Announcing Inaugural Sleep Research Trainee Class of 2020



ROCHESTER, MN –June 1, 2019— The sleep research trainee applicants for the World Sleep Society International Sleep Research Training Program (ISRTP) inaugural class of 2020 have been selected. After receiving applications to join the mentor/mentee training program in sleep medicine and research from half a dozen countries, five applicants were selected. Congratulations to Leila Emami, MD (Iran), Hyeon Jin Kim, MD (Republic of Korea), Ximena Omlin, PhD (United Kingdom), Wenjing (Athena) Wang, MD (China) and Liyue (Adell) Xu, MD (China).

The overarching goal of the program is to prepare sleep trainees from various countries throughout the world for future leadership in basic and/or clinical sleep research. The ISRTP will provide an opportunity for these trainees to train at major academic institutions so they can acquire sleep research skills and observe management of patients with sleep disorders from experienced scientists and clinicians.

“The ISRTP is an exciting opportunity for future advancement in the field of sleep medicine and research,” states Charles M. Morin, PhD, President of World Sleep Society. “This formal process to ensure the field thrives and grows through hands-on training will actively fulfill our society’s mission to advance sleep health worldwide.”

“Prior to ISRTP,” Clete Kushida, MD, PhD explains, “there was no formalized process to select the best international trainees whom would optimally benefit from a 1-year comprehensive training program. The ISRTP will provide such an opportunity through World Sleep Society.”

ISRTP Mentor sites
The trainees were matched to sleep research mentors at the following host academic institutions:

  • Emami will be mentored by Brendon Yee, MBChB, PhD at University of Sydney: Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.
  • Kim will be mentored by Susan Redline, MD, MPH at Harvard University: Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
  • Omlin will be mentored by Simon Kyle, MA, PhD at University of Oxford: Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.
  • Wang will be mentored by Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD at Stanford University: Division of Sleep Medicine.
  • Xu will be mentored by Allan I. Pack, MBChB, PhD at University of Pennsylvania: Center for Sleep & Circadian Neurobiology.
Leila Emami, MD (Iran)

Leila Emami, MD (Iran)

From the Inaugural Class
Dr. Emami of the incoming ISRTP class of 2020 states, “I am a board-certified anesthesiologist and sleep specialist working in one of the main teaching hospitals of Tehran University in Iran. I had been a Post-Doctoral Researcher in division of sleep medicine, University of Chicago and Neuroanesthesia lab of UCSF. I am really excited to join ISRTP to connect to major academic institutions to fulfill my dream to grow as a mentor and research leader in the field of sleep medicine.”



Hyeon Jin Kim, MD (Republic of Korea),

Hyeon Jin Kim, MD (Republic of Korea)

Heading from Republic of Korea to Harvard, Dr. Kim says of the opportunity, “Through the ISRTP mentorship, I want to become a more advanced clinical and translational researcher, who can collaborate with experts in various fields to find solutions to the unmet clinical need with the latest technology.”




Ximena Omlin, PhD (United Kingdom),

Ximena Omlin, PhD (United Kingdom)

Dr. Omlin is looking forward to the ISRTP program connecting her with international sleep research leaders. She says of being an incoming mentee, “The ISRTP will give me the opportunity to refine my skills and create collaborative networks. This will be a crucial stepping stone toward my goal of becoming an independent sleep researcher.”




Wenjing (Athena) Wang, MD (China)

Wenjing (Athena) Wang, MD (China)

“I have worked as a physician for 13 years,” states Dr. Wang, one of the incoming mentees of the program. “I have done some basic researches in pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and intervention measures, but I’d like to improve my ability to diagnose and treat complicated sleep diseases. I hope my studying skills (such as molecular biology, genetics, and cohort studies) could be improved and I gain a wide vision.”



Liyue (Adell) Xu, MD (China)

Liyue (Adell) Xu, MD (China)

Dr. Xu states, “I truly appreciate this training opportunity given by ISTRP to further my education and research at the University of Pennsylvania (Upenn)—one of the world’s leading places in OSA research. I’m looking forward to this program advancing my knowledge and research in biomarker and genotype analysis.”




How ISRTP Makes an Impact
This educational initiative is supported by Philips. The ISRTP program will foster a cohort of future sleep research leaders who will keep the field of sleep research and medicine vibrant with their ideas, plans and goals.

“Sleep is a key pillar of our core health technology and we are committed to helping people all over the world to sleep better,” says Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, Chief Medical Liaison, Sleep and Respiratory Care at Philips. “We are excited to be given the opportunity to partner with the World Sleep Society in supporting the training and research of talented, young medical professionals in sleep medicine, which will, in turn, help to further promote sleep health across the globe.”


About World Sleep Society
ISRTP is organized by World Sleep Society, an international association whose mission is to advance sleep health worldwide. World Sleep Society hosts a biennial scientific congress on sleep medicine aiming to globally connect sleep professionals and researchers to advance current knowledge on sleep. A job board has also been created for sleep medicine professionals on Follow the excitement on Twitter @_WorldSleep and

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2018 sales of EUR 18.1 billion and employs approximately 77,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at