James K. Walsh, Ph.D.


James K. Walsh, Ph.D. is President of the National Sleep Foundation. He has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 1998.

Dr. Walsh founded the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri in 1993 and currently holds the position of Executive Director and Senior Scientist. He is also Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at St. Louis University. In 1981, he founded the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis, where he served as director until 1993.

Dr. Walsh has been a significant contributor to development of the sleep medicine and research field. Currently, his primary research interests include pharmacological treatment of insomnia, consequences of insomnia, countermeasures for shift work, and the relation of sleep loss to behavior and cognitive function. Since 1975, he has published more than 100 articles and book chapters dealing with sleep and disorders. He co-authored the text, Sleep: A Scientific Perspective. He has presented numerous invited lectures around the country, in Europe, and contracts.

He has presented numerous invited lectures around the country, in Europe, and in Asia, and has been principal investigator for more than 70 research grants and contracts.

He served as a reviewer for several professional journals, and as a special advisor to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research from 1988 to 1992. From 1994 to 1997, he was a member of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board for the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) of the National Institute of Health (NIH), and was chair of the Center’s education subcommittee.

Dr. Walsh served as a member of the American Sleep Disorders Association (now called the American Academy of Sleep Medicine) Board of Directors from 1982 to 1993, and was ASDA’s president in 1991-92. He was honored with ASDA’s Nathaniel Kleitman Award in 1995 for distinguished service to the field of Sleep Medicine and the Senator Mark Hatfield Award in 1998 for public policy efforts. He also was awarded the Lewis University Alumni Achievement Award in Psychology in 1994.

Dr. Walsh earned his undergraduate degree from Lewis University near Joliet, Illinois, and his masters degree and doctorate in experimental psychology from St. Louis University in 1978.