Robert C. Basner, M.D.

Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center
Director, Columbia University Cardiopulmonary Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders Center
Director, Pulmonary Diagnostic Unit


Dr. Basner, Professor of Clinical Medicine, is American Board of Internal Medicine certified in the specialties of internal medicine, pulmonary diseases, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine, and is also a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. An Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he is an internationally recognized clinician, researcher, and educator in sleep medicine and sleep and respiratory physiology, with a long standing interest in the physiology of autonomic, cardiovascular, and ventilatory modulation and interactions in awake and sleeping humans. He is an awardee of the NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Sleep Academic Career Award program and the American Physiological Society, and an elected member of the Central Society for Clinical Research.

Dr. Basner is a steering committee member and American Thoracic Society voting member on the National Sleep Awareness Roundtable. He has chaired numerous international research and educational symposia and post graduate courses in sleep and respiratory medicine and physiology, and is current Chair of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine “Interpreting Sleep Studies” course. He is a co-editor of UpToDate, and serves on numerous editorial boards and study sections concerning sleep and respiratory physiology.

Dr. Basner is also director of the Pulmonary Diagnostic Unit at Columbia University Medical Center, consultant to the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Research Center, and a member of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Measurement Development Panel of the American Academy of Neurology.

He currently holds numerous grants as principal investigator and co-investigator, including grants from the ALS Association/Will Rogers Respiratory Institute Grant Program and the Muscular Dystrophy Association; he is a sleep protocol subcommittee member of the NIH/NHLBI sponsored investigation, “Sleep-Disordered Breathing During Pregnancy and Risks to Cardiovascular Health.”

Education and Training

City College NY, NY, 1974
Medical School:
Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1983
Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 1983-1984
Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital Boston, MA 1984-1985
Chief Residency:
Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital Boston, MA 1985-1986
Clinical and Research Fellow Respiratory Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston MA 1986-1989

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 1974 Magna Cum Laude, City College of New York, NY
  • 1974 Sidney Zolot Music Award in Scholarship and Performance, City College of New York, NY
  • 1983 Alpha Omega Alpha, inducted
  • 1983 Merck Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
  • 1992 Central Society for Clinical Research, elected membership
  • 1997 NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Sleep Academic Career Award
  • 2001 Research Career Enhancement Award, American Physiological Society


For appointments: 

Cardiopulmonary Sleep & Ventilatory Disorders Center
630 W. 168th Street, PH-8 Center
New York, NY 10032

P: (212) 305-7591
F: (212) 342-4784


  • Sleep Medicine
  • Pulmonary Disease Medicine

Clinical Expertise

  • Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of breathing during sleep, including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, Cheyne-Stokes breathing associated with heart disease and stroke, sleep related hypoventilation and hypoxemia related to obesity hypoventilation, neuromuscular disorders, COPD, asthma, and interstitial lung disease.
  • Non-invasive ventilation awake and in sleep in patients with neuromuscular disorders, airway disease, heart failure, and end- stage heart and lung disease

Clinical Centers

Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine Diplomate, 1986
  • Pulmonary Disease Diplomate, 1988
  • Critical Care Medicine Diplomate, 1989, 2000
  • Sleep Medicine Displomate, 2009


Contact Information: 

Basner Laboratory
Lab Telephone: (212) 305-7591

Research Interests

  • Development and application of novel methods of non-invasive ventilation in patients with heart failure, COPD, and neuromuscular disorders.
  • Development and application of novel methods of lung volume and diffusing capacity determination in patients with airway disease and neuromuscular disorders.
  • Identification of oxidative stress markers associated with the pathogenesis and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • Diagnosis and management of disordered breathing in pregnancy, COPD, and obesity hypoventilation syndrome.
  • Identification of appropriate standards of measurement of spirometry, lung volumes, diffusing capacity, and arterial PO2 and PCO2 in patients with lung disease and s/p lung transplant.

