Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.


Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Center of Excellence Personnel

 Wilfred R. Pigeon, Ph.D.

VA Appointment: Researcher
Academic Affiliation: Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

Wilfred R. Pigeon headshot

Contact Info
(585) 393-7918


Research Interests

Wilfred R. Pigeon, PhD is a Senior Investigator at the CoE, where he has conducted research since the founding of the CoE in 2007. He served as Executive Director from 2016-2022 and Research Director from 2011-2016. He is Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center where he is Director of the Sleep & Neurophysiology Research Laboratory. His research focuses on: (1) the mechanisms, consequences and treatment of sleep disturbance that co-occur with PTSD/trauma, depression, suicidality, and chronic pain and (2) developing novel intervention approaches to address these co-occurring conditions enhance sleep. Dr. Pigeon has served as a subject matter expert in both insomnia and suicide prevention for the VA and is an internationally recognized expert in each of these domains. He and his team have done seminal work on the interface of sleep and suicide.

As of 2023, he had authored two books, several training manuals, 25 book chapters and 160 peer-reviewed articles. He has served on and/or chaired several national committees, task forces and expert panels including serving on the work group that developed VA’s Training & Dissemination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and chairing the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Committee Dr. Pigeon is also a licensed psychologist who trains clinicians locally and nationally on behavioral sleep medicine interventions and especially the delivery of and adaptation of CBT-I to unique populations. He and his team have developed a brief from of CBT-I that cab be delivered in primary care settings and a national training for clinicians to be trained in this approach. In addition to these kinds of training, he also mentors research trainees from undergraduates to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior investigators.

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