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TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING IN SLEEP MEDICINE (T32)
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  • Post Doctoral Program Description
  • T32 Current Trainees
  • Medical Student Summer Research
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    Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine (T32)
     
    bullet point  Objective
     
     
    The objective of this NHILB-funded Program is to train clinical and basic researchers in a translational approach to Sleep Medicine.

    The Training Program’s primary focus is on post-doctoral training, with a secondary focus on mentored medical student research.
     
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    bullet point  Program Faculty
     
     
    Daniel J. Buysse, M.D.
    Program Director

    Christopher P. O’Donnell, Ph.D.
    Program Co-Director

    Patrick J. Strollo, Jr., M.D.
    Program C-Director

    Martica H. Hall, Ph.D.
    Program Co-Director


     
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    bullet point  Post Doctoral Program Description
     
     
    Our program provides salary support for 2-3 years of post-doctoral research and training, as well as modest funds to support research and educational opportunities. During the training period, fellows will have access to a large multidisciplinary faculty representing the breadth of contemporary sleep medicine research.

    The goal of this training program is to develop the next generation of sleep medicine researchers using a multidisciplinary, translational approach. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of sleep research skills, development of research questions and protocols, publication of peer-reviewed papers, and submission of a career development grant application to the National Institutes of Health. By the conclusion of the fellowship, trainees will have the skills necessary to begin their faculty career in academic sleep medicine.

    The core of the training program is mentored research conducted in the laboratories of the sleep medicine faculty. Each fellow will have one primary and one secondary faculty mentor to provide a broader perspective on his/her research. Rapid immersion to both animal and human sleep research will be provided to all trainees during an initial 4-week “basic training.” These activities will be supplemented by individually-selected courses in the Schools of Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh; regularly-scheduled seminars and lectures in sleep medicine; and participation in a research training “survival skills” course.

    Finding a Mentor
    The training program includes 25 participating faculty representing three schools of the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, and six departments and divisions within the School of Medicine. Click here for a list of participating faculty. The faculty conduct a wide range of basic, clinical, and population-based research in sleep medicine. Active areas of investigation include:

    • Functional imaging of human sleep
    • Neurobiology, clinical assessment, and treatment of insomnia
    • Sleep, sleep apnea, and cardiovascular risk
    • Interaction of sleep and circadian rhythms
    • Endocrine and metabolic aspects of sleep and sleep apnea
    • Genetics of human circadian rhythms
    • Population-based studies of sleep and sleep apnea
    • Sleep, stress responses, and post-traumatic stress
    • Animal models of sleep apnea and intermittent hypoxia
    • Affect, cognition, and sleep deprivation
    • Sleep and inflammation/neuroendocrine relationship in perinatal women

    Mentored Research Projects
    The trainee works within the research program of the mentor, where they are expected to have access to study subjects or laboratory samples, measurement tools and instrumentation, staff and laboratory space as needed. All have a workspace within the mentor’s program area. While some trainees may be using secondary or existing data to address their own research question, most are expected to participate in some aspects of ongoing research in order to learn more about the process of conducting research. Mentors meet with trainees on a regular basis, most often weekly.

    Application Deadlines
    Deadline for receiving post-doctoral fellowship applications for the 2015-2016 funding period is December 1, 2014
     
    Contact Information
    Linda Willrich
    T32 Administrator
    412-246-6451
    willrichl@upmc.edu
    WPIC E1129
    Documents
  • T32 Post-doctoral Fellow Application and Program Description
  • T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship Brochure
  •  
    Links
  • Postdoctoral Career Development & Progress Assessment Process
  • Other University of Pittsburgh Training Grants
  •  
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    bullet point  Current Trainees
     
     
    Postdoctoral Scholars

    Matthew Cribbet
    Postdoctoral Scholar (Aug 2013)
    Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    3811 O'Hara Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Email: cribbetmr@upmc.edu

    I earned my B.S. in Psychology from the Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Clinical/Health Psychology from the University of Utah. Prior to starting the Translational Research Training Program in Sleep Medicine (T32) at the University of Pittsburgh, I completed a clinical psychology internship at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Martica Hall is my primary mentor, and my research interests include understanding how associations among stress, self-regulation, and sleep influence cardiometabolic disease risk.

