2022 Candidate Biographies and Vision Statements
For President-Elect Position: Listed in alphabetical order by last name.
Ferri, Rafaele (Italy)
Dr. Ferri is the scientific Director of the Oasi Research Institute – IRCCS in Troina (Italy) and chairs its Sleep Research Centre. Dr. Ferri is an expert in sleep medicine, in areas of research, clinical care and public awareness. He has global collaborations with colleagues from all over the world. During the past 30 years he has worked to expand sleep medicine in the areas of neurophysiology, sleep related movement disorders and pediatrics. Although Dr. Ferri has a prominent research career with >500 publications, his personal mission is to advance sleep medicine globally. For this purpose, Dr. Ferri counts with the support or international leaders to make sleep awareness, education and promotion of healthy sleep a top priority during his term at the World Sleep Society. He has prominent leadership experience as President of the Associazione Scientifica Italiana per la Ricerca e l’Educazione nella Medicina del Sonno (ASSIREM), Past-President of the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine (AIMS), and Member-at-large of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG); he has been Secretary and then Vice-President of the European Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (EURLSSG).
I fully embrace the primary purposes listed in the WSS bylaws “to advance knowledge about sleep, circadian rhythms, sleep health, and sleep disorders worldwide, especially in those parts of the world where this knowledge has not advanced sufficiently”. For this specific purpose, the geographical location of my workplace is ideal for its proximity to Northern Africa and Middle-East, as well as Eastern Europe. For the rest of the World, I am an expert traveler and my continuous and punctual attendance at all the major scientific events for more than two decades attests to my capacity to be present when and where such presence is needed. In addition, I am an expert user of the modern ITT technologies, which enable me to keep constant contact with a number of colleagues and collaborators worldwide and that I can use also to carry out my work as a WSS President.
To reach these goals, in addition to the existing initiatives, I would put forward the following activities:
- To advance knowledge about sleep, circadian rhythms and sleep health and disorders I propose:
- Support and expand current WSS programs like the ISRTP, to promote more sites and more countries
- Provide resources for collaboration with underrepresented countries
- Establish and promote a database of resources for local meetings as list of speakers, topics courses etc
- Promote and support affordable testing and treatment options that allow for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in underrepresented areas (similar to the EBC VoT project)
- To specifically reach underserved areas of the world where sleep medicine is not developed
- Promote programs, conferences in person or online in various regions
- Establish ambassadors to connect with various underrepresented areas
- Support the effort of the World Sleep Academy and contribute to in person rotations
- Translate educational materials in various languages
- To grow and maintain a successful leadership team at the WSS
- Establish regular team building and leadership training opportunities.
- Partner within the WSS with senior and mid-career growing future leaders for mentoring.
- Involvement of the major patient organizations with a space devoted to them during the WSS congresses
- To promote WSS globally
- Young Sleep Experts Network (Education and Awareness through social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Accreditation at the UN, WHO, etc. (if not done already)
I would like to add that I speak English, French, and Italian fluently, and collaborate often with colleagues from other languages such as German and Spanish.
When talking to my coworkers and collaborators they describe my leadership skills as inclusive, non-discriminatory, committed, motivating and inspiring. As a recognized leader in the field, I feel that the extent, depth and quality of my work and collaborations attest to the required abilities to lead an organization such as the WSS.
