As part of its ongoing commitment to improve health outcomes, lower heath care costs and enhance the experience of patients and the work life of health professionals, Philips has collaborated with the World Sleep Society to sponsor and support its International Sleep Research Training Program (ISRTP). During the recent World Sleep Congress 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, a live session served as a formal introduction of the ISRTP program, mentors and mentees.
The ISRTP is designed to prepare sleep investigators from various countries throughout the world to assume future leadership responsibilities in the ever-evolving disciplines of sleep research and clinical management. By providing an opportunity to train at major academic institutions and acquire new skills from experienced investigators, trainees can continue their work to enrich the growing field of sleep medicine and research with future sleep leaders across the globe as they return to their home institutions.
“The ISRTP is an exciting opportunity for future advancement in the field of sleep medicine and research,” states Charles M. Morin, PhD, President of World Sleep Society. “This formal process to ensure the field thrives and grows through hands-on training will actively fulfill our society’s mission to advance sleep health worldwide. The ISRTP strives to connect institutions, societies and individuals to provide the best training for the next generation of sleep professionals.”
Five recipients of the training grants will be matched to mentors at a participating host academic institution each year. Applicants for mentees in the program undergo a rigorous selection process conducted by the World Sleep Society. In addition to providing detailed plans for research during the program and the development of sleep research in the home country, each application is accompanied by letters of support from the home institution, mentors and researchers.
During each one-year comprehensive educational program, mentees will receive formal training on operating sleep laboratories, conducting sleep research, developing best practices for sleep medicine programs and labs, and applying sleep business models. Trainees will be provided with travel funds to two major international sleep meetings, where they can share their research findings with others.
Introducing the Inaugural Sleep Research Training Program class of 2020
The World Sleep Society accepted five applicants for the initial year of the mentor program, starting on July 1, 2019. They include Hyeon Jin Kim, MD (Republic of Korea), Leila Emami, MD (Iran), Liyue (Adell) Xu, MD (China), Wenjing (Athena) Wang, MD (China) and Ximena Omlin, PhD (United Kingdom).
Participating training institutions include Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Oxford, University of Pennsylvania and University of Sydney. Each site has a faculty representative who oversees the program, as well as specific primary research interests, ranging from neural mechanisms, phenotyping/genomics of sleep disorders, epidemiology and data science, sleep comorbidities, and digital therapeutics and artificial intelligence.
The trainees were matched to sleep research mentors at the following host academic institutions:
Dr. Kim will be mentored at Harvard University: Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Wand will be mentored at Stanford University: Division of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Omlin will be mentored at University of Oxford: Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.
Dr. Xu will be mentored at University of Pennsylvania: Center for Sleep & Circadian Neurobiology.
Dr. Emami will be mentored at University of Sydney: Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.
The trainees will be mentored by esteemed sleep specialists at the respective institutions, including Susan Redline, MD, MPH (United States), Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD (United States), Simon Kyle, MA, PhD (United Kingdom), Allan I. Pack, MBChB, PhD (United States) and Brendon Yee, MBChB, PhD (Australia) and program leaders.
How ISRTP Makes an Impact
“The ISRTP program will foster a cohort of future sleep research leaders who will keep the field of sleep research and medicine vibrant with their ideas, plans and goals,” says Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, Chief Medical Liaison at Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care. “In sponsoring this educational initiative, Philips hopes to continue to build global collaborative communities of learning and responsible stewardship.”