    Heather Gunn, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Scholar (Oct 2012)
    Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    3811 O'Hara Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Email: gunnh@upmc.edu

    Heather attended Arizona State for her undergraduate degree, University of Utah for graduate school, and completed her clinical internship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Her primary research focus is examining how the social world mitigates sleep quality by quantifying interpersonal behavior. For her dissertation, she objectively coded interpersonal responses to stress to identify specific types of behavior that were associated with subjective sleep.

    Daniel Kay, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Scholar (Sept 2013)
    Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    3811 O'Hara Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Email: kaydb@upmc.edu

    I obtained my Bachelors of Science degree in psychology from the Washington State University. My research focused on testing local sleep theory under the mentorship of Dr. James Krueger. My graduate degree in clinical psychology was earned at the University of Florida. My dissertation investigated the impact of sleep disturbance on cognitive functioning in older adults and patients with Parkinson's disease. My current interests include translational sleep medicine research in human and non-human primates.

    Jessica Levenson, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Scholar (July 2013)
    Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    3811 O'Hara Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Email: levensonjc@upmc.edu

    After obtaining a B.A. from Brandeis University in 2004, I received an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) to work in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Branch of the NIMH. In 2006 I began graduate training in the Clinical Psychology Program of the University of Pittsburgh, with Ellen Frank, Ph.D. as my primary mentor. Most of my graduate work focused on the person-specific efficacy of treatments for mood disorders, and on the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the onset of mood episodes, with a particular focus on the role of and social rhythm and sleep disturbances. After completing a clinical psychology internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in June 2013, I began work as a postdoctoral scholar in the University of Pittsburgh Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine Fellowship (T32) with Tina R. Goldstein, Ph.D., Peter Franzen, Ph.D, and Daniel J. Buysse, M.D. as my mentoring team. I plan to focus my work on understanding the role of sleep and social rhythm dysregulation in the development and maintenance of mood disorders, and on the development and evaluation of treatments aimed at improving sleep disturbances, social rhythm dysregulation, and mood.
     
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    bullet point  Medical Student Summer Research
     
     
    The purpose of the University of Pittsburgh Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine Medical Student Summer Research Program is to engage medical students from diverse backgrounds in personally rewarding experiences in sleep research and to promote careers in sleep research through close relationships with successful role models and enthusiastic peers.

    The University of Pittsburgh Sleep Medicine Institute (UPSMI) offers two types of research experiences for medical students:
    • A short term summer research experience at the end of the first or second year of medical school;


    • A longer term involvement through the School of Medicine Scholarly Project


    Summer Research: The goal of the summer research elective is to capture the interest of medical students early in the path of career choice and to create a positive research experience focused on sleep medicine. The summer program is a 10-12 week intensive experience that includes an individualized research experience under a sponsoring mentor, a structured didactic experience that is directly linked to student research projects, and opportunities to interact with potential role models and peers. This opportunity provides a modest stipend together with outstanding research experience and opportunities.

    Scholarly Project: The aims of the Scholarly Project are to: 1) Foster analytical thinking skills and the development of tools for rational decision-making in future physicians; 2) Provide the role models, mentorship, and guidance for students regarding careers that integrate research, teaching, and clinical service; 3) Present research and scholarly biomedical pursuits to students as endeavors that often, but not always, involve collegial interaction; 4) Enhance the medical school culture of self-directed and peer group-fostered learning; and 5) Enhance the oral and written communicaiton skills of graduating medical students.

    How to Apply
    Interested students will be interviewed and selected by the Program Directors and appropriate Training Faculty. Criteria for selection will include: 1) Interest in working in the field of Sleep Medicine; 2) Interest (and preferably experience) in clinical or basic biomedical research; and 3) Willingness to commit to the full-time 10-12 week summer elective, to complete a project, and contribute to a peer-reviewed publication; or interest in completing a Scholarly Project in Sleep Medicine.