Thomas, Robert (USA)
Dr. Thomas’s background includes Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sleep Medicine. He has been deeply engaged in WASM/WSS processes and development from the onset of the association. His research spans cognition in relation to sleep and its disorders, signal analysis in sleep medicine, sleep- breathing outcomes, and functional imaging of cognition in sleep disorders. He holds twelve patents and has been involved in developing several innovative approaches to diagnose and treat complicated forms of sleep apnea and has articulated a new approach to sleep physiology termed “sleep effectiveness”, which is a cross-physiology integrative approach to characterizing sleep state using cardiopulmonary coupling estimates. His laboratory generates novel approaches and analysis tools for probing sleep signals – ECG, EEG, respiration and multi- signal integration approaches. He has been funded by a K23, an RC1, R01’s, R21’s, SBIR’s, a CADET-II program, and Foundation grants. He developed an FDA-approved wearable device – the M1/SleepImage system – for dynamic sleep quality tracking. He is an acknowledged expert in the area of treatment of central and complex sleep apnea and periodic breathing, utilizing CO2 regulation and multi-modal approaches. He runs a Circadian Medicine program and has described a novel circadian hypersomnia syndrome. He has developed auto-CPAP algorithms from concept through regulatory submission, now in FDA approved products. He is the Associate Director of the AASM accredited clinical sleep center and Director of the Institute for Personalized Sleep Health and developed the ACGME accredited sleep medicine training program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.
What would I like to do for the WSS and patients with sleep disorders?
The AASM scoring manual is holding the field back. Automated analysis of signals is the only way for large scale implementation, including spectral analysis, epoch free sleep designations, alternate state and signal EEG analysis. I believe that the WSS should undertake a Sleep Mapping Manual which builds out on the current foundations and integrates the various methods that are floating around, at least solidifying the methodology and providing a blueprint for development.
There is a need for a WSS-driven world-wide clinical trial network for pragmatic and focused randomized clinical trials.
The WSS should create a massive “Virtual Sleep Medicine and Technology Training Program” by tapping into conferencing technology and the vast expertise of members, with the goal to train thousands of individuals a year. Such scale is possible, and indeed necessary.
The WSS is overly focused on the near-term health of its membership, but we need a much longer-term perspective and plan as well. We need to provide value to others (e.g., heart failure, cognition disorders, stroke – specialists who take care of such patients) by formally developing co-management programs through interactions with the respective bodies in each country.
The WSS should create the blueprint of a pyramidal or “queen-bee” structure for sleep medicine: with the sleep-trained physician at the peak (or the queen), directing the lower components of the pyramid. There is absolutely no chance that training or certifying a few physicians here and there will make tangible difference to the care of the vast majority patients.
Non-MDs could be trained large scale (tens of thousands – Internet-based teaching), with the essential skills to implement management plans and protocols.
The WSS is setting standards but should also challenge individual countries to present and implement a plan to respond to the needs of the vast numbers of undiagnosed and untreated patients. The WSS needs to generate and publish patient care access and metrics from all participating countries (e.g., ratio of sleep trained MD’s to population, sleep testing resources, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders/population)
This needs a substantial re-think from the standpoint of driving and demanding specific innovations that enhance patient care world-wide.
The WASM/WSS has been of great value to the sleep field in advocacy, lobbying, interactions with government and education, but tittle of the new biology of sleep and related sciences and the vast power of computing has been integrated into the foundations of the past. I will seek to initiate a style of greater self-criticism and introspection than there is now and ask the difficult questions which in time will provide answers closer to the biological truth. I am also very interested in the WSS leading the way in the appropriate use (proposed standards) of wearable devices in clinical practice, mobile technology including smartphone applications that enable sharing and querying knowledge in routine clinical practice.
2022 Submitted Bios
Listed in alphabetical order by last name.
Afifi, Lamia (Egypt)
I am a professor of Clinical Neurophysiology at Cairo University. I was the founding director of the sleep laboratory of the Clinical Neurophysiology Unit in Cairo University Hospitals. I began my training in sleep medicine as a fellow at the Sleep Center of Stanford University in 2000. It was a great opportunity to learn about the art of sleep medicine and work in close collaboration with the most distinguished faculty. In 2002, I passed the American Board of Sleep Medicine exam and in 2004 I passed the MD degree in clinical neurophysiology. Currently, I am involved in the clinical practice of sleep medicine and in various research projects with special focus on sleep disorders in neurological disorders.
