« All News & Events

SRS Representatives Attend SDRAB

Sleep Research Society
Friday, October 11, 2013

On September 23rd, 2013, the 36th meeting of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board was held at the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research in Bethesda, MD.
SRS President Dr. Janet Mullington, along with Drs. Allan Pack and Phyllis Zee, attended this meeting. Dr. Mullington has provided the following recap of the event:
Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy chaired the meeting, and several board members and TransNIH Institute/Center representatives were in attendance. The phone lines were open, and members of the public welcomed to listen in, or attend in person.
Dr. Michael Twery, Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, gave a presentation on Inter-agency activities, Healthy People 2020 and NHLBI initiatives and events. Of timely interest, Dr. Twery called attention to a recent RFA to solicit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) applications to develop biomarker panels for point of care assessment of insufficient sleep (RFA-HL-14-013).
Dr. Phyllis Zee presented the Joint SRS/AASM Research Task Force updates and gave an overview of the White Paper that the group has written which includes outlining priorities and goals for moving the objectives laid out in the National Institutes of Health Sleep Disorders Research Plan, released in 2011. The NIH program representatives, also members of the TransNIH committee, were very enthusiastic about the paper and look forward to seeing it published. The importance of having a document that can reach beyond the small group that participated in its writing and carry a message to the broader community, resonated through the comments by participants at the meeting.
Dr. James Kiley also presented, and spoke of the importance of stakeholders in the sleep and circadian field coming together and speaking in one voice. The work that needs to be done will require coordination and cooperation, in a spirit of maximizing efficiency, coming together in a Big Data era to reach farther and accomplish more, and bring it back to the people to preserve health, reduce risk, promote healing and improve health management. 
A presentation and announcement of opportunities through the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative was made by Dr. Jennie Larkin, who herself has a background in sleep research. Discussion followed around the topic of how Big Data approaches might enable sleep and circadian research.
Following that, April Oh informed the group about a National Cancer Institute Behavioral Research Program, the Family, Life, Activity, Sun, Health and Eating Study (FLASH), which will include an actigraphy component including seven days of actigraphic data from a subsample of 900 adolescents. Sleep items will also include bedtimes and rise times for weekdays and weekends.
Dr. D. Lee Alekel, of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine discussed the emerging TransNIH interest in Sleep and Pain research and shared plans for an NIH workshop on this topic that will be held this spring.
The Sleep Research Society representatives were very pleased with the meeting and the feedback they received regarding pending Society projects. More information on the white paper will be released as it is available.