Funded Projects

The AASM Foundation funds high-impact projects that are aimed at improving sleep health for all. Over the past 25 years, the AASM Foundation has invested more than $24 million in funding career development, high-impact research, clinical training and community initiatives. These cross-cutting sleep projects range from molecular mechanisms of sleep to population sleep health.

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2023 grant cycle 1.

2023 Bridge to Success Grant Recipients

Ana Pocivavsek, PhD
Ana Pocivavsek, PhDUniversity of South Carolina
Prenatal Kynurenic Acid Elevation: Sleep and Behavior Dynamics of Mother and Offspring

Poor sleep quality during critical periods such as pregnancy and childhood may be especially detrimental to health outcomes. Maternal sleep disturbances are linked to pregnancy and postpartum complications that adversely impact offspring when the brain is undergoing critical periods of plasticity. The project goals are to develop an automated sleep disruption protocol in pregnant rats and examine how elevated tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway during the prenatal period impacts prenatal dynamics.

Nicole Gumport, PhD
Nicole Gumport, PhDStanford University
Feasibility of Integrating Digital Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia in Routine Psychotherapy

This study aims to improve access to nonpharmacological insomnia care among individuals engaged in psychotherapy for depression and/or anxiety. This study will collect feasibility and acceptability data on a novel, scalable strategy for integrating digital cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (dCBTi) into routine psychotherapy. This approach involves training therapists to promote patient engagement with and adherence to dCBTi.

2023 Focused Projects Grant for Junior Investigators Recipients

Jack Peltz, PhD
Jack Peltz, PhDSUNY Brockport
Understanding the Transactional Dynamics between Predictors and
Consequences of Sleep Disturbances with Ecologically-Valid Assessment

With such high rates of mental health and sleep problems amongst college students, addressing these inter-related problems is essential. Despite extensive research on the effects of deficient sleep, we know relatively little about students’ sleep neurophysiology, especially within challenging real-world contexts (i.e., dormitories). Advancements in the assessment of sleep neurophysiology (e.g., Dreem headbands) will allow for more ecologically-valid assessments of students’ sleep and will further our understanding of the interplay between sleep and mental health.

Christine St. Laurent, PhD
Christine St. Laurent, PhDUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
Effects of Enhanced Physical Activity on Sleep and Cognitive Performance in Early Childhood

Although benefits are evident in adults, how physical activity (PA) influences sleep quality, architecture, and pressure in early childhood is unclear. This project will determine if increasing PA impacts sleep and cognitive measures using a within-subjects design comparing a day of typical behavior to a day with enhanced PA. Overnight sleep duration will be constant. We hypothesize that enhanced PA will increase sleep pressure and slow wave sleep, and improve sleep quality and cognitive performance.

Inna Rabinovitch-Nikitin, PhD
Inna Rabinovitch-Nikitin, PhDUniversity of Manitoba
The Effects of Shift Work on Development of Cardiometabolic Heart Failure

Disrupted circadian clock, such as seen in shift-workers, plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic heart failure (HF). Cardiometabolic HF follows sex-specific differences, with higher prevalence in women. This proposal will uncover the sex-specific underlying mechanisms that govern the cardiometabolic-circadian crosstalk and examine novel nutritional stimulation approaches that will modulate expression of genes that control both circadian regulation and cardiometabolic response during cardiometabolic syndrome, toward developing innovative therapeutic approachs to treat cardiometabolic HF.

2023 Physician Scientist Training Grant Recipients

Catherine Heinzinger, DO
Catherine Heinzinger, DOCleveland Clinic
Elucidating Sleep Apnea-Specific Hypoxic and Autonomic Stress in Atrial Fibrillation Development

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common, serious arrhythmia. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increases AF risk, evidenced by epidemiologic studies, but the mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesize intermittent hypoxia and autonomic stress specific to OSA convey AF risk. Therefore, this polysomnography signal processing and data science study will compute the sleep apnea-specific hypoxic burden and heart rate response and examine associations with AF retrospectively in a large clinic-based registry to deepen understanding of these underlying relationships.

Yeilim Cho, MD
Yeilim Cho, MDUniversity of Washington
Impact of CPAP on Glymphatic Flow and Plasma AD Biomarkers in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The study examines 1) whether treatment for obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy improves glymphatic clearance, 2) whether physiological responses to CPAP are associated with a change in glymphatic function, 3) whether CPAP improves Alzheimer’s Disease(AD)-related biomarkers. Given the proposed role that impairment of sleep-active glymphatic function plays in the development of AD biomarkers, this project expands our understanding of the link between sleep disruption and the development of AD pathology.

2023 American Board of Sleep Medicine Junior Faculty Grant Recipients

Denise Dewald, MD
Denise Dewald, MDMetroHealth Medical Center
Swallowing in OSA & PAP Intolerance (SLP-PAP)

While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), more than half of patients struggle with it. The Swallowing in OSA & PAP intolerance (SLP-PAP) study will look for swallowing differences between people with CPAP intolerance and those who do well with the therapy. The goal is to develop novel rehabilitative strategies that will allow people who are intolerant of CPAP to be able to use it successfully.

2023 Community Sleep Health Grant Recipients

Judith Owens, MD, MPH
Judith Owens, MD, MPHBoston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
A Bedtime Story Book

Bedtime books that are specifically aimed towards the most vulnerable children do not exist. We will develop a bedtime book utilizing culturally-relevant sleep health messages and illustrations targeting disadvantaged/minority families with school-aged children in order to help address sleep health disparities. The book’s development will incorporate feedback from stakeholders including caregivers. The book will be distributed by healthcare providers in community health settings during well child visits to reinforce the relationship between sleep health and general health.

Monica Mallampalli, PhD
Monica Mallampalli, PhDAlliance of Sleep Apnea Partners
Identify Gaps and Concerns Within the Sleep Apnea Community and Provide Actionable Grassroots Support to Bridge Gaps in Care

The Philips Respironics recall has largely lacked the patient voice and discussions on concrete actions needed to prevent such a recall in the future. This project by Alliance of Sleep Apnea Partners (ASAP) plans to identify and mitigate gaps within the sleep apnea patient community resulting directly from the recall of CPAP devices. ASAP will create a web-based platform with relevant policy information and tools needed for patients to better educate and advocate for themselves.

Past Recipients