June 26, 2019

Dr. Rowley elected president of American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation

James Rowley, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine and chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was elected president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation.

Dr. Rowley, who also serves as medical director of the Detroit Receiving Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, was elected to a one-year term that began June 9 with the possibility of re-election to two additional one-year terms.

Widely sought as an expert in sleep medicine, Dr. Rowley has a deep-rooted interest in the clinical aspects of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, and has published several papers on the topic. His contributions have shown that clinical prediction formulas can predict high probability patients presenting to the sleep lab for identification; male gender, body mass index and neck circumference are independent predictors of the apnea-hypopnea index and the apnea index; and African-American patients with OSA have a slightly higher apnea-hypopnea index than Caucasian patients with OSA.

“As the premier professional society for sleep professionals, it is key that the AASM takes steps to advance sleep and circadian science, both basic research as well as high-impact research that can advance clinical sleep medicine,” Dr. Rowley said. “This is achieved by funding the AASM Foundation, which in turn offers a multitude of programs that both fund research and educate the next generation of sleep scientists.”

In 2018, the board of directors embarked on the AASM Foundation’s first comprehensive strategic planning process in more than a decade. Dr. Rowley and immediate past-president Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., participated in the planning, which leverages the AASM Foundation’s resources to best support the future of sleep science and aligns award programs with the needs of the sleep community.

“Dr. Rowley is a strong leader who is ideal for carrying out the strategic plan. He has been involved with the AASM Foundation for many years,” Dr. Martin said. “Dr. Rowley is thoughtful in setting direction and is focused on the goals set out in the plan. He has experience in multiple areas of sleep medicine, including research, patient care and fellowship training, making him well suited to understand and address the issues facing our field in new and creative ways. He will be a great leader as new initiatives are implemented and programs are evaluated and improved in the coming years.”

The 2019-2023 strategic plan comes with new initiatives positioned to strengthen the landscape of sleep health. “I am particularly excited about our strengthening and creation of new programs for developing careers of sleep and circadian investigators,” Dr. Rowley said. “It is so important that we support young investigators as they embark on an academic career, especially as other funding sources are difficult to obtain. I also look forward to our new community sleep health award and its potential impact on sleep health in local communities and starting a long-term process of developing outside sources of philanthropic gifts as well as partnerships with other professional societies to increase the impact of our awards.”

Dr. Rowley completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He has a longstanding history with the AASM Foundation as a former reviewer on the foundation’s Career Development Awards Review Committee.

Founded in 1998, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable and scientific organization that has invested in the future of sleep medicine by supporting more than 200 awards totaling more than $13.5 million.