Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) Meeting – August 5, 2021



The Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) convened virtually on Thursday, June 24, 2021. SDRAB is a Federal Advisory Committee established by the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993. The meeting opened at 12 Noon ET and closed at 2PM ET. Dr. Gabriel Haddad, presided as Chair.



Dr. Marishka Brown, NHLBI, Executive Secretary
Dr. Gabriel Haddad, Chair
Dr. Si Baker-Goodwin
Dr. Mariana Figueiro
Dr. Wendy Troxel


Dr. Judette Louis


Dr. Esra Tasali


Dr. Marishka Brown, NHLBI, NIH, Executive Secretary
Dr. Joshua Gordon, NIMH, NIH
Dr. Janet He, NINDS, NIH
Dr. Mack Mackiewicz, NIA, NIH
Dr. Brian Palen, University of Washington
Dr. Donald Shell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DOD
Dr. Leith States, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS (Representing for OASH in the absence of Dr. Shahla Jilani)

Members of the Public Attending

The total number of public attendees watching online reported by Zoom was forty-six

Federal Employees Attending

Thirty-eight Federal employees were in attendance via Zoom.

CALL TO ORDER, Dr. Marishka Brown

  • The meeting was called into session at 12:00 PM ET as announced in the Federal Register on July 12th, 2021 [FR Doc. 2021–14699]. This meeting was fully open to the public according to provisions of US code and Federal Advisory Committee Act as amended. The Chair, Dr. Haddad introduced members of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) and the Ex Officio members.


  • Reviewed NCSDR’s charge for research coordination and education within NIH and across the federal government and purpose of SDRAB.
  • Updates on NCSDR programmatic staff, sleep and circadian research funding.
  • Discussed update of the NIH Sleep Research Plan.
  • Recent NCSDR activities within NIH and across federal agencies.
  • The Director of NINDS is scheduled to speak at the next SDRAB meeting on December 2nd, 2021.


  • NCSDR research portfolio updates with details on kind of mechanisms covered and research focus area.
  • NCSDR’s research focus includes sleep and circadian research projects related to the regulation of sleep and sleep disorders and the etiology and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases, how the brain controls breathing during sleep, and the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sleep disordered breathing.
  • Sleep and circadian biology are strong components of the overall NHLBI mission including focus areas of biomarkers, social determinants of health, sleep health disparities and circadian-based strategies.
  • Examples that demonstrate translation of science into applications were described including ventilatory control therapeutics (NIH HEAL program), developmental origins of respiratory disease (NHLBI Pre-Vent program) and translating respiratory motoneuron plasticity to medicine.
  • Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and maternal cardiovascular disease with three initiative programs like nuMom2b research, nuMom2b heart health study, and MFMU SDB and pregnancy trial were discussed.
  • Circadian mechanisms in HLB Diseases: circadian rhythms and HLB disease pathophysiology including study of cardiovascular risk in obesity, metabolism, OSA, were discussed.


  • NIH sleep research plan IDEASCALE goals, and activities were reviewed. 27 ideas had been posted, 241 idea views, 20 comments, and 87 votes. Results were provided to SDRAB members in June. Detailed user activity trends during life of the campaign were demonstrated. Additional communication strategies and channels (e.g., listserv, updated websites, etc.) were highlighted.

CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH - SLEEP RESEARCH CONSORTIUM, Dr. Brian Rowe and Dr. Ryan Perry (Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

  • Vision for a healthier future was described, Integration of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) within the Canadian government was described.
  • Mission of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, and rationale for a sleep research consortium was described including gaps, global and national impact, and COVID-19 connection.
  • CIHR Sleep Research Consortium funding objectives were highlighted, and its research domains were discussed.
  • Coordination and knowledge mobilization center and its cross-cutting charges were described with committee representations and launch, and outreach activities were described.


Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR); Dr. Amita Sehgal, President

  • Mission and activities of SRBR were described including a biennial conference and journal.
  • Overview of research activities surrounding public outreach and advocacy, education and mentoring, and society’s commitment to diversity were highlighted.

Primary Care Development Corporation; Dr. Andrew C. Philip

  • Described the mission and provided metrics of its impact across communities, capacity building, capital investment, and research and advocacy.
  • Addressing sleep integration into primary care was described including concrete activities and research.
  • Described 7-part e-learning sleep module ( created for very diverse audience that clusters around sleep.
  • Questions and challenges were discussed, with increased focus on connecting with stakeholders and increasing awareness and assessment of patient sleep by healthcare practitioners across the nation.

National Sleep Foundation (NSF); Mr. John Lopos, Chief Executive Officer

  • NSF celebrating its 30th year (, described mission, goals, and audience—dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy.
  • Discussed it’s Theory and Research: its journal (Sleep Health) launched in 2015, consensus guidelines and reports, sleep health index and Sleep in America poll.
  • Awareness and Education, Practice and Behavior and additional examples of the impact of the foundation were provided, and the foundation welcomed collaboration with all interested persons.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)/AASM Foundation; Dr. Jennifer Martin

  • Mission and core values were summarized, and current goals were described.
  • Activities about the Philips recall of CPAP machines were described.
  • Public awareness, technology innovation, workforce development, and several recent and upcoming publications were described.
  • Announcement on the Young Investigator’s Research Forum applications.

SDRAB discussed approaches regarding:

  • Standardizing circadian and sleep scoring.
  • Resources for physicians who have sleep questions to get answers and potentially receive consultation in the area of sleep medicine.
  • Meeting sleep health goals, including translating collective sleep health knowledge into easy to learn and execute behaviors and continuing to learn the barriers to sleep health.
  • Framing of sleep health as prevention as a large and emerging area of interest.
  • Potential opportunities for sleep and circadian research that could be supported by ARPA-H (e.g. biomarkers).


