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Keynote Brisbane

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Associate Professor of Nursing

Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program

University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Perlis is internationally known for his work in the area of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM). He is a coauthor of the first text book in this field; the senior author of a published CBT-I treatment manual; and is a co-editor of a larger text summarizing all BSM treatments. He has published, as an author or co-author, more than 150 articles and chapters on sleep research related topics and he serves on the editorial boards of Sleep, the Journal of Sleep Research, the journal of Sleep Medicine Research, the journal of Sleep Medicine Reviews, the journal of Sleep Medicine, the journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, the journal of Behavioral Therapy and Research, and the journal of Health Psychology. Dr. Perlis has also served as a member, or chair, of several committees and task forces of the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and he was the assistant chair for the training program of the SRS for five years. Finally, Dr. Perlis was one of the five organizing and founding members of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM). He also served as the SBSM’s first president (2010-2011). In 2018, Dr. Perlis received the Peter Hauri Career Distinguished Achievement Award from the SBSM. In 2019, he was nominated for the Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award from the SRS.


In general, Dr. Perlis’s research pertains to insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine. His specific research interests include: behavioral, cognitive, and physiologic factors in acute and chronic insomnia, cortical arousal and conditioned CNS activation as primary perpetuators of insomnia; Sensory and information processing and long term memory formation as key features of Insomnia Disorder as a hybrid state between wake and sleep; Sleep homeostasis effects on the frequency and severity of insomnia (and the patterning of insomnia over time); Insomnia as morbid risk factor for new onset and recurrent depression; The anti-depressant effects of CBT-I; The potential of conditioning and partial reinforcement with placebos (Behavioral Pharmacotherapeutics) as a means to change how medical maintenance therapy is conducted; and the relative efficacy of behavioral and pharmacologic treatments of insomnia. Dr. Perlis’s work has been, and continues to be (Gods willing), funded by the National Institutes of Health. His grant portfolio (past and present) as a Principal investigator is comprised of 7 R01s, 3 R21s, 1 R56, 1 K23, and 1 R03. In addition he has held three Pharma PI initiated grants, several foundation awards, and participated as a site investigator on five industry initiated pharma studies.


Dr. Perlis' educational efforts include the conduct of two annual CBT-I training workshops (the basic workshop has been since 2005 and the advanced workshop was first offered in 2014); three to six BSM Mini-Fellowships per year; a CBT-I practica clinic; ongoing clinical research supervision and mentorship; several on-line / DVD trainings (and related materials via the CBT-I course “gift basket”); and individual and group supervision through his program at Penn. Note: The Basic CBT-I workshop has also been provided, on request, in England, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Qatar. The CBT-I manual has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Chinese. Dr. Perlis’ educational activities also include his service as a mentor to over 95 trainees including 24 junior or peer faculty, 18 interns or post-doctoral fellows, 6 medical students, 12 graduate or post-masters students, and 35 undergraduates or post-baccalaureates. Most notable among his prior mentees (i.e., those who have gone on to independent research careers) include Sean Drummond PhD, Kenneth Wright PhD, Michael Smith PhD, Carla Jungquist PhD, Wilfred Pigeon PhD, Sheila Garland PhD, Michael Grander PhD, Karen Klingman PhD, and Ivan Vargas PhD.

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