March 2013

(Published in: ESRS Newsletter, March 2013)

Dear ESRS and ANSS members, Colleagues and Friends,

If the few months following our traditional ESRS congress have once been a quiet period, this newsletter demonstrates that it is no longer the case and that the ESRS board and its associates are working hard to the benefit of our society!

First of all, I want to welcome more than 60 new members who have joined ESRS recently. You will find their names at the end of this newsletter, and I am sure they will enrich our society just as we hope to be a true asset for them. At the time I am writing this letter, we have also 37 new applicants, whose names are published in the members-restricted section of the ESRS website (see You will notice that applicants' names are no longer published in the newsletter. From now on, we have decided to publish them on the website immediately after the application, allowing us to process each new application within two months and to still give ESRS members the opportunity to reject the application if needed (see page 24, March 2013 issue).

I also take this opportunity to congratulate the recipients of the ESRS Travel Grants 2013 (see their names page 15, March 2013 issue), an initiative conducted by the ESRS Research Networking Committee (RNC) chaired by our basic vice-president Debra Skene. The Committee continues to encourage you to submit your laboratory details in the ESRS database ( and is working hard to develop opportunities to promote sleep research and interactions between sleep researchers in Europe.

Next, the ESRS is very busy preparing in collaboration with the European Respiratory Society (ERS) the 2nd Sleep & Breathing joint conference that will be held in Berlin, April 11-13th. The program is timely and attractive with an excellent faculty panel, thanks to the work of the organising committee chaired by our past president Claudio Bassetti and our new clinical vice-president Walter McNicholas. There is still time to register (, thus do not hesitate to join us in Berlin to learn, meet experts and exchange with colleagues!

To promote further the collaborations between ERS and ESRS and optimise existing resources, both societies have agreed to collaborate in the framework of an ERS-ESRS Task Force. Discussions have now been initiated in a positive and constructive atmosphere, and will intensify these with the opportunity to meet physically in Berlin. As a token of our appreciation and interest in a fruitful collaboration between the two societies, the ESRS board has also decided to endorse the ERS Handbook of Respiratory Sleep Medicine complementing the respiratory sleep HERMES (Harmonisation of Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists) curriculum. This initiative complements the teaching and certification initiatives developed by the ESRS and presented in this newsletter.

I am also very pleased to inform you that preparations are already well on their way for the next ESRS meeting to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, September 16-20th, 2014. If you not have yet done so, I encourage you to have a look at the welcome video (see proposed by our very enthusiastic local organizing committee headed by Erve Sööru. You will not be able to do otherwise than to join us after this marvellous presentation! The ESRS board has also received constructive feedbacks from the Scientific Committee (SC) chaired by Simon Archer after the Paris meeting, which will help us to build a better than ever scientific program for this meeting. 

But our perspectives for scientific manifestations are not limited to 2014, naturally. In 2015, the ESRS will be the organiser of Worldsleep 2015, the 7th World Congress of the World Federation of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine Societies (WFSRSMS). This event will take place in Istanbul (October 31 - November 3) in collaboration with the Turkish Sleep Medicine Society (TSMS). International and local Committees are currently constituted under the supervision of the Local Organising Chair Lino Nobili, and news will follow. 

After the Paris success, an important event to take place during the Sleep & Breathing conference in Berlin is the organisation of the 2nd ESRS Examination in Sleep Medicine directed at “grandfathers” and “grandmothers” with wide experience in sleep medicine and research. We have received a record number of 117 applications, of which more than 70 applicants have been found eligible and have started preparing their examination. I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank the members of the expert panel headed by Thomas Pollmächer and commissioned by the Sleep Medicine Committee (SMC), who have accepted the difficult task to carefully examine and select these applications. 

Now, our next step is the organisation of the first regular examination for somnologists at the next ESRS congress 2014 in Tallinn. This is a task that already keeps busy the ESRS board with both the SMC chaired by Thomas Penzel, and the Education Committee (EduComm) chaired by Zoran Dogas. Indeed, it entails the development of an ESRS Standard European Education Curriculum in Sleep based on the currently updated and soon to be published ESRS Catalogue of Knowledge and Skills for Sleep Medicine Experts, Non-medical Sleep Experts, and Sleep Technologists. There is a need for teaching material to be created and this will be produced as an ESRS European textbook of sleep and published in an educational online platform, for sleep medicine centres to be accredited and their specialty level defined, and to cooperate with other scientific societies involved in sleep-related matters, not only in the respiratory domain but also in the areas of neurology, psychiatry, psychology or chronobiology. 

Recognition at the European level is crucial for both sleep research and sleep medicine. In this respect, the ESRS EU Committee (EC) chaired by Roberto Amici has been extremely productive during the last months. Since the last newsletter, fruitful meetings have been organised with EU officers responsible for Marie Curie actions and the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (FP7), with policy makers in the EU DG (Directorate-General) “Education and Culture”, and with the head of the Unit Road Safety of the DG “Move”. The important next step is a meeting on May 3rd in Brussels, entitled “Networking to Understand Sleep Functions and Dysfunctions - The European Basic and Clinical Sleep Research Towards Horizon 2020”, organised by the ESRS in the framework of the “EU Month of the Brain” initiated by the DG “Research and Innovation” (Health Directorate) of the EU Commission. At this occasion, the ESRS will address EU officers from no less than five different EU Commissions and DGs about the main European Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Networks, and emphasise the need for a specific call on Sleep in the forthcoming framework programme “Horizon 2020”. Only a few months later, a meeting will be organised at the EU Parliament on October 15th in the framework of the “Wake up Bus” project currently finalised under the coordination of Marta Gonçalves (President of the Portuguese Sleep Society and member of the EC), the Executive Committee of the Assembly of the National Sleep Societies (EC of ANSS) chaired by Ludger Grote, and Roberto Amici for the EU Committee. EU Parliamentarians will be addressed by ESRS officers, ANSS members and a panel of experts about issues related to “sleepiness at the wheel”, an event that will be preceded by an awareness campaign run by National Sleep Societies (see page 8, March 2013 issue). 

And finally, do not forget that the Journal of Sleep Research (JSR) is your journal and a great place for submitting your best work for publication. JSR is the perfect place to be read and discussed by people in your field !

With this, I wish you all the best and a pleasant reading of this 2013 March newsletter. Sleep well and keep safe, and do not hesitate to contact me, or any member of the new board with your remarks and suggestions, these will be most welcome.


Philippe Peigneux
ESRS President

P. S.: Again, a special thank to Simon Archer for having accepted to proofread this newsletter for the accuracy of the English language. Any remaining faults are ours!