News Release

Penn Medicine's Matthew Kayser receives Clinical Scientist Development Award

Research project will explore treatment of sleep abnormalities in psychiatric disease

Grant and Award Announcement

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Matthew Kayser, M.D., Ph.D., Penn Medicine

image: Matthew S. Kayser, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. view more 

Credit: Penn Medicine

PHILADELPHIA - Matthew S. Kayser, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Penn Medicine, has been awarded a 2017 Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). Kayser is one of only 17 junior physician scientists selected by a panel of experts in medical research from a highly competitive pool of nearly 200 applicants. Kayser will receive a $495,000 grant over three years to support a research project entitled, "Identifying biomarkers of treatment response in insomnia and depression with a metabolomics platform."

"I am honored to have been selected by the Doris Duke Foundation," said Matthew S. Kayser, MD, PhD. "Our hope is to use these resources to address important questions at the intersection of sleep disorders and psychiatric illness."

Sleep abnormalities are pervasive in psychiatric disease, and it is widely known that sleep disturbances negatively impact mood and cognitive function. According to Kayser, evidence suggests that cognitive behavioral approaches to manage insomnia are effective, but broad implementation is limited, underscoring the need for new treatment strategies. Over the next three years, Kayser will commit time to deciphering a molecular basis for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) in humans in an effort to open new treatment avenues, with critical implications for insomnia and mood disorders. Motivated by the discovery of conserved metabolic signatures of sleep loss across species, Kayser will use a metabolomics platform to identify biomarkers of response to CBT-I in euthymic and depressed individuals, opening a path towards novel therapeutic targets.

"I see in my clinic every week that insomnia is a major obstacle towards remission from depression, emphasizing the need to find new targets for treating insomnia, as well as biomarkers to help predict treatment response to available therapies," Kayser added.

Kayser received his ScB with Honors in neuroscience from Brown University, and earned his MD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He later trained as a resident in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and maintains a clinical focus on issues at the intersection of sleep and mental illness. Kayser currently serves as director of Neuroscience and Research Training for the Psychiatry residency. Work in Kayser's laboratory is focused on improving understanding of how sleep abnormalities contribute to psychiatric disease. His work has appeared in high impact journals such as Science and Neuron, and he has been recognized with an NIH K08 Career Development Award, the Burroughs Welcome Career Award for Medical Scientists, the March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Award, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Neuroscience Fellowship.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The foundation's Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases. This year marks the 20th year since the Clinical Scientist Development Awards were first awarded. Since 1998, the foundation has awarded 288 Clinical Scientist Development Awards totaling more than $128 million to physician scientists between one and five years into their first faculty appointments and transitioning to an independent research career. The award protects and makes possible for recipients to dedicate 75 percent of their professional time to clinical research at a time when they are facing competing priorities as both researcher and clinical care provider.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $6.7 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2016 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2016, Penn Medicine provided $393 million to benefit our community.

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