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Winner of the 2006 RNS Young Investigator Award

The RNS Young Investigator Award is intended to recognize the career accomplishments to date and future promise of a young investigator working in the broad area of respiratory neurobiology and sleep, which includes control of breathing, sleep mechanisms and sleep-disordered breathing. This may include work at the basic, clinical, epidemiological or other levels. This award is intended to recognize a young investigator who is beyond formal training but not yet fully established. The award is to further the development of scientists who have completed training within the last seven years as of the award application date.  It is also not intended as recognition for a single project, but for overall accomplishments and future potential.

The winner of the Young Investigator Award for 2006 is Vsevolod (Seva) Polotsky, MD, PhD.  Dr. Polotsky graduated from Saint Petersburg Pavlov Medical University, Russia.  He received post-doctoral research training at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD and Yale University, New Haven, CT.  He finished internal medicine residency at Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT and completed fellowships in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.  Dr. Polotsky is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. Since July 2004, Dr. Polotsky has been an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Polotsky’s research is focused on relationships between sleep disordered breathing and metabolic syndrome.  He published a series of papers uncovering relationships between metabolism and metabolic hormones insulin and leptin and control of ventilation. In collaboration with Christopher O’Donnell, PhD, he has developed and validated a murine model of intermittent hypoxia.   Dr. Polotsky showed that chronic intermittent hypoxia exacerbates insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in obese mice. He has recently demonstrated that intermittent hypoxia activates pathways of lipid biosynthesis in the liver leading to hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. Most recently, Dr. Polotsky has started exploring relationships between sleep disordered breathing and complications of metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease.  He is involved in multiple collaborative translational projects investigating metabolic outcomes of sleep apnea and the impact of metabolic factors on pathogenesis of sleep disordered breathing. Dr. Polotsky is principal investigator of a K08 and an R01 from NHLBI and a co-investigator on an additional R01. Dr. Polotsky is a successful mentor, and one of his post-doctoral fellows has just been awarded an American Heart Association Fellowship. Dr. Polotsky fosters international collaboration and serves as a co-investigator on the United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) grant. Dr. Polotsky has published over 20 peer-reviewed papers.