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About the Colvonen STARR Lab


Sleep disturbances are a core feature of traumatic stress that influence onset, symptoms, and treatment outcomes in patients with traumatic stress. Advancing knowledge of sleep disorders, such as insomnia, nightmares, and obstructive sleep apnea, in the context of trauma offers a unique and underutilized opportunity to advance clinical care, to understand mechanisms, and to advance treatment options.

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The primary goal of the Sleep, Trauma, and Rehabilitation Research (STARR) lab is  to advance theory, mechanistic research, assessment, and evidence-based treatments in traumatic stress and sleep disorders. We hold dissemination, networking, and collaboration as  key to advancing science and clinical practice.

Specific Aims:

  1. Engaging in basic, clinical, translational, and implementation research efforts relevant to traumatic stress and sleep disorders.
  2. Advance evidence-based clinical practice relevant to assessment and treatment of sleep disorders and trauma-related disorders.
  3. Support dissemination and implementation efforts for science relevant to sleep disorders and traumatic stress.
  4. Understand the cognitive, emotional, and neurobiological mechanisms involved with the relationship between sleep and trauma disorders.
  5. Technology: Working with international med-tech companies to validate algorithms against gold-standard sleep and trauma assessments, help personalize healthcare experiences, and advance treatment access and clinical care for everyone. 

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Principal Investigator

Peter Colvonen

Dr. Colvonen is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD, clinician at the Telemental Health Clinic, and principal investigator on a several grants. He is an investigator at the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH) clinical research unit, chair of the Tri-Center of Excellence Sleep and Trauma Research Consoritum, chair of the Sleep Disorders and Traumatic Stress special interest group for ISTSS,  and a National Center for PTSD affiliate. Dr. Colvonen received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. from University of Illinois, Chicago. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of California, San Diego/V.A. San Diego Healthcare System. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Colvonen completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSD focusing on PTSD treatments and Alcohol use disorder. His current research examines the multifaceted relationship between sleep disorders and trauma.