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We All Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

Christian Guilleminault, MD (1938-2019)
Posted on 7/12/2019 by Foundation for Airway Health

The Foundation for Airway Health (FAH) is saddened by the loss of one of the most important pioneers in sleep medicine and an advocate for the importance of collaborative care.

FAH Board member Jerald Simmons, MD was a resident under Dr. Guilleminault and offers these words in his memory:

It is with great sadness that on July 9th, 2019, my mentor and friend, Dr. Christian Guilleminault, passed away at the age of 80 after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. I had the fortunate opportunity to learn from him daily during my fellowship in sleep medicine at Stanford under him back in 1991-92 and continued to learn from him since.

Although his passing is a great loss, his contributions to the field of sleep medicine are extensive. Amongst these include writing the first papers on Obstructive Sleep Apnea, being founding co-editor of the journal Sleep, and discovering Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. His leadership in expanding the concepts of early intervention in children with obstructive sleep apnea and how sleep fragmentation manifest clinically in childhood conditions such as ADHD has had a profound influence in the field of medicine that will become more apparent to the world in years to come. He has supported the recent position of the American Dental Association of dentists screening for pediatric OSA in order to treat orthodontically early on and reduce or eliminate the morbidity that would otherwise develop years later. Those who have been fortunate to know and learn from him during his life already recognize the impact his career has made and will continue to influence our healthcare providers for generations to come. We grieve his death but celebrate his life by continuing to propagate his message and ideas.

Jerald H. Simmons, MD
Neurologist and Sleep Disorders Specialist
Stanford Fellow 1991-1992

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