretin and his lab continues to uncover new roles for this system in vivo.

Dement: Sleep and Dreams

Dr. Dement is considered the father of sleep medicine. He is a leading authority on sleep, sleep deprivation, and the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.  His undergraduate course, Sleep and Dreams has been one of the most popular classes at Stanford University for over 40 years.

Kushida: Center for Human Sleep Research

The Stanford  Center for Human Sleep Research is dedicated solely to the exploration of sleep and its disorders in humans. The Center staff work closely with the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and the basic research group at Stanford to design clinical studies. The Center is capable of running short-term and long-term studies and accepts contracts with outside researchers.

For more information, please email Chia-Yu Cardell, RPSGT, CCRC or call her at (650) 721-7576.

Manber: Insomnia Research Program

Millions of Americans experience difficulties sleeping at night or wake up un-refreshed in the morning.  Many continue to suffer because they are unaware that effective treatments exist.

If you want to be a volunteer in a study for insomnia and depression please contact Rocio Mendoza or call (650) 723-4417.

Dr. Manber is also director of the Stanford Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, which helps people who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. Visit the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program website to learn more.

Mignot: Center for Narcolepsy & KLS Research Center

Stanford has been instrumental in establishing the cause of narcolepsy, a disabling illness affecting more than 1 in 2,000 Americans. The disorder is characterized by abnormal dreaming sleep and is caused by an autoimmune attack destroying ~70,000 brain cells secreting the neuropeptide hypocretin (orexin). The Stanford Center for Narcolepsy coordinates the care of several hundred patients each year and is always looking for individuals with narcolepsy and controls to participate in research studies.

To learn more about becoming a research participant in a narcolepsy study, contact Mali Einen [einen].

In addition, the research lab also study Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS), a curious episodic disease with hypersomnia and behavioral abnormalities.

To learn more about KLS or to participate in a KLS research study, contact Mali Einen [einen].

Mourrain:  Genetics, Neurobiology, and Computational Analysis of Sleep and Associated Behaviors Laboratory

The Mourrain lab research focuses on the function of sleep on synaptic landscape and neural networks underpinning sleep/wake regulation. They use the diurnal zebrafish as a model. As a vertebrate zebrafish shares a similar nervous system with human. Zebrafish compact size, linear organization of brain regions, and optical clarity allow live imaging from synapse to whole brain system level.

Nishino:  Sleep & Circadian Neurobiology Laboratory

The Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology Lab is an integrated, multidisciplinary research facility dedicated to understanding sleep-wake control and biological rhythms at all levels from the molecular to the behavioral and developing new generations of pharmaceuticals to remedy the enormous unmet needs of sleep disorders medicine and disorders of circadian timekeeping.

Pasca: Cellular Mechanisms of Neuropsychiatric Disorders Laboratory

Our lab is interested in deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders. To achieve this, we employ a multidisciplinary approach involving human genetics, molecular and developmental neurobiology, rodent disease models and neural cells differentiated from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. We are also developing methods for generating specific classes of neurons from human stem cells and state-of-the-art tools for probing disease-relevant cellular endophenotypes. Our ultimate objective is to identify novel and reliable drug targets for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Winkelmann: Restless Legs Syndrome Research Laboratory

Our goal is to investigate the genetic architecture of neurological complex genetic diseases. We focus on restless legs syndrome (RLS) and want to understand how the functional organization of neuronal sensor motor circuits is altered in RLS patients leading to disease manifestation. We aim to identify genetic and environmental factors modifying disease susceptibility; understand the mode of action of current drugs as well as establishing personalized treatment options in the future.

Zeitzer: Circadian Research Laboratory

Dr. Zeitzer's research concerns examination circadian rhythms and sleep; notably, the neural mechanisms that underlie wakefulness and circadian photoreception. He is also involved in collaborative efforts in examining the role of sleep disruption in medical pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, and breast cancer.

Associated Researchers

Joachim Hallmayer in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science - Child Psychiatry

Craig Heller in the Department of Biology - School of Humanities and Sciences

Jon Erik Holty in the Center for Health Policy / Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research

John Hugenard in the Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Peter Koltai in the Departments of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and Pediatrics

Ruth O’Hara in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science - VA & Geriatric

Maurice Ohayon in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science - Sleep Center

Alexander Urban in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science - Psychopharmacology

Jerome Yesavage in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science - VA Research and  Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Nanci Yuan in the Department of Pediatrics - Pulmonary Medicine  

 

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