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Michael L. Perlis, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, University of Pennsylvania 
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania 

Dr. Perlis is internationally known for his work in the area of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM). He is a coauthor of the first text book in this field and he is the senior author of a published CBT-I treatment manual and a larger text summarizing all BSM treatments. In addition, he conducts two annual CBT-I training workshops per year (the basic workshop has been ongoing for the last 10 years and the advanced workshop was first offered in 2014), has available a video mock case vignette DVD, and offers mini-fellowship BSM practica and supervision through his group at Penn. Note: The Basic CBT-I workshop has also been provided, on request, in England, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Qatar, and the CBT-I manual has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Thai, and Arabic. Dr. Perlis’ educational activities also include his service as a mentor to 95 trainees including 24 junior or peer faculty, 18 interns or post-doctoral fellows, 6 medical students, 12 graduate or post-masters students, and 35 undergraduates or post-baccalaureates. Most notable among his prior mentees (i.e., those who have gone on to independent research careers) include Sean Drummond PhD, Kenneth Wright PhD, Michael Smith PhD, Carla Jungquist PhD, Wilfred Pigeon PhD, Sheila Garland PhD, and Michael Grander, PhD.

He has published, as an author or co-author, more than 150 articles and chapters on sleep research related topics and he serves on the editorial boards of Sleep, the Journal of Sleep Research, the journal of Sleep Medicine Research, the journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and the journal of Health Psychology. Dr. Perlis has also served as a member, or chair, of several committees and task forces of the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and he was the assistant chair for the training program of the SRS for five years. Finally, Dr. Perlis was one of the five organizing and founding members of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM).  He also served as the SBSM’s first president (2010-2011).

In general, Dr. Perlis’s research pertains to insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine. His specific research interests include: Behavior, cognitive, and physiologic factors in Acute and Chronic insomnia, Cortical arousal and conditioned CNS activation as a primary perpetuator of insomnia;  Sensory and information processing and long term memory formation as key features of Insomnia Disorder as a hybrid state between wake and sleep;  Sleep homeostasis effects on the frequency and severity of insomnia (and the patterning of insomnia over time); Insomnia as morbid risk factor for new onset and recurrent depression; The anti-depressant effects of CBT-I; The potential of conditioning and partial reinforcement with placebos (Behavioral; Pharmacotherapeutics) as a means to change how medical maintenance therapy is conducted; The relative efficacy of behavioral and pharmacologic treatments of insomnia.

Dr. Perlis’s work has been, and continues to be (Gods willing), funded by the National Institutes of Health. His grant portfolio (past and present) as a Principal investigator is comprised of 6 R01s, 3 R21s, 1 R56, 1K23, and 1 R03. In addition he has held 3 Pharma PI initiated grants, several foundation awards, and participated as a site investigator on 5 industry initiated pharma studies.   

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