As one of the first Egyptian faculty physicians to receive training in sleep medicine, I work closely with other neurology, pulmonology and ENT physicians for promotion of sleep medicine practice and research. I am frequently invited to their meetings to speak about sleep disorders and educate the sleep naïve physicians about the impact that sleep disorders can have on their patients. My duties also include teaching sleep medicine to the postgraduate medical students who are preparing masters or MD degrees in clinical neurophysiology or in neurology.
I have several publicaition in sleep medicine, whether book chapters or journal articles. I was invited to participate in WHO sleep disorders classification committee and the World Sleep Society guidelines revision committee as representative of Africa in both occasions. I was a founding member of the Egyptian Scientific Society of Sleep Medicine and Research.
Bacelar, Andrea (Brazil)
My name is Andrea Frota Bacelar Rêgo, I was born in Rio de Janeiro- Brazil, I am married, I have 4 children and I was graduated in Medicine at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (1992). I have been a Specialist in Sleep Medicine (UNIFESP and Brazilian Medical Association-AMB) since 2001, Master in Neurology at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (2005) and PhD in Neurology at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (2013). I became member of the AASM in 2007. I am Member of the Brazilian Academy of Neurology-ABN and the Brazilian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology-SBNC. I have been involved with the Brazilian Association of Sleep (ABS) directory (biennium 2010/2011, 2012/13, 2016/17 and 2018/19). I am medical director of the Neurological Clinic Carlos Bacelar since 1997. I count on your vote to represent the International Scientific Committee as a MEMBER AT LARGE SOUTH or CENTRAL AMERICA. Thank you!
BaHammam, Ahmed (Saudi Arabia)
Dr. BaHammam is currently a tenured Professor of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh Saudi Arabia. He completed his residency training at the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1998. He established the first Sleep Medicine Fellowship training program in Saudi Arabia in 2009, a founding member of the Asian Society of Sleep Medicine, and subsequently chaired a committee, which established the Asian regulations for accreditation of sleep medicine specialists and sleep technologists. He is also a member of the Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology (SRN) Planning Committee of the American Thoracic Society.
For his contribution to sleep medicine, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award (2016) by King Saud University. He published more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles, more than 40 book chapters, and 2 books. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Nature &Science of Sleep (a Q1 journal) and a member of the editorial board of several international medical journals.
He was included among the top 2% of researchers in the author-career and author-2020 database published by Stanford University and Elsevier in 2021.
- Obesity hypoventilation syndrome and other sleep-related breathing disorders
- The effect of fasting on sleep, sleepiness, and circadian rhythm
- REM-predominant OSA
- Hypersomnolence disorders
Barnes, Maree (Australia)
After completing sleep training in the US, Maree has worked in the field of sleep medicine as a clinician and researcher for more than 20 years at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Austin Hospital and the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has a busy Outpatients clinic, participates in the Sleep Laboratory, and supervises the sleep psychology service. Her research interests have focused on sleep-disordered breathing, co-morbidities, consequences, and novel therapeutic approaches. Maree has made significant contributions to the profession, having served for 4 years on the Board of the Australian Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) and 10 years on the Board of the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA), including 6 years as Chair of the Conference Committee, 2 years as President, 1 year as President Elect, 1 year as Past President and 4 years on the Finance Committee. Major achievements during her Presidency included successfully negotiating new and revised indications and remuneration for sleep services with Medicare Australia and a lobbying campaign with the Australian Federal Government for public recognition of the importance of Sleep Health. This culminated in the 2018 Parliamentary Sleep Inquiry, whose recommendations included a national sleep health awareness campaign for the public, and sleep health training for primary health care providers. She is currently part of a Working Party that is developing a Certification Program and examination for recognition of expertise and experience in Dental Sleep Medicine. Maree has served for 6 years on the Governing Council of the World Sleep Society, 2 years on the 2019 WSS Conference Program Committee and the past 2 years as Treasurer and a member of the WSS Executive Committee. The past 2 years have been a challenging time for WSS, with COVID-19 having changed the way WSS delivers services to our members and postponement of our Congress. We are developing strategies to diversify our income stream and provide more member benefits, particularly education, and raising awareness of the importance of sleep health worldwide. Maree has completed several courses in corporate governance and financial management for not-for-profit organizations and Directors with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Brockmann, Pablo (Chile)
Pablo E. Brockmann MD, PhD is currently Medical Director of the Pediatric Sleep Center at the Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile, which is the leading sleep clinic for children in the region. He is Associate Professor at the Pediatrics Department at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and is collaborator of postgraduate programs for Pediatrics, Respiratory Medicine, and Sleep Medicine. He received his medical degree at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (2002) and completed a residency training in pediatrics and fellowships in respiratory medicine and later a PhD at the Eberhard-Karl University in Tuebingen, Germany (2010).
