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Arthur Spielman: 7/ 25 /15
Art was born on March 6, 1947, to Jerry and Sunny, and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. He was a pioneering figure in sleep research. Art worked at the first sleep center in the United States, his development of Sleep Restriction Therapy is a core component of insomnia treatment, and what became known as the Spielman 3P Model of Insomnia remains a cornerstone of the field. Art had a long association with Cornell, most recently as Co-Director of the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine. As a professor at CUNY for more than thirty years, he mentored graduate students and co-authored more than fifty scholarly articles and book chapters. In June of this year, he was honored with the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Society for Sleep Research. Art was a caring man who loved life. He treasured his friends, and meant so much to so many people. He was a love to his wife, Marlene, an inspiration to his children, Evan and David, a light to his daughter-in-law Melissa, an adored brother to his sister Eileen, and a joy to his grandchildren, Emma, Jason, and Hayley. He will be an eternal presence to his entire family. Services will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 4pm at the Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76 Street. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made to the Art Spielman Memorial Fund at the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine.
Kenneth E. Plotkin, M.D. 1/16/15
Neurologist and sleep specialist Click here to read his orbituary.
Peter McGregor: 1/24/2010:
On Sunday, January 24th 2010, Peter McGregor BSc, RPSGT, passed away unexpectedly after a cardiac arrest during a brief illness. Peter was the founder of the Association of Polysomnographic Technologists (APT, now known as the American Association of Sleep Technologists, AAST) and was registered technologist #001. Peter was kind, generous, greatly respected and admired, and one of the nicest people that anyone would want to meet. He will be greatly missed.
Wayne Hening: 9/15/2008
A gifted scholar and a kind, compassionate gentleman who “always thought outside the box”… these words aptly describe Wayne Hening, MD, PhD. Wayne Alfred Hening was born on January 29, 1945 and died a premature death at the height of his career on September 15, 2008 at the age of 63 years after a brief but valiant struggle with pulmonary fibrosis and its complications. The world of sleep medicine has lost one of its pioneers.
A creative genius of seemingly unlimited knowledge matched by widely diverse interests, Dr. Hening demonstrated in his writings and critiques above all a disarming, even brutal intellectual honesty fortunately blended with a gentle, considerate soul. His life in some ways reflected the cultural conflicts between a German father demanding precision and a Polish mother nurturing relaxed acceptance. His writings and thoughts reflected his father’s passion for precision, his often chaotic and unpredictable life style his mother’s trusting acceptance. He represents that generation of gifted young men of the American Eastern establishment who left home at an early age to be educated in the best of the boarding school traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries. He entered Yale in 1963 on what was to be a three-year course to graduation, which instead became a four-year journey of self-discovery. His graduating classes (because he changed years he curiously had two of these) included both George W. Bush and Joe Lieberman. He graduated from Yale in 1968 earning a degree in Social Science and he was awarded a Fulbright fellowship for a year’s study in Europe. Much of that year he spent climbing the mountains of Europe, but he also completed a course of literature critique on O’Neil.
He decided to undertake the study of medicine and was one of the early participants in combined MD, PhD studies at New York University. He received his MD in 1978, interned in internal medicine at Stanford (1978–1979), and completed a residency in Neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical center along with his PhD in neurobiology both in 1982. He was board certified in neurology, sleep medicine, clinical neurophysiology and electrodiagnostic medicine. He became a research associate at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at New York State Psychiatric Institute. At the time, the full expression of the first work on the sea slug, aplysia, allowed analyses in intact animals of synaptic connections modified by learning. Dr. Hening worked on the cellular basis of coordinated defensive behaviors in the aplysia under the guidance of Dr. Kandel’s, a year 2000 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine. He contributed extensively to an excellent article on long-term sensitization of a motor reflex (second author to Dr. Harold Pinsker and co-author to Dr. Eric Kandel) and wrote a significant article on motorneuronal control of aplysia locomotion. His contributions in studies of the aplysia earned him a specific reference by name in Dr. Kandel’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. This laboratory work set the stage for his developing clinical interest in the new neurological field of movement disorders.
Dr. Hening became a clinical fellow in the Movement Disorder Group under Dr. Stanley Fahn, who later became President of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and studied basic human motor control in the laboratory of Dr. Claude Ghez.
He continued his scholarly pursuits and an active research program when he came to Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lyons, New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, New Brunswick, NJ, to join two of us (S.C., A.W.) in 1986 first as a Research Associate and later as a Clinical Investigator. After a brief period in understanding motor problems of Parkinson’s disease he zeroed in on pursuing a condition which was then little known to the profession – Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). Dr. Hening raised the standard of RLS research to its highest level because of his persistence, diligence, intelligence, careful probing and, above all, his sheer vision. Ten years later he moved to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center as a research consultant to join one of us (R.A.) and Dr. Christopher Earley to continue his fruitful research in RLS. The rest is history. Despite numerous contributions in neurology, clinical neurophysiology and sleep medicine, Wayne’s lasting legacy will be his work on RLS. He was able to explore every aspect of RLS (clinical studies, therapeutic trials, epidemiological, circadian, imaging and genetic studies) in collaboration with his numerous colleagues. Together with one of us (A.W.) he organized the first international symposium on RLS in 1994. He made the most original contributions in developing RLS diagnostic scales, international RLS diagnostic criteria and validation of the scales. Dr. Hening made substantial contributions to professional education by lecturing widely in the areas of movement disorders and sleep and RLS, and organized courses, symposia and discussion groups. At his death he was the chair of the sleep section of the AAN, secretary of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) and the committee chairs of bylaws and national council of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM). He was one of the driving forces in founding the international journal Sleep Medicine in 2000 and WASM in 2003, and he was also an Associate Editor of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Hening published extensively and edited and co-edited several books. His short monograph as the senior editor on clinical management of RLS is a gem. His last book as the senior editor with two of us (R.A., S.C.) and Dr. Earley, Restless Legs Syndrome, is in press and due to be published by Elsevier in 2009. He edited another book with two of us (S.C., A.W.), Sleep and Movement Disorders, the first of its kind in the field.
Wayne was fascinated by different cultures and was an energetic and indefatigable world traveler. Those of us who were fortunate enough to accompany him on his various explorations – whether in North and South India visiting temples and cultural centers, China, Thailand and renowned cultural centers of Europe – were guaranteed an unforgettable, enchanting and illuminating experience ending with hope and promise. Wayne Hening was truly a giant of a man, an avid reader not only of medical science but also of literature, art, philosophy and poetry and a connoisseur of wine and food.
We will conclude by citing the last verse of Wayne’s poem (Sleep Med 2007;9:94) composed while visiting Rumi’s tomb in May 2006:
Rumi, I’m told, looked to death
as a marriage, so here
we celebrate with him and partake
of his gestures, dancing along,
if only with hidden steps
caught in the sunburst
shock of his poetry,
his verses like a subtle knife
cutting through the buzzing air
of the market
to open a window into
a deeper world

