Dr. O'Brien is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology Sleep Disorders Center, a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. O'Brien earned a bachelor's degree with honors in physiology from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom in 1992. In 1998 she gained a Ph.D in physiology from Keele University, United Kingdom under the mentorship of David P. Southall, M.D. The title of her Ph.D. thesis was "Oxygen saturation and its relationship with breathing patterns in healthy full term infants throughout their first 24 hours of life".
After completing post-doctoral work in maternal and infant health research, Dr. O'Brien relocated to the United States in 2001 to train in pediatric sleep research. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric sleep research at the University of Louisville, KY with David Gozal, M.D. In 2006 she was recruited to the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor by Ron Chervin, M.D., M.S., and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011. Dr. O'Brien also holds appointments as a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. O'Brien's primary research interests include the impact of sleep disruption and its treatment in pregnancy and the association with adverse perinatal outcomes. She was responsible for developing collaborations between the Sleep Disorders Center and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has held several NIH grants in support of this work. She also maintains an active interest in the neurobehavioral consequences of sleep-disordered breathing in children and sleep in children with medical problems such as cleft palate repair, craniofacial anomalies, and Williams Syndrome. Dr. O'Brien participates in the training of sleep medicine fellows and acts as a mentor for students, post-docs, fellows, and junior faculty interested in sleep research. She has published over 60 original manuscripts and over a dozen invited reviews and book chapters. In addition, she participates in NIH study sections, is an Associate Editor for the journal SLEEP, and is a reviewer for over 45 medical journals, including the American Journal of Perinatology, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Archives of Disease in Childhood, British Medical Journal, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Sleep, Sleep Medicine, and Thorax.
Areas of Interest
Dr. O'Brien's primary research interests include the impact of sleep disruption and its treatment in pregnancy and the association with adverse perinatal outcomes.