November 2014

Published in ESRS Newsletter November 2014


Dear ESRS and ANSS Members, Colleagues and Friends, 

Our 22nd ESRS Congress was a huge success offering an ideal combination of high-level scientific quality in sleep research and clinical domains and extensive opportunities to network while discovering the beautiful city of Tallinn. I warmly thank the Estonian Sleep Medicine Association (ESMA) and both current and past presidents, Erve Sõõru and Tuuliki Hion, for their enthusiastic support and kind hospitality. The ESMA also organized a stunning display of hundreds of Estonian children's drawings on the topic of sleep, that I invite you to appreciate on the website (see below for an excerpt), and we were honoured by the participation of the Minister of Health and Labour of Estonia at the Opening Ceremony, demonstrating the rising interest in the field of sleep in this Baltic country. I was also privileged to present Alexander Borbély with the European Sleep Science Award, created by the ESRS to recognize members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of sleep research (past awardees were Michel Jouvet in 2010 and Elio Lugaresi in 2012). Alexander Borbély is the perfect recipient for this award. He not only provided us with an enduring theoretical framework to reflect the complex relationships between circadian and homeostatic regulation processes, but also tirelessly contributed to the development of the sleep and chronobiological fields over more than 40 years. He was also the 6th ESRS President (1988-1992) and initiated the now traditional ESRS Young Scientists' Symposium aimed at bringing greater attention to "new blood" in the field of European sleep research. The success and high scientific quality of the Tallinn meeting are also the result of the dedicated work of the ESRS Scientific Committee chaired by Simon Archer, in collaboration with the Local Organizing Committee and the ESRS Board, who were efficiently supported by Congrex. We anticipate an even more successful 23nd ESRS Congress in 2016 with the support of the Italian Sleep Medicine Society and local organizer Roberto Amici, in Bologna, a town renowned in the field of sleep medicine. Roberto Amici was also the organizer and referee of the traditional ESRS football match in Tallinn, won by the Blues despite the presence of both past and current ESRS presidents in the team. Many, many thanks to all those of you who made the ESRS Congress a possible, unique and pleasurable event!

I am also glad to announce that the 24th ESRS meeting will be held in 2018 in Basel In the meantime, we sincerely hope to meet you at the upcoming 3rd ERS-ESRS Sleep and Breathing conference in Barcelona (April 16-18, 2015) and at Worldsleep Sleep and Health 2015, the 7th World Congress of the World Sleep Federation which will be hosted by the ESRS in Istanbul (October 31 – November 3, 2015). 

The biannual ESRS business meeting also took place in Tallinn. Members were elected/re-elected by vote to the Board and the Scientific Committee. As ESRS President, it will be a great pleasure to work with a Board comprising Clinical and Basic Vice-Presidents Walter McNicholas and Pierre-Herve Luppi, Secretary and Assistant-Secretary Lino Nobili and Tiina Paunio, Treasurer Dieter Riemann, ANSS Representative Marta Gonçalves, and Past President Claudio Bassetti. Debra Skene has left the Basic Vice-Presidency after many years of enthusiastic and constructive contribution to the ESRS Board, but she will continue as an active member of the ESRS Research Networking Committee. We are also lucky to keep re-elected members of the Scientific Committee, ensuring continuity in the tradition of excellence. The new Co-Chairs of the Scientific Committee are Tom de Boer and Renata Riha, seconded by John Axelsson, Gianluca Ficca, Birgit Högl, Poul Jennum, Mayumi Kimura, Gilles Vandewalle and Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, We offer our deepest appreciation to the departing members: Alex Iranzo, Raffaele Manni, Sophie Schwartz, Tiina Paunio and last but not least, past Chair Simon Archer. In this issue and on the ESRS website, you will find the minutes of the business meeting, the revised bylaws and the new composition of all ESRS Committees. The business meeting is an important event in the life of the society and I am glad to see that you continue being many and enthusiastic in your participation; a sure sign of democracy and of the health of the association. 

An important decision made during the business meeting was to modernize the ESRS membership system. From now on, there is no waiting period for membership application, and members' rights and advantages are contingent upon payment of the membership fee for the corresponding period. The ESRS assembly also approved a biennial membership fee, which will prevent a drop in membership payments for the year between two congresses or activities of interest. Thus, you will receive (or have already received) an invitation to pay your affiliation for the two coming years. Please note that the annual amount has not increased, keeping the ESRS membership fee at a very affordable level. Do not forget that being an ESRS member gives you access to the biggest European sleep research and sleep medicine community, with substantial advantages including a reduced price for ESRS publications and full access to the Journal of Sleep Research, preferential registration fees at meetings organized or co-organized by the ESRS, travel grants for early career researchers, full membership of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) with all associated advantages including full access to the European Journal of Neuroscience, etc. It also offers unique opportunities to interact with your colleagues in a dynamic and multidisciplinary environment aimed at promoting all domains of sleep research and sleep medicine. Welcome to our 41 new ESRS members - we are glad that you have decided to join us!

