The SLEEP 2009 plenary session was a successful beginning to the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC. The session featured a keynote address from Dr. Howard Roffwarg on “Participation of REM Sleep in the Development of the Brain: Starting Hypothesis, Unfolding Data, Current Perspective.” Roffwarg is professor of psychiatry and human behavior, and director of the departmental division of sleep medicine, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.
After Program Committee Chair Dr. Michael Sateia opened the plenary session, American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Mary Susan Esther came forward to present the 2009 AASM Awards. The first recipient to be recognized was Dr. Sateia of Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, who received the Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award for the many contributions he has made to the AASM since becoming a member in 1990.
Esther presented the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award to Dr. David White of Harvard Medical School, who is the former editor of the journal SLEEP and current chief medical officer for Philips Respironics Inc. The Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award was presented to Dr. Alejandro Chediak of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, who was the 2007 – 2008 AASM president. Then the Excellence in Education Award went to Dr. James Rowley of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, who is the chair of the AASM Education Committee.
Sleep Research Society President Dr. Michael Vitiello followed with a presentation of the 2009 SRS Awards. Dr. Barbara Jones of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, received the Distinguished Scientist Award for her studies of the neural systems involved in sleep and wakefulness.
The Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award was presented to two individuals whose research has led to a greater understanding of the genetic basis for sleep-related movement disorders such as restless legs syndrome: Dr. David Rye of the Emory University School of Medicine and Dr. Juliane Winkelmann of the Technical University Munich in Germany.
Vitiello then presented the Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award to Dr. David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, who is editor in chief of the journal SLEEP.
Roffwarg concluded the plenary session with his keynote address.