The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center for Sleep & Circadian Sciences (UAHS CSCS) wins $5 Million Construction grant from the NIH Office of Director (NIH-1C06OD028307)
Dr. Michael Dake the SVP of UAHS Health Sciences is the Principal Investigator of this landmark contruction grant that aims to build a state-of-the-art Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences research at the University of Arizona. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for the discovery of the molecular mechanisms controlling our circadian rhythms but the study of circadian rhythms and sleep in humans requires a facility that has exquisitely controlled environment for intensity, time duration, and color of light, temperature, and noise levels. Improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms and sleep in animal models has catapulted biomedical research in this area which is at a very exciting juncture in time, but translation to the human condition requires institutional infrastructure that can facilitate a multi-disciplinary team to conduct cutting-edge clinical-translational research. The overarching objective of our proposal is to develop a modern facility with a highly controlled environment that is proximal to advanced imaging facilities and clinical areas to enhance the conduct of cutting-edge human sleep and circadian rhythms research to advance our understanding of disease processes involving multiple biological systems that would serve a broad research community at the University of Arizona. Such broad and cross-cutting impact is because sleep and circadian rhythms can influence the gamut of health from the cellular level (e.g., clock genes influencing inflammation and cancer risk); organ-systems (e.g., cognition, heart disease, and stroke risk); behavioral health and severe mental illnesses; and at a macroscopic level affect public health and safety (e.g., traffic accidents secondary to sleepiness). There is a long history of sleep research at the University of Arizona spanning over 4 decades with pioneering contributions to the connection between sleep and cardiovascular disease (as a vanguard site for the NIH-funded Sleep Heart Health Study), neurocognition, and behavioral intervention. Since this time, sleep research at the UA has grown exponentially with more than eighteen investigators from five colleges and nine departments across the University of Arizona conducting sleep and circadian rhythms research. The existing sleep and circadian rhythms research facility is a leased property that is not amenable to renovation for the sophisticated control and monitoring of the environment (lighting, noise, temperature, and respired gases) for extended periods of time. Moreover, this center is far removed from clinical research areas and imaging facilities and researchers are unable to perform brain imaging; remotely administer therapies that includes manipulation of respired gases and intravenous therapies; or collect blood samples without perturbing a research participant's sleep. The new facility will be in close proximity to imaging facilities, clinical research areas, and other research laboratories within UA campus and will also allow manipulation of the respired gases and administration of intravenous medications and blood sampling from an adjacent anteroom. The proposed facility is vitally needed as a shared resource to facilitate ongoing and future planned NIH-funded sleep and circadian rhythms research and advancements in such clinical and translational research that brings treatments and cures to patients and the public.