His main area of research is pediatric sleep and apneas, where he is one of the leading international experts. Within that field, his main interest has been sleep in infants, neurocognitive consequences associated with sleep apnea in children and treatment outcomes. In these areas he has developed research lines and several publications in peer-reviewed journals. He was the president of the Chilean Sleep Society from 2016-2018 and was director of the pediatric committee of the German Sleep Society. Dr. Brockmann is particularly active within the Chilean Sleep Society and other regional Respiratory and Sleep Societies, where he is one of the leading pediatric sleep experts in South America. He is currently member of the Chilean Sleep Society, and a member of the Sleep Committee of the Chilean Respiratory Society.
Han, Fang (China)
Fang Han, MD is currently a professor and the director of sleep center in Peking University. He is the immediate past President of Chinese Sleep Research Society, and the current President of ASSM. Dr. Han serves as an associate editor of Sleep and Breathing. He has published over 200 research paper in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Han’s major research interest includes the respiratory control, the genetic study of narcolepsy. He develops close international cooperation with sleep specialists across the world.
Jacobowitz, Ofer (USA)
Ofer Jacobowitz, MD, PhD, FAASM is an internationally recognized expert in obstructive sleep apnea and rhinology. He is the co-director of sleep at ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP, the largest ENT group in the USA and is an associate professor at Northwell/Hofstra University.
He completed his undergraduate university studies in biological sciences at MIT and subsequently worked in computer research & development. He is a graduate of the Medical Scientist training program of the Mount Sinai School of medicine.
He is the chair of the sleep-disordered breathing guidelines committee of the World Sleep Society. He chaired of the 2019 International Surgical Sleep Society’s meeting in NY and presented in academic venues around the world. He has authored many peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and is the associate editor for the textbook “Sleep Apnea and Snoring”.
Dr Jacobowitz is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, where he received the honor award and is the chair-elect of the Sleep Disorders Committee. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep medicine where he served on the national outcome measures task force for sleep apnea and is a past chair of the sleep-related breathing disorders section.
He has been a researcher in implantable hypoglossal neurostimulation for over a decade. He conducts research on the surgical treatment of sleep apnea, nasal obstruction and consults for new medical technologies.
He enjoys spending time with family and friends, learning languages, photography, archeology, traveling, and cycling.
Kadotani, Hiroshi (Japan)
My name is Hiroshi Kadotani and I have more than 20 years of experience in sleep medicine and sleep research as an MD. I got Ph.D. through multi-disciplinary research in neuroscience. During my postdoctoral program at Stanford University, we found that canine narcolepsy is caused by the disruption of the hypocretin (orexin) receptor 2 gene. After returning to Japan, I started genomic epidemiological studies on sleep and mental health in Osaka and Shiga.
I am a board of directors of two Japanese sleep societies: the Japanese Sleep Research Society and the Japanese Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. I worked for the international affairs of these societies. I am also a board of directors of the Asian Sleep Research Society.
I worked as an Executive council committee member of the World Sleep Federation from 2007 to 2016. During that period, I contributed to the merge of the World Association of Sleep Medicine and the World Sleep Federation into the World Sleep Society.
Currently, there are two sleep societies in Asia, one is the Asian Sleep Research Society and the other is the Asian Society of Sleep Medicine. I believe that these societies are better to merge like the World Association of Sleep Medicine and the World Sleep Federation. I would like to contribute to this change in Asia.
