The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) congratulates the recipient of the 2023 Trainee Investigator Award, Melissa Nevarez-Brewster, and the three individuals who received the honorable mention designation. 

They were recognized during the AASM annual membership meeting, which was held Monday, June 5, during the SLEEP 2023 annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Indianapolis.

The award program is open to AASM members who are students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents, and who present an abstract at the SLEEP annual meeting. Each applicant’s abstract was reviewed by the AASM Education Committee, and the abstracts with the highest scores were selected for recognition. The 2023 recipients were determined from among 78 applicants.

The winner received a $1,000 award, and an award of $500 was given to each of the honorable mention recipients. Their abstracts are available in the SLEEP 2023 abstract supplement. SLEEP 2023 was held at the Indiana Convention Center from June 3 to 7.

Trainee Investigator Award Recipient

Melissa Nevarez-Brewster, University of Denver, received the 2023 Trainee Investigator Award for the abstract “Prenatal maternal sleep quality predicts neonatal white matter microstructure and infant negative emotionality.”

Nevarez-Brewster is a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology. Her research investigates sleep health during pregnancy and its impact on maternal and offspring health and development. In graduate school, she examined childhood experiences as predictors of sleep health during pregnancy and tested the associations between poor prenatal sleep health and newborn brain structure. 

Her current work is exploring the links between prenatal maternal sleep health and neonatal white matter microstructure, and infant negative emotionality. The field of prenatal sleep health is young, and Nevarez-Brewster hopes her work lays foundational knowledge and informs future work focused on interventions for reproductive sleep health.

Honorable Mentions

Sammy Dhaliwal, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, for the abstract “Sleep when the baby sleeps? The effect of daytime nap behaviors on postpartum depression severity: a stress buffering hypothesis.”

Bastien Lechat, PhD, Flinders University, for the abstract “Difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep is associated with increased blood pressure in people with obstructive sleep apnea.”

Anastasia Suraev, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, for the abstract “Acute effects of cannabinoids in insomnia disorder: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial using high-density EEG.”

Photo caption: (Clockwise from left to right) Sammy Dhaliwal, Melissa Nevarez-Brewster, Bastien Lechat, and Anastasia Suraev

Photo credit: AASM