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Center of Excellence Personnel

 Wilfred R. Pigeon, Ph.D.

VA Appointment: Executive Director
Academic Affiliation: Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

Wil P.

Contact Info
(585) 393-7918


Research Interests

My research focuses on the mechanisms, consequences and treatment of sleep disturbance especially as they relate to suicidal thoughts and behaviors and their co-occurrence with common medical and mental health conditions. I am interested in the effects of combining sleep and other treatments to enhance overall care and mitigate suicide risk. This includes the adaptation and testing of behavioral sleep interventions in a variety of patient populations including those with chronic pain, depression, interpersonal violence, and combat-related PTSD. I have been involved with research on non-medication treatments for sleep, and other conditions as upstream approaches to divert Veterans with these conditions from engaging in suicidal thoughts and acts. Our team is also investigating the suicide safety profile of sedative-hypnotic medications.

I am also involved in adapting evidence-based interventions for delivery in primary care settings, by telephone and other technology platforms to improve overall mental health in larger segments of the population. To date this has included work with brief adaptations of behavioral treatments for insomnia, behavioral activation therapy for depression, and mindfulness based therapy for PTSD as well as delivering cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia for self-management in several different modalities.

Current Funding

2018-2022 VA/HSR&D Improving Sleep as a Strategy to reduce Suicide Risk Among at-Risk Veterans: A Real World Clinical Trial MPI
2018-2020 NIH/NCCIH Primary Care Based Mindfulness Training for Veterans with PTSD Co-I
2018-2020 NIH/NIMH Interplay between Insomnia & Reward Processing in Depression Risk Co-Sponsor
2014-2020 NIH/NCI Yoga for Sleep in Cancer: The Role of Circadian, Physcial and Immune Function Co-I
2018-2019 Pfizer Quantification of Scratch and Sleep in Atopic Dermatitis MPI
2014-2019 VA/CSRD Cognitive Rehabilitation for Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Site PI/Co-I
2017-2019 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Sleep Disturbance and Short-Term Suicide Risk in Youth after Psychiatric Hospitalization Co-I
2017-2019 VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention Suicide & Sleep: Is Sleep Apnea Associated with Suicidality and does Treatment of Sleep Apnea reduce Risk? Co-I
2017-2019 VA Office of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Combined CBT-Pain Intervention & Internet-Delivered CBT-Insomnia to Decrease Suicide and Unintentional Overdose Co-I
2017-2020 VA Office of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Advanced Predictive Analytics for Suicide Behaviors and Depression Treatment Response Co-I
2019-2020 URMC Public Health Science Pilot Assessing Subjective and Objective Parameters of Sleep and Dreaming in the Deaf Community MPI
2019-2022 K12 Award via GM106997 Sleep an Dreaming in the Deaf Community Mentor

Past Funding

2015-19 VA/HSR&D RCT of Behavioral Activation for Depression and Suicidality in Primary Care MPI
2017-18 VA Office of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Improving the Safety of Prescribing Medications Labelled for Risk of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior Co-I
2016-18 NIH/UR-CTSI Effects of Mindfulness on PTSD: A Community-Based Clinical Trial among Trauma Survivors Primary Sponsor
2015-18 NIH/NIDA NIH Pain Consortium Center of Excellene in Pain Education Co-I
2012-17 NIH/NINR Managing Sleep Symptoms & Modifying Mechanisms of Traumatic Stress MPI
2014-17 Department of Defense Diverting Pathways to Substance Misuse by Improving Sleep Consultant
2016-17 VA/HSR&D Mobile Sleep & Pain Intervention for OEF/OIF/OND Veterans Co-I
2016-17 Eisai Corp. 1-Month, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Contrikked Parallel-Group, Phase 3 Study of Efficacy & Safety of Lemborexant Compared to Zolpidem in Insomnia Subjects 55+ Site PI
2015-16 VA/HSR&D An Adjunctive Behavioral Sleep Intervention to Prevent Veteran Suicides PI
2012-15 NIH/NIA  Slow Wave Sleep and Inflammatory Processes in Pain Role MPI
2011-14 VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention Brief CBT for Insomnia in VA Primary Care Patients with Depression & Insomnia to Reduce Suicide Risk PI
2013-14 VA MH QUERI MBSR to Decrease Suicidal Ideation and Enhance Well-Being in Women Veterans Exposed to Military Sexual Trauma Mentor/Co-I
2013-14 VA Women's Health Services MBSR to Promote Cardiovascular Health and Reduce Suicide Risk for Women Veterans Exposed to Trauma Mentor/Co-I
2011-13 VA Patient Care Services Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Primary Care Veterans with PTSD Sympotms MPI
2012-13 VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention Pilot Test of Behavioral Activation for Depression & Suicidality in Primary Care MPI
2010-13 VA Center for Integrated Healthcare Pattern and Prevalence of Sleep Disturbances in OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD & Piloting a Brief Intervention PI
2010-13 VA CSR&D - Merit Review Award Daily Fluctuations of PTSD Symptoms and Alcohol Use among OEF/OIF Veterans Co-I
2011-12 Zeo, Inc. Equip. Grant Pain, Sleep Quality and Inflammatory Markers PI
2010-12 Merck & Co A Phase III, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of MK-4305 in Patients with Primary Insomnia-Study B Site PI
2011-12 DoD Consortium Development Award Integrative Physiology of Gulf War Illness: Role of Autonomic Function, Central Neural Processing and Sleep Co-I
2009-10 NIH/NIMH Real World Treatments & Outcomes for Insomnia PI
2009-10 URMC Department of Anesthesiology Pharmacological Pre-Treatment with Physostigmine Versus Placebo Can Ablate Respiratory Arrhythmias Caused by Sedation with Midazolam and Remifentanil Co-I
2009-10 Merck & Co A Pjase IIb, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled 2-period Adaptive Crossover PSG Study to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy of MK-6096 in Patients with Primary Insomnia Site PI
2008-10 NIH/NIMH Court-based Mental Health Screening and Service Referrals for Co-occuring Issues Relating to IPV Victims  Co-I
2007-10 NIH/NINR The Psychoneuroimmunology of Insomnia: Response to A Vaccine Challenge PI
2007-10 VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention CBT for Insomnia in Combat Veterans: Outcomes on Sleep, Depression, PTSD, Suicide and Immunity PI
2007-10 NIH/NIMH Information Processing at Sleep Onset and During Sleep in Patients with Insomnia Co-I
2008-09 Merck & Co A Phase IIb, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Safety and Efficacy of MK-4305 in Patients with Primary Insomnia Site PI
2006-08 American Sleep Medicine Foundation Sleep Homeostasis in Primary Insomnia Following CBT PI
2007-08 Takeda Pharmaceuticals Development of an Interactive CME Website to Train Physicians and Nurses to Assess and Manage Insomnia Co-I
2006-07 CherryPharm, Inc. Effects of a Tart Cherry Juice Beverage on the Sleep of Older Adults with Insomnia PI
2005-07 Rochester Center for MindBody Research CBT for Co-Morbid Insomnia and Chronic Pain: Sleep, Pain and Immune Function Outcomes PI
2004-06 Cephalon A 2nd Evaluation of the Effects of Modafinil Alone and in Combination with Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia Co-I
2004-07 NIH/NINDS Treatment of Insomnia Secondary to Chronic Pain PI