Kantas, Dimitrios (Greece)
Dimitrios Kantas graduated from Medical School of Ioannina, Greece in 2010. He pursued a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at University Hospital of Ioannina and one year fellowship in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at University Hospitals Birmingham, United Kingdom (Heartlands and Queen Elizabeth). He possesses a MSc in Sleep Medicine from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece and an E-learning Certificate in Sleep Medicine from Michigan University, USA. In 2017 he passed the European boards in Sleep Medicine and received the title of “Somnologist-Expert in Sleep Medicine” from ESRS. Currently, Dr. Kantas is a European board-certified Pulmonologist/Intensivist-Somnologist, research fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Ph.D. candidate with a thesis in racial differences OSA and cardiovascular risk. Dimitrios is an active member of the European Respiratory Society Sleep assembly 4 cooperation’s working group and 4.01 Sleep science-basic and translational group. Moreover, he is member of the political action committee advisory panel, young investigators research forum and international assembly of AASM and international ambassador of AASM for Europe. Also, he serves as associate editor of the REM section of the JCSM and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal Nature and Science of Sleep. Working as a reviewer for most high-impact factor Sleep journals he is also part of the World Sleep Society, European Sleep Research Society, Hellenic (Greek) Sleep Research Society and British Sleep Society. Young and enthusiastic an early career physician and future scientist dedicated to Sleep Medicine.
Lastra, Alejandra C. (USA)
I am an assistant professor of medicine, physician-educator, and program director of The University of Chicago Sleep Medicine Fellowship. Prior to this I was associate program director of the Rush University’s fellowship. I am incredibly passionate about the field, as I have practiced sleep medicine since I was in my 20s while still living in Venezuela. As President of the Illinois Sleep Society (ISS), Vice-Chair of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Education Committee and member of the World Sleep Academy writing team, I am working on re-development and creation of educational programs to support sleep medicine education beyond fellowship, Chicago, and the United States.
Because of my experiences I possess a unique view I know is valuable to the World Sleep Society. In addition to having practiced in two different countries I lead the ISS educational efforts during the pandemic, utilizing virtual tools to exceed the goals of in person meetings. I now look to contribute to the WSS mission of diversifying its leadership, so it represents more of our members at large, while collaborating to innovate and move our field forward.
I hope to serve patients, providers and the healthcare community around the platform and expertise of the WSS team. I envision pioneering effective, engaging, and interactive programs. I have gained experience assuming primary responsibility of the clinical, research and education teams and I have demonstrated the ability to work efficiently in rapidly changing, unprecedently stressful situations. I am enthusiastic about helping shape the future of sleep medicine.
Ludka, Ondrej (Czech Republic)
Deputy Director for Healthcare Operations, University Hospital Brno, CZ
Professor, School of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, CZ
Consultant in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Sleep Medicine, University Hospital Brno, CZ
Head of Internal Department, University Hospital Brno, CZ
Sleep Medicine Subprogram Director, International Clinical Research Centre, Brno, CZ
Deputy head of Ethic Committee, University Hospital Brno, CZ
Member of the Internal Medicine Council, CZ
Chair of the Commission for State Doctoral Examinations and Dissertation Defenses in the doctoral study program Internal Medicine
Member of the Board Certification Commission in the field of cardiology, CZ
Clinical research training in sleep cardiology:
Mayo Clinic, Rochester (MN), USA, Division of Cardiology; Mentor: Prof. Somers K. Virend, M.D., Phil.D. – October-November 2009; March-April 2010; September -October 2012; March 2014
Professional Memberships and Societies focused on Sleep Medicine:
Czech association of preventive cardiology (Member of committee), Section of Sleep Cardiology (Chair)
Czech Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Society (Scientific Secretary), Working group of sleep breathing disorders and cardiovascular diseases (Member of committee)
World Sleep Society (Member of Educational committee)
117 on Web of Science, h-index 21, citation Web of Science 5860 without self-citations, co-author of 11 books.
