Researcher to Present Lecture About Sleep Issues

Biology Graduate Presents the 2012 Bryce Young Memorial Lecture

By: Rosa Jimenez

Mark Opp

Sleep and associated health issues will be the subject of a presentation by University of Washington researcher Mark Opp.

Opp, a Walla Walla University graduate, will present "Sleep and Public Health: How a 24/7 Lifestyle Threatens Our Health" on Tuesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

The topics of sleep and health are critical to national public health for the following reasons:

•    Americans sleep an average of 1.5 hours per night less now than in 1960.

•    An estimated 50 – 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders.

•    Chronic insufficient sleep and sleep disorders are associated with deleterious health consequences, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.

•    Short sleep as a lifestyle choice reduces quality and duration of life.

Opp is professor and vice chair for basic research at the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Washington. Opp's current research focuses on the relationships of sleep to health, including the impact of tramatic infection on the central nervous system; sleep disruption, neuroinflammation, and obesity; and the impact of sleep disorders on immune function. Opp's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Opp serves on numerous review panels for the National Institutes of Health, is on the editorial board of three scientific journals, and frequently consults with investigators at other institutions who wish to begin their own studies of sleep and health. Opp has also served as President of the Sleep Research Society, a member organization of more than 1,200 sleep scientists.

The 2012 Bryce Young Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the WWU's Department of Biological Sciences. The lecture is named after WWU alumnus Bryce Young, a 1952 zoology graduate.

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