The Tallinn meeting also witnessed the launch of an ESRS Early Career Researcher Network. Over 80 people participated in the launch meeting. Discussions were undertaken regarding the future of this network, whose main purpose will be to give a stronger voice to early career researchers within the ESRS, and offer opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with other researchers in the early stages of their careers. We are looking forward to cooperating with this group, which represents the future of our society, and thank Debra Skene and Erna Sif Arnardottir for organising this event.  

The ESRS continues to offer Travel grants (deadline 31 December 2014) allowing early career researchers to visit the research sleep laboratories of ESRS members for educational purposes and to make novel, transnational connections (click here). The ESRS Board is committed to developing its continued support of sleep research by creating novel opportunities in the sleep field and by making the word "sleep" a hot topic of interest in scientific calls at a European level, with the help of the newly restructured ESRS European Union Committee headed by Roberto Amici, and of the Research Networking Committee. 

Education and Certification in Sleep Medicine is an important goal for the ESRS. After the successful certification of 123 Grandparent European Expert Somnologists in Paris (2012) and Berlin (2013), the first regular examination for ESRS somnologists and the first grandparents' examination for sleep technologists were held in Tallinn during the ESRS congress. In this newsletter we list the 106 members who passed the 2014 ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine and obtained certification as Expert Somnologists. Additionally, you will find the names of 38 members representing 12 different countries who obtained "Grandparent" certification as Expert Somnologist - Technologists. The ESRS Board congratulates all these experts and wishes them success in their professional, clinical and scientific activities.  

The 4th Examination of the Certification in Sleep Medicine and the 2nd Examination of the Certification in Sleep Medicine for Grandparents Sleep Technologists will take place on Wednesday 15 April, 2015 at the joint ERS-ESRS Sleep and Breathing Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The deadline for applications is 11 December, 2014 - still time for you to apply! Examinations are organized and supervised by the ESRS Sleep Medicine Committee, chaired by Thomas Penzel who was central to the successful development of the ESRS sleep medicine examinations and is now exploring processes for certifying sleep medicine centres. The ESRS Education Committee, now chaired by Tiina Paunio, will support the SMC in the organization of sleep medicine examinations. We thank Zoran Dogas for his work and inspired input as past Chair of the Education Committee that was created in 2012. 

For the first time, the examination will be based on the ESRS Sleep Medicine Textbook (Editors-in-Chief Claudio Bassetti, Zoran Dogas and Philippe Peigneux), that provides comprehensive, all-in-one educational material (550 pages) structured around the Catalogue of Knowledge and Skills for Sleep Medicine (Penzel et al. 2014, Journal of Sleep Research). Written by experts in the field and published by the ESRS, it provides an European basis for sleep medicine education, and represents the knowledge-base for the ESRS-endorsed sleep medicine examinations. Displayed for inspection and offered in pre-sale format during the Tallinn congress, the Sleep Medicine Textbook is now in press and will be shipped to all contributors and buyers in the first week of December. If you have not yet acquired your exemplar of this must-have book, an order form is available in this newsletter and on the ESRS website. As a courtesy on behalf of the ESRS and a small token of our esteem, we are offering all members of the Associate National Sleep Societies (ANSS) the reduced ESRS member price.  

This presidential letter is already too long, but still leaves me with the feeling that I have forgotten important actions and persons, and I apologize in advance for any such omission. I express my sincerest gratitude to all of you who have enabled ESRS actions and imbued them with success, for all of your hard work and commitment, and for continuing to serve the society. Together with those who have been, still are or have now become members of the Board and the ESRS Committees, I extend my deepest thanks to our dedicated administrative staff. I also extend my gratitude to all members of the ESRS and/or of an affiliated national sleep society. 

Last but not least, I would like to cordially thank Renata Riha for proofreading and editing the English version of this newsletter as language editor. 

I invite you to enjoy this November 2014 edition of the ESRS Newsletter. Do not forget to visit the ESRS website, which is continuously updated.

Do not hesitate to contact me, or any member of the new board with any remarks and suggestions, which will be most welcome.

Sleep well and keep safe!

Sincerely yours,

Philippe Peigneux
ESRS President