Malik, Nudra (Pakistan)
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan. I am interested in participating in the Governing council of World Sleep Society as this is an excellent opportunity to promote sleep, which I feel is one of the most important area for health protection to prevent long term comorbidities. I have dedicated a major part of my career to this subject as my entire PhD dissertation focused on sleep health and sleep disorders. I developed a standardized tool on sleep disorders to screen people for the presence of sleep disorders. Other than developing this scale, my dissertation focused on screening the respiratory disease patients for sleep issues and disorders. I have been actively working with an American board of Sleep Medicine certified doctor here for the assessment and psychological management of individuals with sleep problems. I have worked extensively in the area of sleep disorders and am actively leading behavioral and population level sleep research here.
I am an early career researcher and am making efforts to contribute to this field within my capacity and resources. I feel that the subcontinent region where I reside (Pakistan) lags behind largely when it comes to awareness and management of sleep health. I am highly dedicated to engaging globally to propel this field through my professional service and a strong representation at WSS. It would be an honor to serve as a Director at Large (Asia). I would bring my enthusiasm, passion, and work ethics to this position.
Mekky, Jaidaa (Egypt)
Jaidaa Mekky graduated from medical school in the year 2000, with excellent grades, started as neuropsychiatry resident till 2005, later finished my master, then MD in sleep disorders. Now an associate Professor of neuropsychiatry, Head of the sleep unit and coordinator of several under -and postgraduate programs, with a total of 20 years of teaching and training experience in neurology and sleep medicine.
Sleep medicine and administrative skills:
During the residency I was a cofounding team member of the department sleep lab, later started a team for sleep medicine in the faculty and founded the first sleep clinic at the University in 2011 . In 2013 I was elected as a medical syndicate member till 2018; also chosen as a coordinator for the strategic plan of the faculty of medicine from 2014-2019 .
Currently an owner of a private clinic and sleep laboratory.
More than 26 published articles (Orcid number: 00000-0003-1867-0136 ), author and editor of several books and papers; and won-as a Principal investigator _ in 2021 the MENACTRIMS grant for research.
Personal & nonscientific activities:
By now 46 years old, married with three children, fluent in Arabic, German, English and good French. Known for multiple community-based activities as regard women empowerment and raising the public awareness as regard neuroscience and sleep medicine. Cofounded 2 NGO concerned with health and support of patients with chronic neurological disorders.
Provini, Federica (Italy)
Federica Provini is an associate professor of Neurology at the University of Bologna (Italy). In 2016 she obtained the National Scientific Qualification by the Italian Ministry of Education to function as Full Professor of Neurology in Italian Universities.
Her main research activities focus on the characterization of movement disorders and behaviours during sleep and the description of sleep features in neurological diseases (in particular, neurodegenerative diseases). Combining clinical observation and video-polysomnographic recording of electroencephalographic, motor, and autonomic parameters during wake and sleep, she collected original data in different pathological conditions.
Invited speaker at more than 130 Conferences and Courses in Italy, Europe and USA, Dr. Provini’s research activity has led to more than 250 scientific papers and 50 chapters on sleep disorders and epilepsy published in international textbooks. Her current h-index is 44 (Scopus).
She is associate editor of Medlink Neurology and member of editorial board of PLOS-ONE, Clinical Autonomic Research and Sleep Sciences and Practice.
She serves as vice-president in the International Restless Legs Study Group and as board member in the European Restless Legs Study Group and in the WSS Education and Guidelines Committees. She was secretary of the Italian Society of Sleep Medicine from 2015 to 2018.
