A quarter century of sleep medicine at Stanford University


| Educational, Community Outreach & Celebratory Events | Silver Celebration Launch | Cutting Edge Research Updates | 10th Annual APSS | Summer Events | Fall Events | Grand Finale | Summary | Next Upcoming Event (October 14) |


The clinical specialty of sleep disorders medicine was born at Stanford University a quarter of a century ago. Prior to 1972, although the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic was being organized, it had not achieved a clear identity as part of the Stanford Medical Center clinical practice, and there was certainly no discipline of sleep medicine.  In January of 1972, the Stanford Sleep Clinic introduced the standard procedure for examining nocturnal sleep, now widely known as "clinical polysomnography," and by so doing, formally extended the practice of medicine to include the sleeping patient. In less than a year, Stanford sleep specialists had learned enough to offer a CME course, "Sleep Disorders: A New Clinical Discipline." It is generally accepted that an essential criterion of defining a scientific or clinical discipline is that it possesses an organized body of knowledge which can be taught. Accordingly, it is appropriate to designate the date of the first CME effort, November 29, 1972, as the "official" birthday of the field of sleep medicine.

In 1975, following a sabbatical year with the Stanford group, the late Dr. Elliot Weitzman founded a second sleep disorders clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Representatives from Stanford and Montefiore as well as from several other laboratories which were doing research on sleep formed the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers (now the American Sleep Disorders Association) in November,1975. Dr William C. Dement was elected the first president and led the organization and the field for the next twelve years.

From 1972 to the present, Stanford sleep specialists have described and characterized a number of specific sleep disorders, and have developed effective treatments. Particularly in the first ten years or so, the Stanford Sleep Disorders Center provided the only source of training for physicians and technicians in other parts of the country who wished to be involved in the practice of sleep medicine. The Stanford program also developed most of the standard nomenclature and technical procedures that are the foundation of the field. Today, the practice of sleep medicine has spread all over the world and several thousand physicians, researchers, and technicians are involved. As we approach the 21st century, the Stanford program remains the recognized leader, and its faculty and staff continue to demonstrate high levels of research and clinical productivity.

The First Quarter Century of Sleep Medicine (1972-1997) Educational, Community Outreach, and Celebratory Events

A number of outstanding events will take place to celebrate the Silver Anniversary year of the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and the field of sleep medicine. Some of these events will take place in early June prior to the annual combined meeting in San Francisco of the American Sleep Disorders Association, the Sleep Research Society, and the Association of Polysomnographic Technologists. Other events are scheduled for the remainder of 1997.



Monday April 21 - "Adolescent Sleep: Can We Reconcile Biological Needs With Societal Demands."

Silver Celebration Lecture by Professor Mary Carskadon, Brown University. This cutting edge event, co-sponsored by the Center on Adolescence at Stanford, was followed by a special interactive session with Bay Area high school students, teachers, and administrators. Earlier in the day, Drs. Carskadon and William Dement made visits in Sacramento to alert legislators to sleep-related issues.

Our current understanding of the sleep-related determinants of daytime fatigue and impairment in the classroom and the workplace is based on a decade of pioneering reasearch (1976-1985) in a unique facility, the Stanford University Summer Sleep Camp. Professor Carskadon served as Camp Director and then accepted positions at Bradley Hospital, Providence, R.I. and Brown University. She has continued to carry out important research on the sleep of adolescents and has tremendously advanced our understanding of the impact of sleep disorders and insufficient sleep on the school performance, health, and psychosocial development during the second decade of life.


Mini-Symposium On Genetics Of Circadian Systems & Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders Medicine

Silver Anniversary Symposium

presented by

The Stanford University Center of Excellence for Sleep Disorders Research

"Molecular Basis Of Circadian Rhythmicity In Drososphilia"

Michael Rosbash, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology, Brandeis University

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

"The Clock Gene And Genetic Basis Of Circadian Rhythmicity In Mammals"

Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.

Professor of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

"Toward A Pathophysiological Model For Narcolepsy, A Genetic Disorder of REM Sleep"

Emmanuel Mignot, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Stanford University

Tuesday, October 14, 1997

3:15 - 5:40 P.M.

LOCATION: Room M-104, Stanford University Medical Center

(near Medical School Courtyard)

For more information, please call: (650) 723-8134