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NIH Visits, Congressional Briefing Promote Sleep Research

Sleep Research Society
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This week a group of Sleep Research Society members will travel to Bethesda, Md., and Washington, D.C., for a series of strategic meetings and a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. As the professional association and national advocate for sleep and circadian scientists, the SRS frequently communicates with elected representatives, government officials and federal agencies to ensure robust funding for sleep and circadian research.

Organized by the SRS Government Relations Committee, which is chaired by Dr. Ronald Szymusiak, the trip will begin April 9 with a full day on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There we will visit with the directors and program officials of numerous NIH institutes and centers to discuss NIH funding, grant portfolios, research training and research networks.

The next morning I will travel to Washington, D.C., along with SRS President-Elect Dr. Allan Pack and Dr. Nathaniel Watson of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), to visit the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). I am looking forward to our meeting with the NTSB’s Honorable Dr. Mark Rosekind to discuss the intersection between sleep science and transportation safety. As one of the world’s leading human fatigue experts, Member Rosekind is a vocal supporter of the sleep research field.

That afternoon the SRS will conduct a Sleep for Health & Safety congressional briefing in partnership with the AASM. This meeting will inform congressional staffers about recent developments in sleep and circadian research, emphasizing the importance of sleep for population health and transportation safety. Co-hosted by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), the briefing will feature presentations by Dr. Pack and SRS Past President Dr. Phyllis Zee. A presentation also will be made by Dr. Martin Walker of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Office of Analysis, Research and Technology.

Finally, on Friday afternoon Dr. Szymusiak and Dr. Samuel Kuna will travel to the Department of Veterans Affairs for a meeting with several VA leaders and program officials. Their meeting will cap off our whirlwind, three-day itinerary to promote sleep research.

I encourage you to visit the Government page of the website to learn more about SRS initiatives and how you can be involved.


Janet Mullington, PhD
SRS President