Esra Tasali, M.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Sleep Research CenterDepartment of Medicine
Work 5841 S. Maryland MC 6026, Office: S-600G Chicago, IL 60637 Work Phone: 773.702.1497 Work Fax: 773.702.4736
Photo of Esra Tasali, M.D.

Biographical Info

Research Interest

Esra Tasali, M.D. is an internationally recognized expert in the study of sleep disturbances as they relate to metabolic diseases. She has made important contributions to our understanding of the mechanistic pathways linking reduced sleep duration and quality to increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Her innovative research has demonstrated that experimental reductions in sleep quality adversely affects glucose homeostasis and may increase the risk for diabetes. Her work also demonstrated that sleep duration is an important regulator of neuroendocrine hormones and energy metabolism in peripheral tissues. Additionally, Dr.Tasali’s studies examine how the experimental laboratory findings could be translated into clinical practice in individuals with insufficient sleep and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Her work has significantly contributed to our understanding of the links between sleep apnea and glucose metabolism. She has also demonstrated that healthy sleep habits can be successfully implemented in real life settings. Over the past decade, she has led as a principal investigator multidisciplinary research projects funded by the National Institute of Health to investigate the effects of sleep and sleep disorders on metabolic function.

Honors and Awards

Valedictorian, Lycee de Galatasaray, Istanbul, Turkey (1989)
Graduated with honor (top 5% of class), Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine (1995)
“Alan Rechtshaffen Award” for Excellence as a Fellow in Sleep Medicine, University of Chicago (2001)
“Young Investigator Award” of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in recognition of the outstanding scientific merit of the research in the field of sleep medicine (2005)
Award for “Best Clinical Research”, the 1st Annual Diabetes Day, Chicago, IL (2006)
Award of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine/Pfizer Scholars Grant in Sleep Medicine (awarded yearly to up to two individuals nationwide to support the career development of junior faculty in sleep medicine) (2006)
“Young Investigator Award” of the Sleep Research Society in recognition of an outstanding effort in the field of Sleep Research (for PNAS, 2008 article; listed under Publications # 9) (2008)
“Leif B. Sorenson Faculty Research Award” for outstanding accomplishments in research, University of Chicago (2016)

Featured Publications

For a complete list of publications click here:


  • MD, 1995, University of Istanbul, Medicine


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