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2010 James B Skatrud New Investigator Award Winner

Michael Arzt, MD

Dr Arzt graduated at the University of Regensburg, Germany and completed his fellowships in Internal and Sleep Medicine at the Universityhospital of Regensburg Germany (2001 to 2004 and 2006 to 2009). During this time he conducted and published studies comparing the physiology of ventilation during exercise and sleep in heart failure patients and also studied the effects of various forms of positive airway pressure in patients with heart failure and sleep apnea.

Supported from the German Research Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada he performed a research and clinical fellowship at the University of Toronto`s Centre for Sleep Medicine and Circadian Biology (Canada). Mentored by Dr Bradley he continued his research in the field of sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease: In collaboration with the investigators of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study he reported the first prospective analysis of a cohort study investigating the risk of sleep apnea for incidence stroke. This work was acknowledged as a “Highlighted Abstract” of the category “Respiratory Neurobiology and Sleep” at the international conference of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2005.

Another important publication was a subanalysis of the CANPAP trial, in which the effect of CPAP on morbidity and mortality in patients with heart failure and central sleep apnea was studied. Findings of this subanalysis suggested that successful suppression of central sleep apnea is an important target to improve prognosis of heart failure patients. Based on this concept two multicentre long-term trials in heart failure patients with sleep apnea have been launched (Serve-HF and ADVENT-HF).

In 2006, Dr Arzt returned to the University Hospital Regensburg, Germany, completed his clinical training in internal medicine and sleep medicine and became the head of the Centre for Sleep Medicine. He contributed to the German “Guideline for unrestorative Sleep/Sleep Disorders” and has received independent grant support as a principal investigator from the German Foundation for Cardiac Research (Deutsche Stiftung für Herzforschung, DSHF) to continue research in the field of respiratory neurobiology and sleep. His research focus is sleep apnea and treatment as well as prevention of heart failure.

Michael states that receiving the James B Skatrud New Investigator Award is a great honour and an important milestone in his academic medical career. He looks forward to meeting members of the assembly at next years International Conference to share novel data, concepts and ideas.