The 36th meeting of the Sleep Disorder Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) took place on Feb. 25 – 26, 2013 on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Campus in Bethesda, MD. The current Board is comprised of five sleep researchers and four patient representatives, including yours truly, the REM Runner! Ad-hoc participants include Michael Twery, Ph.D., Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, along with trans-NIH representatives from institutes, centers and offices interested in sleep research.
The two-day meeting featured presentations and comments from various stakeholders including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, the Sleep Research Society (SRS), the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) and the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network (CSD-N).
As a group, we looked at current sleep research and future opportunities and priorities. Topics included:
- updates on the 2011 Sleep Disorders Research Plan
- school start times
- drowsy driving
- Healthy People 2020
- sleep education and public awareness campaigns
NIH Funds Hypocretin/Orexin Agonists for Narcolepsy Treatment:
We discussed NIH’s recent five-year cooperative agreement with Reset Therapeutics to develop hypocretin/orexin receptor agonists for the treatment of narcolepsy. (Full project details here)
This award was made through NIH’s Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, which was established in order to bridge the gap in neuroscience-related drug development between academic and industry research. Reset Therapeutics is leveraging its expertise in circadian rhythms biology to develop the hypocretin/orexin receptor agonists.
Hypocretin/orexin plays a key role in the body’s normal sleep/wake cycles. This approach is designed to address the molecular cause of narcolepsy and may someday be the gold standard for narcolepsy treatment.
In closing, I’d like to thank our Board chairperson – Sairam Parthasarathy, M.D. and NCSDR Director – Michael Twery, Ph.D. I enjoyed getting to know my fellow Board members – researchers and patient reps alike. It was truly a team effort - with everyone respecting each others’ points of view. I am honored to be on this team – and I look forward to the next meeting!
A few photos: