ASA Presents Ralph Lydic, Ph.D. With 2012 Excellence in Research Award

Dr. Lydic Recognized for Advancements in Neurobiology of Sleep

Washington, D.C. — (October 15, 2012) 

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Ralph Lydic, Ph.D. with its 2012 ASA Excellence in Research Award. Dr. Lydic, well known for his research on the neurobiology of sleep and breathing, received the award at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2012 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Lydic has focused his research efforts on three primary areas, including arousal state-dependent respiratory depression, sleep and pain, and the neurochemical control of sleep and anesthesia. Since 1988, Dr. Lydic’s research has been continuously funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For more than 20 years Dr. Lydic and his collaborators have published evidence supporting the hypothesis that neuronal networks which evolved to generate traits of sleep are preferentially involved in generating traits that define states of anesthesia. Lydic’s shared circuits hypothesis has helped identify the brain regions and neurochemical mechanisms contributing to respiratory depression caused by sleep and anesthesia. 

Dr. Lydic’s research has helped promote a new dimension in patient care by bridging the gap between clinical anesthesiology and sleep disorders medicine. He is a founding member and serves on the board of the Society for Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Lydic also founded and co-directs the first comprehensive class on sleep offered at the University of Michigan.  More than 1,000 students have completed the 18-week class, “Sleep: Neurobiology, Medicine and Society.”

“On behalf of Anesthesiology, we are pleased to present Dr. Lydic with the 2012 ASA Excellence in Research Award,” said James C. Eisenach, M.D., Editor in Chief of Anesthesiology. We recognize Dr. Lydic not only for his significant contributions to the specialty of anesthesiology, but for his career-long commitment to education. Nearly 50 graduate students, medical students and post-graduate fellows have benefited from Dr. Lydic’s mentorship.”

Dr. Lydic currently serves as the Bert La Du Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan.  He resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife, Helen A. Baghdoyan, Ph.D. Together, Drs. Lydic and Baghdoyan provide one of the most productive couples-collaboration in the history of anesthesiology research.


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

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American Society of Anesthesiologists