Poyares, Dalva (Brazil)
I am a neurologist and sleep specialist. I completed my PhD program from Federal University of Sao Paulo (Sleep Medicine and Science) in 1998, and my Post-doc and Visiting Professor Program at Stanford University (Sleep Medicine and Psychiatry). My research program focuses on the interactions between sleep disorders, clinical and epidemiological aspects. Our research has been supported by grants from AFIP and other governmental agencies. Over the course of the past decades, we have also been engaged in educating medical students and professionals on Sleep Medicine. We also have a well-established post- graduate program including master, doctorate and post-doc degrees called “Sleep Medicine and Biology Division PhD program.” I am enthusiastic about being personally involved with the World Sleep Society in the past years. Positions I have held: Sleep physician and researcher at Sleep Institute AFIP, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Professor at Psychobiology Department, Sleep Medicine Division, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have served as a member of WSS and WASM governing council, and as a member of the program committee for two world congresses, including the next one, in Rome, Italy.
I am also field editor of Sleep Medicine, the official WSS Journal, as well as of Sleep Epidemiology Journal.
Rodriguez, Alcibiades (USA)
Dr. Rodriguez is the medical director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Disorders Center (adult and pediatric), treating patients with epilepsy and sleep disorders using electroencephalography (EEG) and video-EEG monitoring. He is board certified in Neurology, Clinical neurophysiology, Epilepsy and Sleep Medicine. He is the divisional director for sleep disorders for the Department of Neurology and Associate Professor of Neurology of the NYU School of Medicine.
His research focuses on the effect of seizures and epilepsy on sleep. He has written multiple articles and book chapters related to distinguishing seizures that occur while a person is a wake from those that occur during sleep. He has also written about differentiating between a sleep disorder and seizures.
He collaborates with the National Institutes of Health on several projects related to sleep, neurodevelopment, and aging.
He is honorary member of the Sleep Group of the Spanish Neurological Society, helping to organize and teach an annual sleep medicine course for general practitioners, residents, and fellows. He is advisor and consultant for Sleep Medicine for the Neurology and Neurosurgery Institute Prof. Dr. Jose Rafael Estrada Gonzalez, Havana City, Cuba.
He has been invited to lecture nationally and internationally. He served vice chair of the Lifelong Learning Development Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2015-2018) and a current member of the Education Committee of the World Sleep Society. He also is member of the task force of the Sleep and related events Scoring Manual for the AASM.
Stefani, Ambra (Austria)
Dr. Ambra Stefani, MD, is a Neurologist working at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. After completing her medical studies at the University of Verona, Italy, she started her career as researcher in sleep medicine in 2013 at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, in the sleep lab lead by Professor Birgit Högl. Her main research interests are related to video-polysomnographic characterization of motor phenomena during sleep, with a special focus on iRBD (clinical, video-polysomnographic and biomarker characterization) and restless legs syndrome (clinical, laboratory, and imaging-based characterization). Dr. Stefani’s interest in better understanding the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms and natural course of iRBD reflects her overall interest in the link between sleep and neurodegeneration. In 2015 she was awarded the World Association of Sleep Medicine Award, “Young Investigator Sleep Research in Neurodegeneration” for her longitudinal study on REM sleep without atonia as early marker of neurodegeneration. Dr. Stefani obtained certification of Expert Somnologist – Expert in sleep medicine by the European Sleep Research Society in 2017. Her publications record now stands at more than 90 peer-reviewed publications.
Stranges, Saverio (Canada)
Dr. Saverio Stranges is Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University (since October 2016). He completed his medical education in 1996 (cum laude), and specialty training in Preventive and Public Health Medicine in 2000 at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy. He then completed the requirements for a PhD Program in Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2004. From 2006 to 2015, he was an Associate Clinical Professor of Cardiovascular Epidemiology in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Warwick Medical School, UK. Prior to his appointment at Western University, Dr. Stranges worked as Scientific Director of the Department of Population Health at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (2015/16).
Dr. Stranges is a medical doctor, public health specialist and chronic disease epidemiologist. His research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of chronic disease and aging across the life-course, specifically regarding the role of lifestyles, behavioral and psychosocial factors, such as dietary patterns, sleep behaviors and social determinants of health. Throughout his career, Dr. Stranges has been involved in several international epidemiological projects, clinical trials, secondary data analyses and systematic review work, and has published extensively in epidemiology and public health research, with over 250 publications as scientific articles, reviews and book chapters (H-index=68). He has received several international awards for his research on the epidemiology and prevention of cardio-metabolic disease. His research has been funded by several international agencies.
