Alberto Ramos, M.D., M.S.P.H., associate professor of neurology and research director of the Sleep Disorders Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been appointed a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board.
As a board member, Dr. Ramos will help advise various health organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, and senior leadership on helpful policies surrounding sleep disorders. Advising will consist of future research directions, funding priorities, and creating an agenda studying the relationship between sleep disorders and heart health risks on a national scale.
“As part of the board, I am lucky to be surrounded by luminaries in the field,” Dr. Ramos said. “With me being an early- to mid-career researcher, it was a surprise and honor to be selected to serve on this board. Throughout my career, I have done my best to develop a supportive network while being a collaborator who brings forth good ideas with a pragmatic approach.”
According to Dr. Ramos, the sleep field is still in the early research stages, compared to more well-known areas like cancer and cardiology. Over time, however, there has been a shift to focus more research and understanding on sleep.
At the Miller School, Dr. Ramos focuses on how sleep affects the risk of stroke and neurocognitive aging in minority populations. As a neurologist, his attraction to studying sleep arose from his curiosity in understanding how sleep impacts our lives and health in an actionable way.
“The rise of technology, pressures of the pandemic, and a cultural shift in the workplace to remote work are all contributing factors to discoveries in sleep,” Dr. Ramos said. “It has become obvious with these new trends that we can’t ignore sleep for doing so affects other areas of our bodies.”
Sleep and Minorities
Dr. Ramos aims to bring his knowledge of the field to the advisory board while also bringing more attention to the health impacts of sleep on minorities, as they often feel the burden the most. The advisory board will meet several times, with Dr. Ramos serving until 2025.
“Right now, I want to go in there and listen, learn, and absorb to see where the biggest needs in sleep across the country are,” Dr. Ramos said. “We live with societal demands that make it difficult to keep up with our need for sleep. I want to help implement the need for institutional policies around how we can make sleep health a priority at work, school, or other areas of life, so people don’t have to go against it.”