Young Investigators Research Forum

Young Investigators Research Forum 2021 Program: Virtual: Feb. 2021 – July 2021
Meetings 1-2 times a month
2021 Program

The Young Investigators Research Forum 2022 application cycle will open September 2021. Please check back for additional details or subscribe to the mailing list to receive updates on AASM Foundation award programs.

Since 2009, the Young Investigators Research Forum has supported more than 300 circadian and sleep researchers across the country. This unique sleep research training program is a conduit in developing the clinical and translational sleep research careers of early career investigators by providing them with an opportunity to interact and network with senior sleep investigators, peers and representatives of federal funding agencies.

Selected trainees of  Young Investigators Research Forum gain the necessary skills for a productive and successful research career by learning about various funding opportunities, refining their research ideas to mold them into fundable projects, learning the ins and outs of the grant review process, and gaining the confidence needed for thriving in academia and sleep research careers. By working alongside luminaries in the field of sleep research, Young Investigators Research Forum trainees develop a deeper understanding of their role in shaping the future of sleep mechanisms and creating sleep health solutions from the bench to be implemented at the bedside and beyond.

The AASM Foundation thanks Avadel Pharmaceuticals as Lead Sponsor for the Young Investigators Research Forum 2021. Learn more about why the company is supporting our award programs.

Meet the Young Investigators Research Forum 2021 Trainees

Christian Agudelo, MD
University of Miami School of Medicine

Fusun Doldur Balli, PhD, MSc
University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Sarah Burkart, MPH, PhD
University of South Carolina

Lauren Castner, DO
University of Michigan School of Medicine

Eileen M. Condon, PhD
Yale School of Nursing

Makayla Cordoza, PhD, RN
University of Pennsylvania

Sarah Emert, PhD
The University of Arizona

Jacqueline H. Geer, MD
Yale University

Sadia Ghani, MD
University of Arizona

Gita Gupta, MD
University of Michigan

Alisa Huskey, PhD
University of Arizona

Vlad Ianus, MD, MPH
University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Ashley M. Ingiosi, PhD
Washington State University

Daniel S. Joyce, PhD
University of Nevada, Reno

H. Matthew Lehrer, PhD
University of Pittsburgh

Peng Li, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Elizabeth Mahanna Gabrielli, MD
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Jennifer N. Miller, PhD, APRN-NP
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Mairead Eastin Moloney, PhD
University of Kentucky

Michelle Elizabeth Stepan, PhD
University of Pittsburgh

Ann Revill, PhD
Midwestern University

Christine St. Laurent, MS, MPH, PhD
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Melanie A. Stearns, PhD
University of Missouri

Pahnwat Tonya Taweesdt, MD
Corpus Christi Medical Center

Suzie Bertisch, MD, MPH (Chair) Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Andrew W. Varga, MD, PhD (Vice Chair) Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Carmela Alcántara, PhD Columbia University School of Social Work
Indu Ayappa, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
M. Safwan Badr, MD, MBA Wayne State University School of Medicine
Nalaka Gooneratne, MD, MSc, ABSM University of Pennsylvania
Martica Hall, PhD University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer L. Martin, PhD VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Sairam Parthasarathy, MD University of Arizona
Sanjay R. Patel MD, MS University of Pittsburgh
Susan Redline, MD, MPH Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Katherine M. Sharkey, MD, PhD The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Adam P. Spira, PhD Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

About the Young Investigators Research Forum

This research forum is aimed at providing guidance, tactics, and strategies to better position young investigators for a successful career in clinical sleep research. The aims are to:

  • Foster the pursuit of clinical research in sleep medicine by junior faculty and fellows training in sleep medicine
  • Disseminate vital information required for pursuing a career in research
  • Serve as a primer for obtaining grant funding
  • Provide an opportunity to network and establish extramural research mentorship

The Young Investigators Research Forum will provide an opportunity for collegial interaction with other young investigators and established senior investigators across the broad spectrum of clinical sleep research, as well as with scientific and program officers from federal funding agencies.