These words capture eloquently Wayne’s philosophy on death and dying. He soared high in thought but engaged deeply in the joys of life. His dual physical and spiritual life opens in him the superconscious (“The Very Self”) state. His human form departed, but his soul flies high with his usual boundless vigor, energy and brilliance – indestructible, fathomless, a deeper world. Wayne will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues and younger generations inspired by him throughout the world. He was an internationalist and a man for all seasons.
(From: Sleep Medicine, Volume 9, Issue 8 , Pages 922-923, December 2008)
Eliot Weitzman: 6/16/1983

Dr. Elliot D. Weitzman, founder and director of the Institute of Chronobiology in White Plains and a leader in studying sleep, died of lymphoma Monday at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was 54 years old and lived in New Rochelle, N.Y. Dr. Weitzman was also an attending neurologist in psychiatry at New York Hospital and professor of neurology at the Cornell Medical Center. He joined the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, of which the Institute of Chronobiology is part, last year.

Elliot D. Weitzman, M.D., established the nation's first time isolation laboratory at Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, where he chaired the Department of Neurology from 1971 to 1982. Dr. Weitzman conducted pioneering investigations of circadian rhythms and sleep disorders, including delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). His group developed chronotherapy to help people with DSPS reset their circadian clocks to more conventional hours for sleeping and waking. In 1975 he helped found the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers, the forerunner of the present American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The Association of Sleep Disorders Centers honored Dr. Weitzman with its Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award in 1983, the same year he died of lymphoma at age 54.