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Distinguished professor, sleep researcher Christian Guilleminault dies at 80

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Christian Guilleminault, a distinguished professor, researcher, and associate director of Stanford’s sleep clinic, died of metastatic prostate cancer at Stanford Hospital on July 9 with his wife Priscilla Grevert by his side. 

Guilleminaut is best known for his research in sleep apnea, pediatric sleep disorders and narcolepsy. He co-founded the official publication of the Sleep Research Society, “Sleep,” and co-authored more than 800 articles on narcolepsy, sleep apnea, sudden infant death syndrome, snoring and other sleep-related topics. He helped establish the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center and has written books including “Clinical Neurophysiology of Sleep Disorders” and “Sleep Medicine”. 

Psychiatry and behavioral sciences department chair Laura Roberts told Stanford Medicine that Guilleminaut was “an inspiring colleague, a beloved mentor, an interdisciplinary scholar and a champion for patient whose suffering was immense but poorly understood.” 

“He was a giant in the field of sleep medicine,” Roberts said.

Before arriving at Stanford in 1972, Guilleminaut earned his Medical Degree at the University of Paris, completed a psychiatry residency in Paris and a neurology residency in Geneva. Guilleminaut began his Stanford career as a visiting assistant professor and after a short time became the associate director of Stanford’s Sleep Disorder Clinic. 

Guilleminaut devoted his life to creating medicine to help treat sleep apnea and related sleep conditions and disorders, touching the lives and hearts of his patients, his colleagues and scientists around the world.    

“[Guilleminault] told me ‘I will work until my death,’” sleep researcher Dalva Poyares told the World Sleep Society. “And so he did.”

Contact Brian Lee at bl45983 ‘at’ pausd.us. 

Brian was a high school intern for The Daily in summer 2019.