Sleep and Genetics/Genomics Training

The University of Michigan Center for Sleep Science offers a specialized training program in sleep research. The goal of this national effort is to develop a cadre of new investigators in genetic/genomic approaches to sleep and its disorders.

A Partnership with the Nation's Leading Institutions 

The University of Michigan, in addition to Stanford and Johns Hopkins, educates trainees, with administrative coordination of the program by the University of Pennsylvania. Training involves a specifically designed core curriculum, developed and agreed on by experts in the field. In addition, three other institutions that currently hold training grants for sleep education – Harvard, Penn and the University of Pittsburgh – participate in developing the curriculum for the program. Expertise not available at a one site can be accessed through other participating sites. The program provides a mechanism for ongoing feedback from experts at all sites, exposing fellows to a range of interdisciplinary research, clinical, and career development perspectives. Fellows have opportunities to network, find mentors ideally targeted to their scientific interests and long-term career plans, and to collaborate with peers, all of which are integral to effective career development.

Core Curriculum and Mentorship 

The two-three year program allows trainees at each site to undergo the same training using new video-based technology. The core curriculum involves lectures on genetics/genomics of sleep and its disorders by faculty at all participating institutions; career development; a grants workshop; a journal club; and research-in-progress talks by trainees. Each trainee has two co-mentors at his or her institution – one expert in sleep research and one in genetics/genomics. Trainees also form mentorship committees that can include any sleep expert from another institution.

For More Information and Contact Information

Sleep science offers superb opportunities to explore genetic/genomic approaches that are needed to improve personalized medicine. Many sleep disorders are heritable, although the gene variants that confer risk are largely unknown. This unique program provides the background necessary for new investigators to create successful academic careers that focus on these novel paths. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Ronald D. Chervin, M.D., M.S. at chervin@umich.edu, John K. Fink, M.D. at jkfink@umich.edu or Denice Heckel at dmjanus@med.umich.edu or 734-763-3776.

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Now Seeking Applications

The Multi-Institutional Training Program in Genetic/Genomic Approaches to Sleep Disorders (T32 HL110952) has openings for postdoctoral fellows who can start on or before June 30, 2023. A successful applicant generally receives one year of full salary support and benefits, renewable for up to two additional years contingent on satisfactory progress and renewal at NIH of the next T32 cycle.

This T32 program seeks to provide postdoctoral training for promising M.D.'s or Ph.D.'s who are eager to develop research careers at the intersection of sleep medicine and genetics or genomics. Each trainee has one mentor with expertise in sleep or circadian rhythms, and one mentor with expertise in genetics or genomics. Mentors do not have to be among the grant preceptors listed below, but these names are provided in case you would like help in identification of faculty with relevant expertise and interest.

The University of Pennsylvania coordinates this training program through a multi-PI mechanism that involves several training institutions, including the University of Michigan.

Applications must be submitted by email to Ms. Denice Heckel (dmjanus@med.umich.edu) and received no later than Friday, September 23, 2022. Decisions about acceptance into the program are anticipated by early November, 2022.