ACGME Sleep Fellowship Program

The Department of Medicine under the section of Pulmonary and Critical Care offers four ACGME-approved positions per year for its one year clinical fellowship training program in Sleep Medicine. The Sleep Fellowship program at the University of Chicago, under the direction of Dr. Babak Mokhlesi, Associate Professor of Medicine, draws upon the enormous resources and diversity of our University. We take pride in our multidisciplinary approach to Sleep Medicine with faculty members with expertise in pulmonary, neurology, pediatric pulmonology and pediatric neurology, endocrinology, pediatric and adult ear nose and throat surgery, and dentistry.

The fellowship program offers unique clinical and research experiences in order to meet our goal of training the next generation of leaders in sleep medicine. The clinical training program meets the requirements of the American Board of Medical Specialties for the Sleep Medicine Board examination. The program also offers a fellowship track with Pediatric emphasis.

Brief History of Sleep Medicine at the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago has a most distinguished history in this field. Sleep research began at the University of Chicago when Professor Nathaniel Kleitman established the world's first sleep laboratory in the late 1920s. He was the first scientist to concentrate entirely on sleep. In 1939, he published the first major textbook on sleep, Sleep and Wakefulness, which rapidly became the gold standard of sleep researchers everywhere. Dr. Kleitman and doctoral student Eugene Aserinsky revolutionized sleep research in 1953 when they announced the discovery of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and its association with dreaming. This finding is usually considered the birth of modern scientific interest in sleep. Later in the decade, Kleitman and one of his students, Dr. William Dement, developed the techniques of all-night sleep recording, using measurements of eye motion and EEGs of brain activity. They used these measurements to chart the sequence of sleep patterns over the course of a night. This changed the established notion that sleep was a single state. The further discovery in 1955 that Narcolepsy had a neurophysiologic abnormality demonstrated by unusual premature REM onset sleep as opposed to the 90 minute delay encountered in normal individuals was a major step in the characterization of this condition. University of Chicago researchers Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen and Gerry Vogel, working with colleagues (including Dr. William Dement), described narcolepsy--the first true sleep disorder--in a landmark paper in 1963. Over the years, Dr. Rechtshaffen went on to become one of the single most respected basic and animal sleep investigators of this field performing experiments in rats that demonstrated the lethal consequences of long-term (two weeks or more) sleep deprivation. In 1968 Rechtshaffen together with Dr. Anthony Kales of UCLA standardized the scoring system for human sleep stages which is currently used today.

The cutting edge research in sleep continues today with the work of Dr. David Gozal, a pioneer and a prominent authority in the study of childhood sleep problems and the relationship between sleep disorders and neurobehavioral or cardiovascular diseases, and Dr. Eve Van Cauter, an authority on the metabolic and cardiovascular impacts of sleep deprivation and obstructive sleep apnea.

Requirements for Admission to the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program

The fellowship program values diversity and strongly encourages applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our fellowship program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and therefore applicants need to submit their application through the ERAS system. We will be participating in the National Residency Match Program (NRMP). After we receive your completed application including three supporting letters, your file will be reviewed and you will be notified regarding the advisability of an interview. The requirements include:

  • M.D. or equivalent degree
  • Successful completion of an ACGME-certified internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, or pediatrics residency program sponsored by a major university in the United States or Canada
  • For graduates of medical schools outside the U.S. and Canada, appropriate certification by the USMLE/FLEX
  • Licensed by the State of Illinois at the beginning of the fellowship

The following documents need to be submitted to our program electronically through the ERAS system:

  1. Curriculum Vitae and a Personal Statement that delineates your career plans and gives us a brief biography
  2. Copies of your USMLE Scores
  3. A copy of your ECFMG certificate if you are a foreign medical graduate
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. A letter from your Residency Program Director stating that you have successfully completed (or are on track to complete) all of the requirements of that program.

We encourage early application through ERAS. We will interview applicants from mid-July till early October. Applicants invited to an interview spend the day with faculty and fellows. Applicants meet with several members of the fellowship program, enjoy lunch and a tour of our clinical and research facilities, and sit in on a conference and a session of polysomnogram interpretation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our training program. Inquires concerning the fellowship program should be directed to Dr. Babak Mokhlesi or Dr. Jay Balachandran.”.

Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program Director:
Babak Mokhlesi, M.D., telephone: 773-702-2181
bmokhles@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

Sleep Medicine Fellowship Associate Program Director:
Jay Balachandran, M.D., telephone 773-702-5791
jbalachandran@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

Sleep Medicine Fellowship Coordinator:
Cindy Gonzales
cgonzale@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu
Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
The University of Chicago
5841 South Maryland Avenue,
MC 6092, MC 6076/Room W652
Chicago, IL 60637
Tel: 773-834-8951
Fax: 773-702-6500

Clinical Training in Sleep Medicine Fellowship

All fellows in the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program complete 12 months of clinical training based at the University of Chicago Medical Center, a tertiary care referral hospital serving the south side of Chicago and northwest Indiana and at the University of Chicago Medical Center at 150 East Huron Street in downtown Chicago. Clinical activities include:

  • Adult sleep disorders clinic
  • Adult interdisciplinary neuromuscular disorders sleep clinic
  • Adult behavioral sleep medicine clinic
  • Adult CPAP management clinic
  • Pediatric combined sleep disorders and behavioral sleep medicine clinic
  • Inpatient sleep medicine consultation service
  • Adult and pediatric sleep study interpretation
  • Portable monitoring sleep study interpretation
  • MSLT/ MWT/ actigraphy/ sleep log interpretation


Pediatric Sleep Fellowship Program

The University of Chicago offers a pediatric sleep fellowship track. These trainees will spend the majority of their clinical training in pediatric sleep medicine but will also fulfill the ACGME requirements in adult sleep medicine. An applicant to the pediatric track should have completed training in an accredited pediatrics residency program prior to beginning sleep training, such that the applicant could sit for the American Board of Pediatrics certifying exam. Further detailed information is available at: http://peds.uchicago.edu/sleepcenter/



Sleep Disorders Clinic

Training in outpatient sleep medicine is a critical component of the fellowship experience at the University of Chicago. Outpatient training is provided during the entire fellowship in a continuity clinic in the Center for Advanced Medicine on the main campus and at the University of Chicago Medical Center at 150 East Huron Street in downtown Chicago. The Sleep Disorders Clinic consists of Pulmonary, Neurology, and Pediatric experience. We also have an active CPAP follow-up clinic. Each week the fellows attend three half day clinics, one of which is the fellow's continuity clinic. The sleep clinics have over 3,000 patient encounters per year. The fellows see patients in collaboration with a dedicated attending physician. Ample time is provided to review findings and to discuss patient care issues. Additional time is used for directed teaching of topics important to outpatient sleep medicine. Fellows assume primary responsibility for managing patients. On average each fellow evaluates 250 new and 450 follow-up adult patients per year. Additionally each fellow evaluates approximately 100 new and 100 follow-up pediatric sleep patients per year. Based on each fellow’s primary interest, arrangements can be made to increase the exposure to pediatric sleep medicine.


Adult and pediatric record interpretation

Four half day sessions are dedicated to interpretation of polysomnograms under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Additionally, during these sessions the fellows learn to assess all types of primary data that contribute to the accurate diagnosis of sleep disorders such as MSLT’s, MWT’s, history, sleep logs, actigraphy, and pulmonary function testing. Reading sessions may also include fellows in pulmonary and critical care, residents in neurology or pediatrics, and medical students. The clinical sleep laboratories at the hospital campus as well as the 150 East Huron Street are each equipped with a total of 12 beds. Both clinical sleep laboratories are active every day of the week and generate approximately 2,500 polysomnograms per year. Each night two to three of the beds are dedicated to pediatric patients from infants to adolescents.




Clinical, basic, and translational research in pediatric sleep medicine

Dr. David Gozal and his collaborators research focuses on bench-to-bedside approaches to pediatric sleep disorders, such as childhood obstructive sleep apnea and sudden infant death syndrome. He studies the mechanisms that mediate defense responses and those that lead to complications from low oxygen levels and disrupted sleep, and the long-term health and developmental consequences of chronic sleep and breathing problems during childhood. His research is funded by several National Institutes of Health grants. (http://www.uchicagokidshospital.org/specialties/sleep/research.html)

 

Clinical research in adult sleep medicine

Dr. Eve Van Cauter and her collaborators (http://www.sleep.uchicago.edu/) direct a very active sleep research program with additional six research beds funded by the National Institutes of Health evaluating the impact of sleep loss on endocrine and metabolic function and the possible endocrine benefits of improved sleep quality. In addition, there are ongoing studies evaluating the metabolic impact of CPAP in obstructive sleep apnea.



