This training grant produces physician and post-doctoral investigators in the fields of sleep, its physiology and epidemiology to address problems that substantially effect the general health of our society. There are significant needs and opportunities for scientific research and discovery. Risk and disease detection/management efforts are poorly developed, and the basic science of sleep medicine (sleep physiology and circadian rhythm) has major gaps in functional understanding of biology, neural networks, and brain physiology in order to inform future treatments and prevention efforts. One barrier is a paucity of investigators in basic- and patient-oriented research. The program is managed by Kingman P. Strohl, who heads the Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the VA Medical Center. The Center for Sleep Disorders Research now reaches training and research programs in the School of Medicine and four other Cleveland academic medical centers. He and a steering committee (Ted Dick, PhD., Richard Martin MD, and Mark Chance PhD) approves admission to the program and monitors trainees'progress using formative trainee committee assessment and portfolio techniques. Looking forward, the added dimension is a formal Systems Biology and Bioinformatics M.S. and Ph.D. curriculum in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Sixteen faculty mentors are "trainers", with four early career awardees faculty as "junior trainers";other senior faculty members in sleep or basic science participate as members of the trainee committee. Faculty represent six departments and each has an inherent interest in sleep, circadian biology, sleep epidemiology, and/or clinical investigation. The program requests two post-graduate trainees with sufficient resources to pursue advanced training and two graduate trainees. We provide options for a Master's Degree programs in Clinical Science (the CTST Clinical Research Scholars Program) and in Systems Biology for MD post-doctoral trainees. For all trainees the essence is individualized, supervised research training;but all trainees meet to engage in didactic work encompassing sleep science and medicine, exposure to its ethical, legal, and community issues, and career development. For pre-doctoral trainees, the degree-granting department determines course work and thesis progress, with a clinician from the Sleep Medicine Training Program as one member of the Ph.D. committee. Post-doctoral trainees also have a training committee which assesses progress and mentorship. All trainees maintain a portfolio of work with self-assessments of progress that forms the basis of bi-annual assessments. There are weekly seminars and an annual retreat of the group with outside advisors and faculty. A strong interaction now occurs among Medicine, Pediatrics, Physiology and Biophysics, Neuroscience, Computer Sciences, and Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The Sleep Medicine program is now a recognized as a part of the Case Clinical Translational Science Collaborative research infrastructure.

Public Health Relevance

The goal is to address the need for researchers to better manage sleep problems and disorders, like sleep apnea and insomnia, which significantly affect public health in the United States and the world. The methods involve a structured program in which graduate students, physician-scientists, and postdoctoral PhD fellows learn to plan, conduct, and publish research in sleep, its disorders, and its relationship to human illness.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
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Tigno, Xenia
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Case Western Reserve University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Koo, Brian B; Strohl, Kingman P; Gillombardo, Carl B et al. (2010) Ventilatory patterning in a mouse model of stroke. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 172:129-35
Mehra, Reena; Strohl, Kingman P (2004) Incidence of serious adverse events during nocturnal polysomnography. Sleep 27:1379-83