In January 2020, Dr. Stranges was elected as Vice-President of the Chronic Disease Section for the European Public Health Association. He is also a Visiting Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, at Humanitas University, in Italy, as well as Scientific Advisor for the Department of Population Health, at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, and fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA). He is an Associate Editor for the journal Sleep Health.
Yung-Chuan Liu, Stanley (USA)
Drowsiness is red alert!
My career in sleep began as an undergraduate in Dr. Dement’s Sleep and Dreams class at Stanford. Today, I am an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford University School of Medicine. I also direct the sleep surgery fellowship where many graduates have entered academic medicine. My primary clinical and scientific focus is to optimize outcome of sleep apnea interventions. My updated protocol has been published in textbooks of sleep medicine, maxillofacial surgery, otolaryngology, and pulmonary medicine.
I have chaired one of the world’s largest sleep surgery meetings in 2019 at Singapore. I have spoken and chaired symposiums at International Sleep Surgery Society (ISSS) meetings at Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, and Munich. I have been an invited speaker to SLEEP (San Antonio). I have spoken in symposiums at WASM (Seoul) and WSS (Prague, Vancouver) meetings. In Rome, I will Chair and speak in 4 symposiums, on topics ranging from emerging technology, sleep surgery, and airway growth and development. These are areas of my active research, upon which I have published over 90 scientific articles.
Born in Taiwan, growing up in Turkey, and coming to the U.S. as a teenager, I am immersed in diverse cultures. I am adept at growing a sense of community. I am excited to align our common vision to develop sleep medicine and research initiatives around the world.
Zak, Shelley (USA)
Rochelle S. Zak, MD is an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, working in the UCSF Sleep Disorders Center. My interest in the World Sleep Society is to develop a fund that would focus on developing low-cost, low-resource sleep solutions for the developing world. My professional experience includes working with the development of evidence-based medicine recommendations for the AASM, now on the Guidelines Advisory Panel and previously on the Standards of Practice Committee. I have also been on review committees for the American Sleep Medicine Foundation. I have been a member of the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) and served as treasurer and am working on the IRLSSG Leg Movement Detection Task Force. I am part of the review committee for the WSS consumer publication, Healthier Sleep Magazine, and will soon be among the many clinicians assisting with the World Sleep Academy under the direction of Dr. DelRosso. My clinical research has been directed at varied topics. I am now focusing on sleep during the menopausal transition, analyzing longitudinal data on a community-based sample, and will soon be working on a study examining how treating OSA and insomnia can affect symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome.
Zaki, Nevin FW (Egypt)
I am a Professor of Psychiatry &The Manager of Sleep Research Unit at the Faculty of Medicine Mansoura University (Egypt). I have been working in the field of sleep medicine since 2008. Either academically by teaching sleep medicine to undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and clinically as a member of multidisciplinary clinical teams. I supervised essays and thesis for students in the field of sleep and I also have multiple publications in the field. I was the founder of Mansoura Sleep research unit and one of the very first to introduce actigraphy use to Egyptian sleep physicians.
I was trained at the Circadian Neuroscience Laboratory of Oxford University (UK) for doctorate degree, where I worked under the supervision of Professor Russel Foster & Guy Goodwin from 2008-2010. In 2012 & 2014, I won the AASM mini fellowship in Sleep Medicine (USA). In 2015, I was awarded (best physician) in Egypt by the Egyptian Medical Syndicate. In 2016, I earned the title Somnologist by the ESRS. In 2017, my team and I won the World Sleep Day distinguished activity award. I have been a delegate of world sleep day since 2010, submitting annual activities to the WASM website. Currently, I am the Regional Middle East coordinator for World Sleep Day since 2017.