Obituary: Dr. Alain Muzet

Published in ESRS Newsletter July 2017


Alain Muzet died suddenly on the night of 7 to 8 June 2017 at the age of 74. He leaves his wife and his three children, as well as many of his friends and colleagues in a deep sorrow.

Alain Muzet was a Medical Doctor (Faculty of Medicine Strasbourg) and got his PhD from the University of Strasbourg in 1969. He worked two years (1971-1972) at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego with Dr. Laverne Johnson, with whom he kept all his life a very close relationship. He went back to San Diego as visiting scientist in 1979 and 1985. 

Back to Strasbourg in 1972, he took the direction of the sleep team in the Centre of Bioclimatic Studies (CEB) belonging to the CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research). Finally, he became the director of two successive sleep labs (LPPE and CEPA) from 1986 to 2006 where he got retired from the CNRS. This was however not the end of his remarkable sleep carrier…

His ESRS membership dates back to further than 1985. From 1986 to 1988, he was Member of the ESRS Scientific Committee and ESRS Secretary from 1992 to 1996.
His outstanding works on the influence of noise on cardiovascular reactivity during sleep earned him international scientific recognition through numerous publications of excellent level. Under his leadership, the laboratory got equipped in 1996, with a sophisticated moving-base driving simulator allowing to carry on many studies on vigilance, sleep and driving abilities.

Alain Muzet has been involved in many international collaborations with American and European colleagues. Besides his scientific carrier, and thanks to his worldwide reputation, he was also involved in many consulting activities for associations, foundations and ministries.

In parallel to his academic career, Alain Muzet was also involved in providing help to a private research organization (Forenap: Formation et Recherche en Neurosciences Appliquées à la Psychiatrie) both in terms of sleep research and management. Concerning sleep research, he mentored many young researchers and his enthusiasm and mentorship lead this team to become world recognized. In terms of management, he agreed to be the President of the non-profit entity of Forenap in a very difficult period of this organization. His calm and charisma allowed Forenap to recover a scientific stature and an economical viability.

More recently, after retiring from CNRS, Alain got involved in projects that he held dear for a long time. They were to achieve the scoring of sleep and vigilance from the record of autonomic assessments and more particularly on cardiovascular reactivity. This became a reality through the scientific and financial support and involvement of a leading partnering organization: PPRS (Pharma Partnering in Research and Science). Over the last few years, Alain drove, supported and inspired the young team of fellows from PPRS. Some scientific publications and a successful meeting with the US FDA medical devices division were some of the key achievements. The entire PPRS team is deeply thankful to Alain for all what he did for the company and its employees.

ESRS highly appreciated the contributions of Dr. Alain Muzet. His death leaves many colleagues in the affliction, but his memory will remain present within the scientific sleep community.

Condolences can be sent to his daughter Muriel with the subject “Condolences Alain Muzet” at the following address: