David Rye, MD, PhD, Chair
Dr. Rye is Professor of Neurology at Emory University, board certified in Neurology and Sleep Medicine. He has received the American Academy of Neurology’s Sleep Science Award and the Sleep Research Society’s Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award for the discovery of the genetic contributions of restless legs syndrome. In June of 2019, Dr. Rye received the Hypersomnia Foundation’s first Impact Award, for his pivotal work in the area in researching and treating idiopathic hypersomnia, and his support of HF’s efforts to provide education on IH and related disorders to patients, health providers and, through PBS’s “Your Fantastic Mind” series, the general public. He has also received Narcolepsy Network’s Researcher of the Year Award, which recognizes the Emory team’s more recent contribution to our understanding of the origins and treatments for hypersomnia. He and the Emory team are making new discoveries into the origins and treatments of hypersomnia that are transforming the way medicine is practiced.
Dale M. Edgar, PhD
Dale M. Edgar, PhD, is an accomplished scientist, educator, drug hunter, and entrepreneur in the field of sleep medicine. His distinguished career spans nearly 30 years and the breadth of academia to industry. During his 15 years at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Edgar achieved international recognition as a leader in discovering how the brain and its chemistry modulate sleep/wake and bodily rhythms. In 2000, Dr. Edgar co-founded Hypnion, Inc.—a spin-out of the unique technologies that he developed at Stanford. At Hypnion, he led preclinical and clinical research teams tasked with developing novel medicines to treat insomnia and disorders of excessive sleepiness. Upon Hypnion’s acquisition by Eli Lilly & Company in 2007, Dr. Edgar transitioned to Chief Scientific Leader of Discovery Sleep Research at Lilly – a cross-functional preclinical and clinical R&D function, focusing on innovative medicines for sleep disorders and sleep-related comorbidities in psychiatry, pain, neurodegenerative disease, and metabolic disease. His expertise, passion, and contributions led to numerous other global leadership roles with Lilly, which importantly kept him intimately involved in translating discoveries to patient care, as well as ensuring that the communities of stake holders necessary to move these discoveries forward was sustainable. Having recently retired from Lilly, Dr. Edgar is now co-founder and senior vice president of research at Novion Pharmaceuticals, a start-up neuroscience biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for sleep disorders.
Professor Nicholas Franks, FRSB, FRCA, FMedSci, FRS
As Professor of Biophysics & Anaesthetics at London’s Imperial College, Prof. Nicholas Franks has sought to understand how general anesthetic agents work at the molecular, cellular, and, most recently, neuronal network levels. Almost 40 years ago, he asked the question, “Where do general anaesthetics act?” in the journal Nature and has been pursuing the answer through funded studies in his laboratory since that time. Along the way, he has expanded his research to better understand the relationships among anesthesia, consciousness, and sleep and has also asked, and answered, the question, “Do sedatives engage natural sleep pathways?” Among the many discoveries that he has made throughout his long and storied career, Prof. Franks recently identified the exact binding location of propofol to the GABA-A receptor.
In 2007, Prof. Franks was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and, in 2011, Fellow of the Royal Society. He has been awarded the Ebert Prize of the American Pharmaceutical Association, the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, and the Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Jeff Gulcher, MD, PhD
Jeff Gulcher, MD, PhD, is Chief Scientific Officer for WuXi NextCODE. Previously he was Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of deCODE Genetics. Dr. Gulcher was on staff in the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 1993 to 1998. He received his PhD and MD from the University of Chicago in 1990 and completed his neurology residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School in 1996. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry/Physics from Michigan State University in 1981. He has co-authored 198 peer-reviewed publications on the genetics of common/complex diseases.
James M. Krueger, PhD
Dr. Krueger is Regents Professor of Neuroscience in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. Early in his career as a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Krueger worked with Dr. John Pappenheimer to isolate, purify, and characterize Factor S and subsequently published their seminal work in The Proceedings of the National Academy in 1978. Today he is recognized as a worldwide expert on sleep in his own right.
Among Dr. Krueger’s numerous awards are election to the Washington State Academy of Sciences, recipient of the Doctorem Medicinae Honoris Causa from the University of Szeged, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sleep Research Society, and the Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Krueger’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 28 years; it is focused on the biochemical regulation of sleep, molecular mechanisms responsible for the effects of infectious diseases and inflammation on sleep, sleep function, and brain organization of the initiation of sleep. Dr. Krueger’s 350 peer-reviewed publications cover the gamut from sleep function to sleep and cytokines, and to physiological markers of localized sleep. His latest research documents his theoretical predictions that sleep originates in small neural networks, discoveries that open the door to a deeper appreciation of the genetic, molecular, and electrical aspects of sleep disorders.