April 2016

Published in ESRS Newsletter April 2016


Dear ESRS and ANSS members, Colleagues and Friends,

I was mentioning in the December 2015 letter that we are living in a difficult world exposed to various threats, including shocking terrorist attacks. Unfortunately this is not an obsolete statement. More terrorist attacks took place in several countries in the past months, and I express, here, my sincere sympathy to all of you who were directly or indirectly affected by these events. Also, we cannot forget the people in more distant countries who are exposed to unacceptable threats on nearly a daily basis, yet only barely attract the attention of the media. We are a scientific community of sleep specialists, and in this respect, we all know how much sleep can be disrupted after emotionally distressing events, and how, in turn, sleep disruptions can impact mood and mental health and impede recovery. To better understand sleep and its functions and promote a better state of health by addressing sleep disruptions and their consequences, both in the physical and mental domains, remain a major challenge for the European Sleep Research Society. This is why we must aim at constructive actions. I hope you will agree with me that this April 2016 newsletter shows that we are working in the right direction.  

First of all, a warm welcome to the 151 newly accepted ESRS members since December! This record number of affiliations shows the continued attractiveness of the ESRS community for sleep scientists and clinicians from Europe and abroad.

As per the day I am writing, we are only 151 days before the opening of our 23rd ESRS congress in Bologna (September 13-17, 2016). Thanks to the dedicated work of the scientific and organizing committees, we have excellent keynote speakers and a very attractive selection of symposia (see the congress web site). Importantly, it is now up to you to contribute to making the ESRS congress an exceptional scientific event by presenting your best work for oral and poster sessions. Thus, do not miss the abstract submission deadline on Wednesday 20 April! As well, save money to enjoy the numerous temptations of Bologna by registering before 28 April. As usual, mind-enhancing teaching courses are organized in different sleep domains on the Tuesday before the opening session (this you should not miss, surprises are on their way).

A novelty in Bologna is also the promising half-day early career training workshop organized by the Early Career Research Network (ECRN) of the ESRS. This dedicated workshop is complimentary to you if you are an ECRN member, i.e. if you are an ESRS student or researcher/clinician member up to 10 years post Ph.D. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the recipients of the ESRS Travel Grants, an initiative aimed at supporting visits and longer term stays for early career scientists in affiliated ESRS laboratories. A propos, the ESRS Research Networking Committee reminds you to submit (and update) your laboratory in the ESRS database (http://www.esrs.eu/membership-services/) to gain visibility and be an eligible destination for these travel grants.

Important for the future and development of sleep science and sleep medicine, the Bologna meeting will also witness the 5th ESRS Examination of Certification in Sleep Medicine and the 3rd ESRS Examination of Certification in Sleep Medicine for Sleep Technologists. Deadline for applications is now over, and the ESRS board is incredibly pleased to announce a record number of more than 200 applications for this examination. This will be the biggest examination ever organized by the ESRS, and the ESRS Education Committee. Examination committees are working hard with the ESRS Sleep Medicine Examinations Office to assess the eligibility of these applications and organize these examinations in the best conditions, in the prestigious settings of the University of Bologna.

The annual meeting of the ESRS Association of National Sleep Societies (ANSS) will take place in Bruxelles at the end of this month, kindly hosted by the Belgian Association for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (BASS) in April of 2016. Aside from fruitful discussions and exchanges between the ESRS board and the presidents of the national sleep societies, this meeting also features an exceptional European Sleep meets the European Union symposium organized at the initiative of the ESRS EU Committee. In this symposium, representatives of the European Union Directorate-General Mobility and Transport and of Directorate-General Research and Innovation will discuss the topic of "Measuring sleepiness: the need for common European rules”. We also continue, in this newsletter, our spotlight focus on National Sleep Societies with an Interview with the President of the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine (AIMS), Dr. Raffaele Ferri.

As for future events, the ERS and the ESRS are already working on the 4th edition of the joint ERS-ESRS Sleep & Breathing conference in April 2017 in Marseille, France. Given the learning focus of this event, it has been decided to align at least part of the meeting programme with the educational curriculum of both Societies. Prior to this event, is the organisation of the second ESRS Satellite Symposium (From Basic Neuroscience To Clinics) at the 10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience on the first of July, jointly organized by the ESRS and the Danish Society for Sleep Medicine.  Another very close event is the first meeting of the "Sleep and Epilepsy Task Force" that will be held the 13-14th of May 2016 in Abano Terme (Italy) and will involve researchers belonging to the ESRS, the European Academy of Neurology and the European Chapter of the International League against Epilepsy. Finally and in order to better coordinate basic and clinical research as well as education in sleep medicine, the EAN is looking for a strong alliance with the ESRS. For coordination of joint activities, the EAN kindly invites ESRS members interested in the neurological field to attend the EAN congress 2016 in Copenhagen with a large number of sleep activities and to join the business meeting of the EAN Scientific Panel "Sleep" on Sunday, 29 May 2016, 17:00 - 19:00.

Last but not least, you will find in this newsletter a call for nominations for the position of Editor-in-Chief of our Society’s flagship publication, the Journal of Sleep Research (JSR). The Editor-in-Chief is the steward of the scientific content of the Journal and, as such, is responsible for the publication of the highest quality and authoritative work in the field of sleep research and sleep medicine. He or she thus plays a crucial role to represent the Society's best interests and image in the scientific world. The Editor-in-Chief must have scientific stature, be responsive and have a vision for the further development of the JSR. In the past five years, the journal has markedly and positively evolved under the direction of Editor-in-Chief Derk-Jan Dijk, with an increase in the number of published articles and issues as well as in the number of citations and impact factor (see The Journal of Sleep Research: Where are we now?), in spite of an ever more competitive environment. Such positive outcomes could not have been achieved without the hard and dedicated work of Derk-Jan Dijk, his team of Deputy and Associate Editors and Reviewers, and the support of his editorial assistant, Brigitte Knobl. The ESRS is grateful for the excellence of their actions and their dedicated willingness to serve on the JSR editorial board. In particular, the ESRS Board sincerely thanks Derk-Jan Dijk for his Editorial action, and his rigorous attention to maintaining an appropriate balance between the basic and clinical sleep research domains, while promoting the JSR as a leading journal in the field.

Do not forget that the Journal of Sleep Research is your journal and can only be as good as the articles you submit. The JSR is a perfect place to be read and discussed by people in your field, and we thank, here, all the authors who contributed to JSR since 1992.   

As usual, you will also find reports in this newsletter of ESRS Committees and associates showing how numbers of individuals are giving their time and energy to make our society alive and dynamic. I express here my deepest gratitude to all those who enable these ESRS actions for their hard work and commitment, and for continuing to beautifully serve the society.

With this, I wish you all the best and a pleasant reading of this 2016 April newsletter. Sleep well and keep safe, and do not hesitate contacting me, or any member of the new board with your remarks and suggestions. They will be most welcome.

Sincerely yours,

Philippe Peigneux
ESRS President