Esra Tasali,MD- Appointed Director of Sleep Research Center
February 14, 2017
Esra Tasali, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary/Critical Care) has been appointed as the Director of the Department of Medicine’s newly structured Sleep Research Center .
Dr. Tasali is an internationally recognized expert in the study of sleep disturbances as they relate to metabolic and endocrine abnormalities such as diabetes and obesity. She has made significant contributions to our understanding of the mechanistic pathways linking reduced sleep duration and quality to increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Her innovative research has demonstrated for the first time that experimental reductions in sleep quality adversely affects glucose homeostasis and may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. Her work also demonstrated that sleep duration is an important regulator of neuroendocrine hormones and energy metabolism in peripheral tissues. Additionally, Esra’s studies examine how the experimental laboratory findings could be translated into clinical practice in individuals with insufficient sleep and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Recently, in a randomized controlled trial, she showed that successful treatment of sleep apnea improves glucose metabolism in prediabetic patients. She has also demonstrated that sleep habits can be successfully improved in real life settings and that additional sleep has beneficial effects on reducing appetite. This work led to her ongoing multidisciplinary research project investigating the effects of sleep extension on glucose metabolism and energy balance in habitual short sleepers in real life settings using state-of-the-art measures of energy metabolism.
As a leading expert in the field of sleep and metabolism, Dr. Tasali has been an invited speaker and served as session chair at multiple international symposia. She was an invited participant in the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, which established current recommendations for healthy sleep habits in the United States. She regularly reviews grant applications for NIH and serves on editorial boards of major journals in her field. Recently, Esra was elected as the chair of Program Committee of Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology Assembly of American Thoracic Society (ATS) and is currently serving as a member of the ATS International Conference Committee.
As Director of the Sleep Research Center, Esra will work with Department leadership and other collaborators to strengthen the sleep research program, develop cross-departmental collaborations to expand the research portfolio and build a multidisciplinary program.