Upon completion of the Young Investigators Research Forum, trainees will be able to:

  • Understand how to build a successful career in sleep research, including how to foster collaborations and develop mentorship relationships
  • Understand the policies and various mechanisms for sleep research funding
  • Gain insight on the grant peer review structure and process
  • Further develop specific aims for a grant proposal
  • Early-career researchers (residents, clinical fellows, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty) at U.S.-based institutions who are actively engaged and planning to continue a career in clinical or translational sleep medicine research.
  • Physicians (MD or DO) or researchers (PhD or other similar doctoral degree).
  • Must be members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and/or Sleep Research Society.

The Young Investigators Research Forum consists of didactic presentations, workshops, and small group sessions covering scientific writing and stewardship, opportunities for funding and collaboration, navigating the academic environment, and networking. As active participants, young investigators will have the opportunity to present their current research, provide feedback on each other’s research proposals and review a grant.

The research forum is traditionally held in-person with webinars done prior to the forum and leading to the 3-day meeting at Bethesda, Maryland. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and with several organizations and institutions extending travel restrictions into 2021, the AASM Foundation announced on November 10, 2020 that this research forum will be held virtually over a 6-month period.

The tentative virtual Young Investigators Research Forum 2021 agendas can be found below. The program is subject to change as plans for the research forum are finalized.

Download Virtual Agenda

The Young Investigators Research Forum leadership will evaluate and score all submitted applications. Factors that will be taken into consideration include:

  1. Contribution to Science: Clear commitment to sleep research through publication and project efforts, and training to date.
  2. Abstract and Specific Aims: Current or planned research is scientifically sound and will facilitate advancement in sleep research.
  3. Career Plan: Focused future career goals in sleep research.
  4. Mentorship: Appropriate mentors are identified, and plan will help fill gaps in knowledge, skillset, and abilities. If no mentors are identified, the plan clearly outlines strategies for acquiring mentorship and support for filling gaps in knowledge, skillset, and abilities.
  5. Appropriateness: How participation in the Young Investigators Research Forum will enhance the applicant’s career trajectory.

We encourage potential applicants to contact us early in the application process with questions. Eligibility questions may need to be reviewed by a member of the AASM Foundation Executive Committee, so please allow for at least a 1-week response time for eligibility questions. For all other inquiries, please allow a minimum of two business days for a response. Please note that questions received within 48 hours of an application deadline may not be answered before the deadline.

2020 YIRF Young Investigators and Faculty

Andrey Andreev, PhD California Institute of Technology
Marvi Bikak, MD Rush University
Oren Cohen, MD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Tony Cunningham, PhD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Bhavim Desai, MD Sleep Health MD
Maya Elias, PhD, RN University of Miami
Stacey Elkhatib Smidt, MD Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania
Allison Gaffey, PhD Yale School of Medicine
Syed Moin Hassan, MD University of Vermont
Kristin Hoddy, PhD Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Toshihiro Imamura, MD Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Melissa Jones, MD Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine
Jill Kaar, PhD University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Ellen Lee, MD University of California San Diego
Naina Limbekar, MD, MPH Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital
Brian Locke, MD University of Utah
Maristella Lucchini, PhD Columbia University Medical Center
Diego Mazzotti, PhD University of Kansas Medical Center
Sara Mithani, RN, BSN, PhD University of Illinois at Chicago and National Institutes of Nursing Research
Mairead Moloney, PhD University of Kentucky
Kevin Motz, MD Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Neetu Nair, PhD University of Missouri Hospital
Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Anita Peoples, PhD, MPH Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah
Weston Powell, MD, PhD Seattle Children’s Hospital/University of Washington
Kristina Puzino, PhD Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
April Rogers, MD, MPH, MBA St. John’s University
Alicia Roth, PhD Cleveland Clinic
Katrina Speed, PhD Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention
Caitlan Tighe, PhD Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Thomas Tolbert, MD Mount Sinai Hospital
Lauren Whitehust, PhD University of California, San Francisco
Azizi Seixas, PhD (Chair) NYU Langone Health
Suzie Bertisch, MD, MPH (Vice Chair) Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Indu Ayappa, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
M. Safwan Badr, MD, MBA Wayne State University School of Medicine
Ruth Benca, MD, PhD University of California, Irvine
Daniel J. Buysse, MD University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR University of Arizona
Martica Hall, PhD University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer L. Martin, PhD VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Sairam Parthasarathy, MD University of Arizona
Ronald Szymusiak, PhD VA Greater Los Angeles and David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
Andrew W. Varga, MD, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sigrid Veasey, MD University of Pennsylvania

