Professor Emeritus, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Professor Emeritus, Anesthesiology
Ralph Lydic, Ph.D., is the Bert La Du Professor of Anesthesiology and Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. He co-founded and co-directs the University of Michigan sleep class. More than 1,000 undergraduates, graduate students, and Sleep Medicine Fellows have completed that class. Professor Lydic’s research has been continually funded since 1989 by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. His research program uses the tools of cellular and molecular neuroscience to study states of consciousness caused by sleep, anesthetics, and other arousal state-altering molecules. The results of these studies led him to propose the shared circuits hypothesis, postulating that neural networks that evolved to generate sleep, comprise the brain substrates that are most likely to generate and maintain states of anesthesia. Understanding the similarities and differences between these states is essential for developing counter measures aiming to diminish or eliminate unwanted side effects of drugs that depress or eliminate wakefulness. Lydic has served as President of the Sleep Research Society, as a founding member of the Society for Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine, and he is recipient of the Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.