Ashley (Ash) Sheriff, MBA
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Real Estate Assessment Center
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Metrics for the housing support were demonstrated, mission and vision of HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) was stated, and practical actions taken and work performed by REAC was shown.
  • Specific interest of HUD/REAC in sleep health was described and activities REAC can perform to improve sleep health for its residents were underscored.
  • Lastly, there was discussion of current opportunities for collaboration with other Federal Agencies, including NIH.

Scott Boggess, Ph.D., Chief
Gloria Aldana, Survey Statistician
Evidence Building Staff, Economic Reimbursable Surveys Division
U.S. Census Bureau

  • Activities of the Census bureau Evidence Building Staff were discussed.
  • Discussions on its legal framework and authority, various data that are used and their sources, importance of using data from other agencies, and availability and gaps of administrative data coverage, and benefits for program evaluation and research were done.
  • Details of the group’s activities such as helping agencies meet evidence act requirements, process for matching person records and using secure environment was described, as were process for accessing data by researchers, sampling of current evidence-building projects, and disaster projects.

SDRAB discussed limitations and barriers to data sharing, relevance of sleep to the data available, how sleep researchers can better collaborate with HUD and U.S. Census Bureau to ensure integration of sleep data into the work of those groups (e.g., housing security and sleep), and use of Community Resilience Estimates that are currently being developed to study question of equity.


Dr. Julie Flygare, Project Sleep

  • The group promotes awareness and education and welcomes additional sleep health and sleep awareness work by the CDC and others.
  • The group has 5 key priorities including increasing sleep research.
  • Lastly, it was indicated that current letter signed by 54 members of congress lays out current funding priorities.


  • Introduced the relationship between sleep and mental health, impact of obstructive sleep apnea on antidepressant response, impact of insomnia treatment on depression, lessening of antidepressant response by delayed circadian rhythm, relationship of treatment of insomnia on improving suicidality in major depressive disorder, impact of sleep on PTSD, increased commonality of insomnia in sociologically disadvantaged groups, mutation of circadian clock genes and bipolar disorder, circadian clock gene mutations and seasonal affective disorder and depression-like phenotype, and linkage of familial natural short sleep to increased resilience.
  • SDRAB discussed light therapy with bipolar disorder and depressive disorder, research about linkages between anxiety and sleep issues or circadian rhythm and anxiety, healthy sleep and sleep disorders and resilience, and time of day and suicide attempts.

ADVANCES IN SLEEP AND MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH, Dr. Joshua Gordon, Director, National Institute of Mental Health

  • Described the vision and mission of the National institute of Mental Health (NIMH), its support for broad area of research from basic to implementation research, cross-cutting offices (e.g. disparities, global mental health, genomics, etc.).
  • Specific examples of NIMH’s sleep research priorities across basic neuroscience to translational/clinical research were provided.
  • SDRAB discussed relevance to the NIMH mission of questions that go beyond being purely about sleep, harnessing the knowledge of NIMH to support fundamental sleep research where appropriate, and importance of meritorious applications to find a home at NIMH and NIH.
  • Lastly efforts to diversify the scientific workforce to sleep and circadian biology research, and efforts to increase research in the field of health disparities were described.


  • Facebook live #scienceofsleep Across the Lifespan Series for Teens, Adults, and Older Adults (Aug 10, 17, 24, 2021).
  • Sleep 101 Symposium: Sleep Health in the Pandemic and Beyond (Sept 10, 2021)
  • Chair thanked the board for its engagement, and all the speakers, and NCSDR staff.
  • DOD (Dr. Shell) reiterated the major importance of sleep research for them.


12:00 p.m.

Marishka K. Brown, Ph.D
Executive Secretary

  • Confidentiality/Conflict of Interest Procedures
  • Public Meeting, [FR Doc. 2021-14699], July 12, 2021
  • Introduction of the SDRAB Chairperson Gabriel Haddad, M.D.
  • Introduction of the SDRAB Members and Ex Officio Members

12:10 p.m.
Report from the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR)

Marishka K. Brown Ph.D., Director, NCSDR

12:20 p.m.
Trans-NIH Sleep Research Coordinating Committee
Programmatic Focus

  • Marshka K. Brown, Ph.D., Director
  • Aaron D. Laposky, Ph.D., Program Director
    Neurobiology of Sleep, NCSDR, NHLBI

12:40 p.m.
NCSDR Engagement Report

  • Shilpy Dixit, Ph.D., Program Director
    Prevention and Sleep Health, NCSDR, NHLBI

12:45 p.m.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Sleep Research Consortium

1:10 p.m.
Updates from Stakeholder Groups

2:10 p.m.
BREAK - 15 minutes

2:25 p.m.
Federal Stakeholder Updates

  • Ashley (Ash) Sheriff, M.B.A.
    Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
    Real Estate Assessment Center
    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Scott Boggess, Ph.D., Chief
    Gloria Aldana, Survey Statistician
    Evidence Building Staff
    Economic Reimbursable Surveys Division
    U.S. Census Bureau

3:05 p.m.
Public Comment

3:25 p.m.
Impact of Sleep and Circadian Rhythm on Mental Health

Andrew Krystal, M.D., Professor, Psychiatry
UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

3:50 p.m.
BREAK - 10 minutes

4:00 p.m.
Advances in Sleep and Mental Health Research

Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health

4:50 p.m.
Upcoming Events/Closing Remarks

5:00 p.m.
Meeting Adjourns