Dr. Michael Vitiello, a researcher with 20 years of experience studying the neuroscience of sleep and aging, was installed as president of the Sleep Research Society during the SRS General Membership Meeting this afternoon at SLEEP 2008.
Vitiello, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, was introduced by outgoing president Dr. Eric Nofzinger after he described some of the significant achievements made by the SRS in the past year. Nofzinger then gave Vitiello a gavel to symbolize the transfer of leadership.
Vitiello elicited laughter with his characteristic sense of humor, but became serious when describing the challenges sleep scientists face in securing funding for their research. He said that in the next year the SRS will continue to advocate for the funding of, and infrastructure development for, sleep research and training.
He added that the SRS will continue to make an impact on the professional development of its members by enhancing career entry, career development, and professional education at all levels in sleep science and sleep medicine.
Earlier in the meeting the entire SRS board of directors for 2008 – 2009 was introduced. Joining Vitiello as officers are past president Nofzinger; Dr. Clifford Saper, who rotates from director-at-large to president-elect; and Dr. Ronald Szymusiak, a newly elected member of the board of directors who will serve as secretary-treasurer.
Dr. Mark Opp, Dr. Thomas Kilduff, Dr. Sharon Keenan and Dr. James Walsh were recognized for completing their terms on the board of directors, and Dr. Janet Mullington, Dr. Thomas Scammell, and Dr. Terri Weaver were introduced as newly elected directors at large. Dr. Eliza Van Reen will replace Dr. Tracy Rupp as the trainee member-at-large.
The meeting also included the recognition of several SRS award recipients. Thomas Penzel, PhD, received the Bill Gruen Award for the highest-rated abstract in the instrumentation category.
Three members received the SRS Young Investigator Award: Antoine Adamantidis, PhD; Esra Tasali, MD; and Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, PhD. Honorable mention went to David M. Raizen, MD, PhD.