SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, was graced with a week of sun in Seattle June 6-11. The show was highlighted by the attendance of the industry’s top researchers and clinicians, a trade show floor full of vendors with new products, and a multitude of educational sessions.

Following a weekend of postgraduate courses, SLEEP 2009 kicked off with the plenary session held on Monday morning. During the plenary session, Mary Susan Esther, MD, past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), set an encouraging tone for the week.

“With the great breadth of information available to us here, it is up to each of us to seize these opportunities to learn from one another and to emerge as better scientists and, of course, better clinicians,” said Esther.

The message seemed to resonate among attendees who were eager to share research and developments from the past year.

“It’s nice to see what other people are doing and to get some positive feedback for what you’re doing,” said Amanda Hayes, a research assistant from Cleveland. “I presented a poster and a presentation, and then later in the day, I had people coming up and talking to me about them. It’s neat to just network and see what everyone is doing outside of your own lab.”

Esther then presented the AASM’s 2009 awards. This year’s recipients are:

Nathanial Kleitman Distinguished Service Award: Michael J. Sateia, MD
William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award: David P. White, MD
Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award: Alejandro Chediak, MD
Excellence in Education Award: James A. Rowley, MD

Awards were also presented by Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, president of the Sleep Research Society (SRS), on behalf of the society. This year’s awards went to:

Distinguished Scientist Award: Barbara E. Jones, PhD
Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award: David B. Rye, MD, PhD
Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award: Juliane Winklemann, MD
Outstanding Educator Award: David F. Dinges, PhD

To conclude the plenary session, Howard Roffwarg, MD, delivered this year’s keynote address on the participation of REM sleep in the development of the brain.

New to SLEEP this year was the “Lunch and Learn” sessions. The sessions were pro/con debates on a specific topic (such as local versus global control of sleep) during a catered lunch hour.

MyEXPO mail also made a debut at this year’s meeting, facilitating online communication among attendees. The attendees logged into the program at a cyber café using their badge numbers and there would receive any messages left for them by other SLEEP attendees.

SLEEP 2010 will be held June 5-9, in San Antonio, Tex.

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