Penn Medicine’s Matthew Kayser Receives Clinical Scientist Development Award

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 3 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,” says Kayser, in a release. “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 3 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 says.

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…

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