Selected Publications

  1. Basner, R. C., P.M. Simon, R.M. Schwartzstein, S.E. Weinberger, and J.W. Weiss. Breathing route influences upper airway muscle activity in awake normal adults. J. Appl. Physiol. 66:1766-1771, 1989.
  2. Ringler, J., R.C. Basner, R. Shannon, R. Schwartzstein, H. Manning, S.E. Weinberger, and J.W. Weiss. Hypoxemia alone does not explain blood pressure elevations after obstructive apneas. J. Appl. Physiol. 69:2143-2148, 1990.
  3. Garpestad, E., R.C. Basner, J. Ringler, J. Lilly, R. Schwartstein, S.E. Weinberger, and J.W. Weiss. Phenylephrine induced hypertension acutely decreases genioglossus EMG activity in awake humans. J. Appl. Physiol. 72:110-115, 1992.
  4. Basner, R.C., J. Ringler, E. Garpestad, R.M. Schwartzstein, D. Sparrow, J. Lilly, S.E. Weinberger, and J.W. Weiss. Upper airway anesthesia delays arousal from airway occlusion induced during human non-REM sleep. J. Appl. Physiol. 73:642-648, 1992.
  5. Ringler, J., E. Garpestad, R.C. Basner, and J.W. Weiss. Systemic blood pressure elevation after airway occlusion during NREM sleep. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 150:1062-1066, 1994.
  6. Basner, R.C., E. Önal, D.W. Carley, E.J. Stepanski, and M. Lopata. Effect of induced transient arousal on obstructive apnea duration. J. Appl. Physiol 78:1469-1476, 1995.
  7. Crisostomo, I., A. Zayyad, D.W. Carley, J. Abubaker, E. Önal, E.J. Stepanski, M. Lopata, and R.C. Basner. Chemo- and baroresponses differ in African-Americans and Caucasians in sleep. J. Appl. Physiol. 85:1413-1420, 1998.
  8. Jelic , S., M.N. Bartels, J.H. Mateika, P Ngai, R. E. DeMeersman, and R. C. Basner. Arterial stiffness increases during obstructive sleep apneas. Sleep 25: 850-855, 2002.
  9. Zhong, X., H. J. Hilton, S. Jelic, Y. Stern, M. N. Bartels,R. E. DeMeersman, and R. C. Basner. Increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic cardiovascular modulation in normal humans with acute sleep deprivation. J. Appl Physiol 98: 2024-2032, 2005.
  10. Basner, R.C. Shift Work Sleep Disorder: The Glass Is More Than Half Empty. Editorial, N Engl. J. Med. 353;5: 519-521, 2005.
  11. Barr, R.G., S. Mesia-Vela, J. H. M. Austin, R. C. Basner, B.M. Keller, A. Reeves, D. Shimbo, and L. Stevenson. Impaired flow-mediated dilatation is associated with low pulmonary function and emphysema in ex- smokers: the Emphysema and Cancer Action Project (EMCAP) Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 176:1200-1207, 2007.
  12. Basner, R.C. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Clinical Therapeutics. N. Engl. J. Med. 356:1751-1758, 2007.
  13. Milite, F.M., D.J. Lederer, P. Fani, M. Mooney, J.A. Weingarten, and R.C. Basner. Quantification of single breath underestimation of lung volume in emphysema. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology 165:215-220, 2009.
  14. Padeletti M, A. M. Mooney, P. Green, R.C. Basner, and D.M. Mancini. Sleep disordered breathing in patients with acutely decompensated heart failure. Sleep Medicine 10:353-360, 2009.
  15. Lederer, D.J., S. Jelic, R.C. Basner, A. Ishizaka, and J. Bhattacharya. Circulating KL-6, a biomarker of lung injury, in obstructive sleep apnea. European Respiratory Journal 33:793-796, 2009.
  16. Basner, R.C. Nocturnal Sympathetic Activity and Hypertension: Riding the Wave of the Peripheral Pulse. Editorial, Sleep Medicine 10:818-819, 2009.
  17. Atkeson, A.D., A. RoyChoudhury, G. Harrington-Moroney, B. Shah, H. Mitsumoto, and R.C. Basner. Patient-ventilator asynchrony with nocturnal non-invasive ventilation in ALS. Neurology 77 (6):549-555, 2011.
  18. Layton, A.M., C. E. Garber, B.T. Thomashow, R. E. Gerardo, B. O. Emmert-Aronson, H. F. Armstrong, R. C. Basner, P. Jellen, and M. N. Bartels. Exercise ventilatory kinematics in endurance trained and untrained men and women. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology 78(2):223-229, 2011.
  19. Basner, R.C. Obstructive sleep apnea. In: Goldman, L. and Ausiello D (eds), Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 24th edition, pp. 613-617, Elsevier Press, 2011.
  20. Basner, R.C. Loop Gain: Can It Help Close The Heart Failure-Periodic Breathing Loop? Editorial, Am J Respir Crit Care Medicine 184: 996-997, 2011.

*Please see CV for complete list of publications