Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research


The Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research (Center) is dedicated to the education that good sleep improves, preserves and promotes better health.  Yet the relationship between sleep and health, while appreciated is poorly understood. Established in 1987, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Center serves as an important source of sleep science and health expertise for colleagues, aspiring sleep researchers, patients and families.

Problems with sleep affect over 50 million Americans and these problems increase with age. Over 70 sleep disorders are now recognized and have a profound negative impact on quality of life, school and workplace productivity, risks for cardiovascular and metabolic disease and even public safety, because of accidents associated with excessive sleepiness.  The fundamental and biological need for sleep, however, remains a mystery as do the key biological signals driving sleep and wakefulness.

The Center employs three important and inter-related approaches:

  • Research into sleep and sleep-related disorders including mechanisms, manifestations, consequences and management.  The approach is trans-disciplinary; integrating key concepts and methods drawn from Nursing and Medical Sciences, Biological and Social Sciences, Psychological and Physiological Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Imaging Sciences, to implement basic, clinical translational, behavioral and outcomes oriented research.
  • Educate outstanding young scientists for productive careers in sleep and health research; and provide evidence-based and cutting edge patient, clinician and community education and support.
  • Transfer discoveries, technology and know-how developed through research into practice or into the private sector for commercial development and ultimate community health benefits.

Center Administration

Mary Kapella, PhD, RN
Interim Director, Outreach and Education

Dr. Kapella has been appointed Interim Director of the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research (CNSHR). She has an 18 year history with the UIC CON..  Formerly she served as Associate Director for Outreach and Education. Her research interests are insomnia and non-pharmacological therapies for sleep disturbance in chronic illness. Dr. Kapella received her MS and PhD in nursing from the CON and her clinical background is cardiopulmonary critical care nursing. 

Julie Law
Center Administrator

Julie Law has been a Research Specialist in the field of sleep medicine at the UIC since 2005. She also is a point of contact for inquiries to the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research and is board member of the Midwest Narcolepsy Support Group.

Contact Us

Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research
College of Nursing, Suite 215
University of Illinois at Chicago

845 South Damen Avenue (MC 802)
Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: 312.996.5176
Fax: 312.996.7008

How to Find Us:

From the main entrance to the College of Nursing Building, take the lobby elevators to the second floor. Turn to the right off the elevators and then immediately left down the corridor. The Center administrative and faculty offices are on the left at the end of the hallway.