Description of Research Expertise
Aging, sleep, complementary/alternative medicine, melatonin, patient-oriented research, translational research, categorical data, clinical trials, multivariate analysis, time series.
Description of Research:
Dr. Gooneratne’s research interests are centered around studying the nature of sleep disorders in the elderly. While many older adults complain of difficulties with sleep, it is an area about which modern medicine has only a limited understanding. Funded initially by a National Institute on Aging Mentored Research Career Development Award (K23) and a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Award (R01), he is pursuing research examining the role of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, in sleep in the elderly. Dr. Gooneratne also has a strong interest in the attitudes of senior citizens towards their sleep problems and how their background/ethnicity informs their decisions. This project has been funded by a Hartford foundation/Penn Center for Excellence pilot grant. Dr.Gooneratne also runs a Sleep Disorders Clinic for Seniors in an effort to address the medical needs of older patients with sleep disorders. In addition, Dr. Gooneratne is the Associate Program Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania's Clinical and Translational Science Award, which assists in the conduct of over 190 clinical research studies. He also helps to coordinate the research activities of the Geriatric fellows in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and mentors research fellows in the Division of Sleep Medicine.