Basic research in intermittent hypoxia

Dr. Nanduri Prabhakar (http://csbos.bsd.uchicago.edu/), a world expert on various aspects of oxygen biology serves as the Director of the Center for Systems Biology of Oxygen Sensing. The research activities of Core and the collaborating faculty members are supported by RO1 as well as Program Project Grants (PO1) from National Institutes of Health. The ongoing research falls under the following broad categories: (i) oxygen sensing, utilization, and deficiency; (ii) remodeling of organ function in hypoxia, hyperoxia, and intermittent hypoxia and (iii) biology of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A wide repertoire of experimental approaches including whole animal to organ function, to isolation of mitochondria, to gene transfer applications, to identification of the signaling pathways, to the study of ROS, to optimization and out-comes analysis of supplemental oxygen therapies are being employed.



Clinical and Research Conferences

The Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program is particularly proud of the quality and diversity of the teaching experience, including the many conferences and seminars. Several important conferences are offered as part of the teaching program:

Core Curriculum: weekly one hour conference during the year covering topics such as normal human sleep, basics of polysomnography, sleep physiology, insomnia, sleep-disordered breathing (obstructive, central, periodic breathing, obesity hypoventilation), pediatric sleep disorders (respiratory and non-respiratory), parasomnias, RLS/PLMD’s, pharmacology of sleep, narcolepsy, sleep and other comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, endocrine, CNS, and neuromuscular disorders), circadian rhythm disorders, among other topics.

Multidisciplinary Conference: weekly one hour conference including presentation of cases by fellows with a goal of developing a formalized approach to clinical problem solving. During these sessions’ polysomnograms or other recorded material are presented as well.

Journal Club: monthly one hour conference during which fellows present and discuss in depth important recent articles in Sleep Medicine.

Research Conference: monthly one hour conference that highlights the work of clinical and post-doctoral fellows, as well as junior faculty in conjunction with Dr. David Gozal’s laboratory and Dr. Van Cauter’s research laboratory. This conference also provides basics on research methodology.



 

List Of Faculty

Clinical Faculty

Hari Bandla, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Head, Section of Pediatric Sleep Medicine
Department of Pediatrics

Rakesh Bhattacharjee, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics

Jay Balachandran, M.D.
Associate Director of the Sleep Fellowship Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care

Amy Guralnick, M.D.
Clinical Associate of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care

John H. Jacobsen, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology and Pediatrics

Michael H. Kohrman, M.D., M.S.
Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology
Department of Pediatrics

Babak Mokhlesi, M.D., M.Sc.
Director of Sleep Disorders Center
Director of the Sleep Fellowship Program
Associate Professor of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care

Helene Rubeiz, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Program Director, Neurology Residency Program
Department of Neurology

 

Research Faculty

Rakesh Bhattacharjee, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics

David Gozal, M.D.
Herbert T. Abelson Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics
Physician-in-Chief, Comer Children’s Hospital

Leila Kheirandish-Gozal, M.D.
Research Associate, Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Pediatric Clinical Sleep Research Program

Section of Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Kristen L. Knutson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care

Richard C. Li, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Section of Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Babak Mokhlesi, M.D., M.Sc.
Director of Sleep Disorders Center
Director of the Sleep Fellowship Program
Associate Professor of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care

Nanduri R. Prabhakar, PhD, D.Sc.
Professor of Medicine
Harold Hines Jr. Professor
Director, Center for Systems Biology of Oxygen Sensing
Section of Emergency Medicine

Esra Tasali, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care

Eve Van Cauter, PhD.
Professor of Medicine
Fredrick H. Rawson Professor
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
Director of the Sleep,
Metabolism and Health Center (SMAHC)

Yang Wang, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Pediatric Basic Sleep Research
Section of Pediatric Sleep Medicine