June 2010 Wilmer Memorial Lecture

Dr. C. William Dement M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. C. William Dement M.D. Ph.D.

    William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D., is the world's leading authority on sleep, sleep disorders, and the dangers of sleep deprivation. He is Chief of the Division of Sleep at Stanford University School of Medicine, which is also the home of the world's first sleep disorders center which he founded.

    For more than half a century, Dr. Dement has conducted basic sleep research, investigated sleep disorders and treatments, and has launched a myriad of public education programs. He conducted the first studies leading to the characterization of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the basic REM/NREM sleep cycle, and all night sleep patterns.

    In 1975, Dr. Dement founded the American Academy of Sleep Medicine serving as its President for twelve years. Dr. Dement was also a founder of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. He served as Chairman of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research. In 2001, he received the largest National Institute of Health research grant in sleep medicine history to establish the effectiveness and benefits of continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) treatment for large populations of patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

    As the author or co-author of over 500 scientific publications, Dr. Dement's research, findings, and advice can be found amongst several texts including his own, The Sleepwatchers, and most recently, The Promise of Sleep. He is also co-editor of the definitive textbook, Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine.

    Born and raised in the state of Washington, Dr. Dement remained in his home state for his undergraduate years at the University of Washington. He then pursued his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, receiving his M.D. in 1955 and Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1957.

    This was Dr. Dement’s second visit to the Institute. Several years ago he spoke at the Institute’s weekend symposium, “Dream.”