Ruth Benca MD, PhD

Ruth Benca MD, PhD

Dr. Ruth Benca is the Chair of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California Irvine (UCI), where she has built a comprehensive sleep medicine center focused on providing clinical care for sleep disorders and developing a world-class translational research program. She is an internationally recognized authority on the relationship between sleep and brain health, including neuropsychiatric disorders. She has a broad background in basic and clinical sleep research and has served as PI/co-Investigator on numerous projects funded by NIH and the Department of Defense.

Dr. Benca has also served as Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and a Professor and Associate Chair of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Wisconsin. She was a founder and director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research, focusing on the development of translational research in sleep medicine. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Sleep Research Society (SRS), the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM); a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She has served as president of the SRS and on the Board of Directors of the AASM.

Background & Education
Dr. Benca received her undergraduate education at Harvard University and her MD degree and a PhD in Pathology from the University of Chicago. She completed a residency in Psychiatry and a fellowship in Sleep Medicine, also at the University of Chicago. She has authored over 150 articles, reviews and book chapters as well as a single-authored handbook, Sleep Disorders: The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Management. She has been a member of several editorial boards, including Sleep: Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research and UpToDate, and is editor-in-chief of Current Sleep Medicine Reports.

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