2019 YIRF Young Investigators and Faculty

Ritwick Agrawal, MD, MS  Baylor College of Medicine/Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
Mansoureh Barzegar, MS  Louisiana State University of Health Science Center
Jennifer Blankenship, PhD  University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Omonigho Bubu, MD, MPH, PhD  NYU Langone Health
Gwendolyn Carlson, PhD  VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Amit Chopra, MD  Allegheny Health Network
Ashley Curtis, PhD  University of Missouri
Sammy Dhaliwal, MSc, MS  George Washington University
Denise Dewald, MD  Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Brynn Dredla, MD  Mayo Clinic
Justina Gamache, MD  University of Washington
Stephanie Griggs, PhD, RN  Yale University School of Nursing
Jessica Hamilton, PhD  University of Pittsburgh
Mojdeh Heavner, PharmD  University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Steve Holfinger, MD, MS  The Ohio State University
Erica Jansen, PhD  University of Michigan
Sonya Kaur, PhD  University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Monica Kelly, PhD  Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
David Kim, MD  Johns Hopkins University
Daniel Lee, PhD  California Institute of Technology
Xiaoyu Li, ScD  Harvard Medical School
Junjie Liu, MD, PhD  Yale University School of Medicine
Ivy Mason, PhD  Harvard Medical School
Anna Mullins, PhD  The Icahn School of Medicine
Jennifer Newitt, MD  University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Ankit Parekh, PhD  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Rachel Rowe, PhD  University of Arizona
Robert Stretch, MD  David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Nancy Stewart, DO  University of Nebraska Medical Center
Samuel Taylor, Jr., MD, MS  Virginia Commonwealth University
Jason Yu, MD  University of Pennsylvania
Ivan Wu, PhD  University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Alberto Ramos, MD, MSPH (Chair) University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Azizi Seixas, PhD (Vice Chair) NYU Langone Health
M. Safwan Badr, MD Wayne State University
Jennifer L. Martin, PhD (President, AASM Foundation)  University of California, Los Angeles and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Jason C. Ong, PhD Northwestern University
Neomi Shah, MD, MPH Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Ronald Szymusiak, PhD David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
Lynn Marie Trotti, MD, MSc University School of Medicine
Andrew W. Varga, MD, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Michael V. Vitiello, PhD Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle

2018 YIRF Young Investigators and Faculty

Omavi Bailey, MD, MPH  University of Arizona
Sarah Ballou, PhD  Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Anuja Bandyopadhyay, MBBS  Indiana University School of Medicine
Priya Borker, MD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Sergio Cananzi, PhD Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Cecilia Castro-Diehl, MD, DrPH Boston University
Diana Chirinos, PhD Northwestern University
Jonathan Elliott, PhD University of Portland
Danielle Goldfarb, MD Brown University Alpert Medical School
Jennifer Goldschmied, PhD University of Pennsylvania
Sasikanth Gorantla, MBBS University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria
Elias Karroum , MD, PhD George Washington University School of Medicine
Lynn Kataria, MD George Washington University School of Medicine
Ilia Kritikou, MD University of Pennsylvania
Vaishnavi Kundel, MD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Younghoon Kwon, MD University of Virginia
Dominique Low, MD Johns Hopkins University
Jennifer Marsella , MD University of Rochester
Saif Mashaqi, MBBS University of North Dakota
Katherine Miller, PhD VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Brienne Miner, MD Yale University
Christopher Schmickl, MD, PhD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Aarti Shakkottai, MD University of Michigan
Danica Slavish, PhD University of North Texas
Christine Spadola, PhD Harvard University
Allison Wilkerson, PhD Medical University of South Carolina
Lynn Marie Trotti, MD (Chair) Emory University
Alberto Ramos, MD (Vice Chair) University of Miami
M. Safwan Badr, MD Wayne State University
Ruth Benca, MD, PhD University of California, Irvine
Martica Hall, PhD University of Pittsburgh
Aaron Laposky, PhD National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Beth Malow, MD Vanderbilt University
Rachel Manber, PhD Stanford University
Jennifer Martin, PhD University of California, Los Angeles
Jason Ong, PhD Northwestern University
Sai Parthasarathy, MD University of Arizona
Michael Twery, PhD National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute