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David B. Rye, MD, PhD


Phone: 404-712-7533

Fax: 404-712-8145


I am a clinician scientist devoted to understanding the brain and molecular pathways that regulate normal and pathological sleep so that my patient’s quality of life can be improved.  Our team of investigators has contributed to our understanding of how and why normal muscle quiescence goes awry during sleep, including the seminal discovery of genetic variants responsible for the most common of movement disorders in sleep – Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).  We have also identified several novel brain regions and mechanisms critical for maintaining daytime alertness.  Present interests include further deciphering the biological factors that underpin dopamine’s influences upon sleep/wake state and RLS, and the biology responsible for the so-called ‘primary hypersomnias’.

Education & Training:

  • B.S. in Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit (1980)
  • Ph.D., in Neurobiology, University of Chicago (1986)
  • M.D., University of Chicago (1988)
  • Internship in Medicine, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago (1988-1989)
  • Residency in Neurology, University of Chicago Hospitals (1989-1992)

Board Certification:

  • American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (1994)
  • Sleep Medicine (1994; 2011)


  • American Academy of Neurology–Sleep Science Award (2008)
  • Sleep Research Society-Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award (2009)
  • Narcolepsy Network – Researcher of the Year Award (2011)
  • Best Doctors® - 2009, 2010, 2011

Recent & Noteworthy Publications:

Rye DB, Bliwise DL, Parker K, Trotti LM, Saini, P, Fairley, J, Freeman, A, Garcia PS, Owens MJ, Ritchie JC, Jenkins, A (2012) Modulation of vigilance in the primary hypersomnias by endogenous enhancement of GABAA receptors.  Science-Translational Medicine (in press).

Rye DB, and Trotti LM  (2012) Restless legs syndrome and periodic leg movements of sleep. Neurologic Clinics 30(4):1137-66. PMID:  23099132

Rye DB (2012)  Inability to replicate cerebrospinal fluid histamine deficits in the primary hypersomnias: a back to the drawing board moment.  SLEEP 35(10):1315-7. PMID:  23024426

Freeman A, Pranski E, Miller RD, Radmard S, Bernhard D, Jinnah HA, Betarbet R, Rye DB, Sanyal S (2012)  Sleep fragmentation and motor restlessness in a Drosophila model of restless legs syndrome.  Current Biology 22(12):1142-8. PMID:  22658601

Pérez-Díaz H, Iranzo A, Rye DB, Santamaría J (2011) Restless abdomen: A phenotypic variant of restless legs syndrome.  Neurology 77(13): 1283-1286.  PMID: 21917771

Raison CL, Rye DB, Woolwine B, Vogt G., Bautista B, Spivey J, Miller AH (2010) Chronic inteferon-alpha administration disrupts sleep continuity and depth in patients with hepatitis C: association with fatigue, motor slowing and increased evening cortisol.  Biological Psychiatry 68(10): 942-947. PMID: 20537611

Keating GL, Kuhar MJ, Bliwise DL, Rye DB(2010)  Wake promoting effects of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). Neuropeptides 44(3): 241-246. PMID: 20116848

Walters A and Rye DB (2009) Review of the relationship of restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movements in sleep to hypertension, heart disease and stroke.  SLEEP 32(5): 589-597. PMID: 19480225

Stefánsson H, Rye DB, Hicks, A et al. (2007).   A genetic risk factor for periodic limb movements in sleep.  New England Journal of Medicine 357(7): 639-647. PMID: 17634447

Daley JT, Turner RS, Freeman A,  Bliwise DL, and Rye DB (2006) Prolonged assessment of sleep and daytime sleepiness in unrestrained Macaca mulatta.  SLEEP 29(2): 221-231. PMID: 16494090

Rye DB and Jankovic J (2002)  Editorial:  Emerging views of dopamine in sleep/wake control from an unlikely source:  Parkinson's disease.  Neurology 58(3): 341-346. PMID: 11839829

Rye DB, Bliwise DL, Dihenia B, and Gurecki P (2000) FAST TRACK:  Daytime sleepiness in idiopathic Parkinson's Disease.  Journal of Sleep Research 9(1): 63-69. PMID: 10733691

Rye DB, Dihenia B, Weissman JW, Epstein CM, and Bliwise DL (1998) Presentation of narcolepsy after forty.  Neurology 50(2): 459-465. PMID: 9484372

Rye DB (1997) State-of-the-Art-Review: Contributions of the pedunculopontine region to normal and altered REM-sleep. SLEEP 20(9): 757-788. PMID: 9406329