The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Names Marishka Brown, Ph.D., Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research

What About Me Documentary

BY NIHLBI

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) announces selection of Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR). Congress established the NCSD in 1993 to coordinate sleep research throughout NIH and other federal agencies. Dr. Brown succeeds Michael Twery, Ph.D., who served as the NCSDR director since 2006 during which sleep and circadian research programs increased at NIH and new interagency coordination activities were initiated. Dr. Brown will start her new position on November 23, 2020.

Marishka Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Brown joined NCSDR, positioned within the NHLBI, in 2016 and has directed a dynamic, diverse, and growing portfolio of sleep medicine and sleep disorders research. As a researcher, program manager, communicator, and coalition builder, Dr. Brown has advanced biomedical research with innovative science that is clearly communicated to stakeholders across NIH, the federal government, and a robust community of partners throughout the nation and world. In 2018, Dr. Brown led an interagency committee to organize a national conference highlighting advances in Sleep and the Health of Women that was attended by hundreds of physicians, researchers, members of the public, and 1,2000 participants online. She has initiated and led new research programs, such as identifying abnormalities in circadian biology that are linked to heart, lung, and blood disorders, while coordinating NCSDR’s research with other NIH institutes to study how sleep impacts a range of conditions, from immune function and childhood development to early neurocognitive decline and social determinants of health. Dr. Brown chairs the working group for national sleep health objectives in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2030 initiative, and has dedicated her career to biomedical research that positively impacts health and safety for everyone.

Biography

As Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorder Research (NCSDR), Marishka K. Brown, Ph.D., leads the science of sleep and chronobiology into innovative discoveries that improve health. NCSDR, located within the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is the nexus of NIH sleep and circadian research activities for a network that includes professional associations, public stakeholders, and federal agencies. Dr. Brown’s leadership and experience in partnership building helps sustain and expand this network, bringing the benefits of NIH’s scientific research into medicine and public health.

Dr. Brown has dedicated her career to biomedical research that positively impacts health and safety for everyone. In 2016, she joined NCSDR and directed a dynamic, diverse, and growing portfolio of research that focuses on sleep medicine and sleep disorders. She initiated and led new research programs, such as identifying abnormalities in circadian biology that are linked to heart, lung, and blood disorders. She has spearheaded workshops that showcase how sleep impacts the immune system, lung diseases, child development, cardiovascular disease, mechanisms of early neurocognitive decline, the microbiome, and health disparities. Dr. Brown has coordinated NCSDR’s research with other NIH institutes and centers to study how sleep problems impact social determinants of health and contribute to health disparities. In 2018, she led an interagency committee to organize Sleep and the Health of Womenexternal link, a national public conference attended by 1,200 participants. She also chairs the working group for sleep health objectives in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2030external link initiative.

Dr. Brown started her NIH career as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy fellow in the Office of Strategic Coordination, located within the NIH Office of the Director. Her doctorate is in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology where she successfully led research on the role of the unfolded protein response in age-related sleep changes. 

About the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): 
NHLBI is the global leader in conducting and supporting research in heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders that advances scientific knowledge, improves public health, and saves lives. For more information, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov.About the National Institutes of Health

(NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.