Sleep and Genetics Training Grant (T32)

University of Michigan Center for Sleep Science Collaborates with Other Institutions to Offer a Unique Postdoctoral Training Program in Sleep and Genetics/Genomics Research

The University of Michigan Center for Sleep Science is able to accept applications on a rolling basis for a specialized training program in sleep and genetics/genomics research.  The goal of this national effort is to develop a cadre of new investigators in genetic/genomic approaches to sleep and its disorders.  The University of Michigan, in addition to Stanford and Johns Hopkins, educates trainees in this program. Administrative coordination of the program is provided by the University of Pennsylvania.  Training involves a specifically designed core curriculum, developed and agreed on by experts in the field.  Expertise not available at one site can sometimes 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.

The program typically lasts 3 years. It allows trainees at each site to undergo the same training using virtual connections.  The core curriculum features lectures on the genetics/genomics of sleep and its disorders, delivered by faculty at all participating institutions. Trainees also benefit from assistance with career development, teaching about grant writing, and opportunities to exchange research-in-progress talks with other fellows and faculty.  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.

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 feel free to contact Ronald D. Chervin, MD, MS ([email protected]), John K. Fink, MD ([email protected]), or Denice Heckel ([email protected], or 734-763-3776).

Examples of current, potential opportunities for a sleep and genetics/genomics postdoctoral fellow include:

As part of the “Predicting Human Performance” Bioscience Initiative program, we will employ wearables (sleep and fitness parameters), mood, behavioral questionnaires including drug and alcohol use, and genomic data and education of students to investigate their effects on improving well-being. The postdoc will be involved in design and analysis of an exciting new project involving faculty with sleep, genetic, exercise and educational expertise.

Contact for further information:
Dr. Margit Burmeister
Email:[email protected]

The lab of Dr. Srijan Sen works at the intersection of genomics and sleep wearables as part of two studies: 1) the Intern Health Study(link is external) utilizes physician training as model to prospectively understand the development of mental health and sleep problems under stress, enrolling 1500-2000 medical interns/yr and 2) the PROMPT study utilizes the patients on the wait list for mental health care to identify mobile technology factors that differentially predict response to digital and in-person treatments.  

Contact for further information:

Dr. Srijan Sen
Email: [email protected]




T32 Application Form Link (Click here)



Program Co-Directors

Ronald Chervin, M.D., M.S.

Division Chief, Sleep Disorders Centers
Michael S. Aldrich Collegiate Professor of Sleep Medicine
Professor, Neurology