Gonzalo Labarca, MD, 2022 recipient of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Foundation and CHEST Foundation Research Grant in Sleep Medicine, will begin using grant funding to better understand sleep apnea in Latin American women.  

Labarca’s research, “Phenotyping obstructive sleep apnea in Latin American women: The Latin American sleep network,” seeks to use the sleep apnea-specific hypoxic burden to identify a phenotype for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among Latin American women with an increased risk of adherence and specific comorbidities.

“The significance of this research is that it will provide downstream markers of disease severity that link more directly with clinical consequences and treatment responsiveness,” says Labarca in a press release. “The research will help to identify patients at high risk for adverse outcomes, potentially inform enrollment criteria for future randomized controlled trials, and has the potential to reduce health care costs by avoiding administering a treatment that is unnecessary or ineffective.”

The grant funds research that addresses topics that advance sleep medicine and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes, which will have a positive impact on the lung and/or sleep health of a community, according to a press release by the AASM Foundation and CHEST Foundation.

“The AASM Foundation is excited to collaborate again with the CHEST Foundation on this research grant,” says Anita V. Shelgikar, MD, president of the AASM Foundation, in a press release. “Dr. Labarca’s project will characterize novel OSA metrics across women from Latin America to predict clinically important outcomes and treatment responsiveness. This work will contribute to our understanding of how OSA phenotype recognition can help optimize treatment selection and response for each person.”

This was the second grant awarded as part of the multi-year partnership between AASM Foundation and CHEST Foundation. The previous grant recipient was mid-career physician Marta Kaminska, MD, for her project “Long-term non-invasive ventilation in COPD—impact on health-care utilization.”

The 2023 grant cycle is currently open for applications. To be eligible for the AAASM Foundation and CHEST Foundation Research Grant in Sleep Medicine, applicants must be a member of either AASM or CHEST. For more details and applications, visit AASM or CHEST

Photo caption: Headshot of Gonzalo Labarca

Photo credit: AASM/CHEST