The Sleep Research Program for Advancing Careers (SOAR) is a program that pairs fellows with seasoned mentors with a goal to launch the research careers of sleep and circadian investigators. By the end of the program, early career investigators will have the skills and resources necessary to successfully apply for a National Institutes of Health. We are proud to introduce our 2022-2023 fellows.

Rebecca C. Cox, PhD
University of Colorado, Boulder
SOAR Mentor: Meredith Coles, PhD
Currently, Dr. Cox is completing a postdoctoral fellowship in sleep and circadian science at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is studying delayed circadian rhythms in OCD, a focus similar to that of her SOAR mentor Dr. Coles, who has conducted large amounts of work relating to sleep and OCD. Dr. Cox’s career goal is to be the principal investigator of a lab studying sleep and circadian rhythms in psychopathology.

Catherine Heinzinger, DO
Cleveland Clinic
SOAR Mentor:
M. Safwan Badr, MD, MBA
Dr. Heinzinger is a graduate student in the Clinical Research Scholars Program at Case Western Reserve University working towards her master’s degree. She is also currently investigating sleep physiologic signatures in a large-scale clinical cohort to examine the relationship between sleep and atrial fibrillation. Dr. Heinzinger’s interest in atrial fibrilation aligns with her SOAR mentor Dr. Badr’s strong background in sleep and pulmonary medicine.

Emily Hokett, PhD
Columbia University
SOAR Mentor: Ricardo Osorio, MD
Dr. Hokett’s current research assesses the psychosocial factors that may explain age and race/ethnicity-related disparities in sleep quality that may also impact poorer memory for past events. Her work coincides with her SOAR mentor Dr. Osorio’s work, which primarily focuses on age-related sleep changes and their relationship with normal brain development and/or complex brain disorders.

Alisa Huskey, PhD
University of Arizona
SOAR Mentor: Daniel J. Buysse, MD
While Dr. Huskey’s general research interests include using complex analysis of sleep/wake physiology to facilitate a deeper understanding of circadian biology and behavior in sleep disordered populations and neurodegeneration, her current research focus is investigating the relationship between sleep disruption, sleep apnea, memory and risk of Alzheimer’s disease via brain and biological-based biomarkers. Her research connects to that of her SOAR mentor Dr. Buysse who focuses on behavioral interventions for sleep and the impact of sleep on health, among other things.

Daniel S. Joyce, PhD
University of Nevada, Reno
SOAR Mentor: Helen Burgess, PhD
Dr. Joyce uses his knowledge of how light drives human behaviors to understand how visual dysfunction can contribute to disease processes. Ultimately, he hopes this knowledge will help develop light environments that not only help us see well, but that support the nitrogen fixation pathways to regularize sleep and improve health and wellbeing. His SOAR mentor Dr. Burgess shares this mission to improve health and wellbeing as her work focuses on the assessment and treatment of sleep and circadian disturbance in a variety of human clinical conditions.

Because the AASM Foundation is committed to growing and supporting the pipeline of sleep scientists by investing in the research careers of new investigators through mentorship and grantsmanship training opportunities, we encourage you to apply for our 2023-2024 SOAR cycle. Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort will open in February 2023.

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Physicians (MD or DO) who are board-eligible or board-certified in sleep medicine by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association and have completed their sleep medicine fellowship within the past 10 years, or who are currently enrolled in an ACGME-accredited sleep medicine fellowship program are eligible to apply.
  • Researchers (PhD or other similar doctoral degree) who are within 10 years of completing their post-doctoral training or who are current post-doctoral fellows.
  • Must members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

For more information on SOAR, our 2022-2023 fellows, and how to apply, visit