    Medical students should contact the Program Directors, who will direct them to a potential faculty mentor based on their interests and experience. Medical students will then meet with the mentor to assess the “match.” Students will be selected to participate in a research project that has the potential to lead to a presentation and in many cases a publication. In addition, students will be exposed to clinical research, observing research assessments, sitting in on team meetings, and occasionally going on rounds or observing a consultation. In total, approximately 8 hours per week will be devoted to clinical observation to provide students with some clinical context for their experience. The Program Directors will meet with the group weekly to review progress, address questions about clinical experiences they have had during the week, and to discuss interdisciplinary research in Sleep Medicine.

    Finding a Mentor
    The training program includes 25 participating faculty representing three schools of the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, and six departments and divisions within the School of Medicine. The faculty conduct a wide range of basic, clinical, and population-based research in sleep medicine. Active areas of investigation include:

    • Functional imaging of human sleep
    • Neurobiology, clinical assessment, and treatment of insomnia
    • Sleep, sleep apnea, and cardiovascular risk
    • Interaction of sleep and circadian rhythms
    • Endocrine and metabolic aspects of sleep and sleep apnea
    • Genetics of human circadian rhythms
    • Population-based studies of sleep and sleep apnea
    • Sleep, stress responses, and post-traumatic stress
    • Animal models of sleep apnea and intermittent hypoxia
    • Affect, cognition, and sleep deprivation

    Application Process

    The project proposal, which constitutes the application, must contain the following required sections with the indicated headings:
    1. Title: This includes the project title, student name, and name and affiliation of the mentor.
    2. Purpose: A statement of the question being investigated.
    3. Background: A brief summary of pertinent background information including selected literature citations.
    4. Methodology: A description of the methods to be employed, materials to be utilized, and plan for data analysis.
    5. Significance: A brief statement as to the expected significance of the study.
    6. Role of student: Clearly state the student's roles and responsibilities in the project. If a student is to be incorporated into a large project already in progress, state how the student's role may overlap with, and be differentiated from, that of others on the project. While students are encouraged to continue the summer project as a long-term Scholarly Project, for this application, focus on what will be accomplished over the upcoming summer.
    7. Ethical Approval: If working with human or animal subjects, IRB or IACUC evaluation of the project is likely required. It is not necessary to have agency approval at the time the SRP proposal is submitted, but you must specify your intentions and a timeline for seeking agency approval.
    The proposal is limited to 2, single-spaced pages, including references but may be shorter. Use 12 point font and 1" margins on all sides.

    Proposals that do not conform to the above instructions may not be considered for funding.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Program Director, Daniel J. Buysse, M.D., at (412) 246-6451 or via Email.

    Project proposals will be evaluated by the Program Directors. Awards will be made competitively and acceptance notices will be emailed beginning the end of March. Awardees will be expected to prepare a poster of their work for the Student Research Presentation Symposium in October. Further information will follow upon acceptance.

    Living in Pittsburgh
    Living Here
    http://www.pitt.edu/pittsburgh/index.html

    Summer Housing Options:
    Affordable Summer Sublets
    http://www.pitt.edu/~property/

    Other Resources:
    University of Pittsburgh Housing Resource Center
    (Information and resources for off-campus options, sublets and roommate match-ups)
    http://www.pitt.edu/~property
    (412) 624-6998
    hrc@bc.pitt.edu

    University of Pittsburgh Panther Central
    (Information and resources for on-campus housing options)
    http://www.pc.pitt.edu/housing/
    (412) 648-1100
    pc@bc.pitt.edu

    University of Pittsburgh Library System
    (unlimited resources in over a dozen libraries on campus and multiple other libraries at four branch campuses)
    http://www.pitt.edu/libraries.html

    Public Transportation
    (time and map schedules for transportation in the greater Pittsburgh area)
    http://www.portauthority.org
    (412) 442-2000
     
    Contact Information
    Linda Willrich
    Center Administrator
    412-246-6451
    willrichl@upmc.edu
    WPIC E1129
    Documents
  • T32 Summer Medical Student Program Brochure
  •  
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    bullet point  Contact Information
     
     
    For more information please contact Daniel J. Buysse, M.D. at (412) 246-6413 or Linda Willrich at willrichl@upmc.edu.
     
    Contact Information
    Linda Willrich
    Administrative Coordinator
    412-246-6413
    willrichl@upmc.edu
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