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VISN 2 Center for Integrated Healthcare (CIH)

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Wilfred R. Pigeon, PhD

Research Psychologist






Dr. Pigeon is an investigator with the Center for Integrated Healthcare and serves as the Acting Chief for Clinical Research at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention in Cannadaigua, NY. Dr. Pigeon is also a licensed psychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center where he is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Sleep & Neurophysiology Research Lab.

He has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Dartmouth College, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Antioch New England, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Union Institute; his internship and subsequent post-doctoral fellowship in Behavioral Medicine were completed at Dartmouth Medical School. He has a specific clinical focus on sleep disturbances across a wide variety of conditions. Dr. Pigeon carries the American of Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Certification in Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM) and has chaired several national groups including the American of Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) Behavioral Sleep Medicine Committee, an AASM Task Force on CBT for insomnia, and an Expert Panel on Trauma and Sleep Disturbance, has authored the self-help book ‘Sleep Manual,’ and trains clinicians locally, regionally and nationally.

Dr Pigeon is a member of the VA Central Office (VACO) Work Group that developed the training program of CBT for insomnia for the Veterans Health Administration; he serves on the VACO Mental Innovations Work Group for suicide prevention.

Research Interests: Dr. Pigeon’s primary research focus is on the mechanisms, consequences and treatment of sleep disturbance with a secondary focus on other common conditions that present in VA mental health and primary care settings. This work is conducted with emphases on: suicide risk/suicide prevention; primary care and mental health integration; novel intervention approaches including mindfulness-based stress reduction, sequencing and combining evidence-based interventions; and the impact of treatment on neurobiological correlates of these conditions. He has received funding from NIH, DoD, VA, foundation, and industry sources. He has tested behavioral sleep interventions in a variety of patient populations including those with chronic pain, depression, sexual trauma, interpersonal violence, and combat-related PTSD. He has adapted these interventions for use in primary care settings, which are currently being tested.


Recent Publications: 

Bishop, T. & Pigeon, W. R. (2014). Using behavioral therapies in primary care. In J. Pagel, & P. Ratnas (Eds.), Primary Care Sleep Medicine: A Practical Guide, 2nd edition. New York: Springer Science.

Pigeon, W. R., Woosley, J. A., & Lichstein, K. L. (2014). Insomnia & hypnotic medications are associated with suicidal ideation in a community population. Archives of Suicide Research, 18, 170-180.

Pigeon, W. R., & Funderburk, J. S. (2014). Delivering a brief insomnia intervention to depressed VA primary care patients. Cognitive Behavioral Practice, 21, 252-260.

Pigeon, W. R., Bishop, T., & Marcus, J. (2014). Advances in the management of insomnia. F1000 Prime Report, 6, 48.

Pigeon, W. R., & Cribbett, M. (2014). Insomnia treatments. In R. Cautin, & S. Lilenfeld (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Shepardson, R. L., Funderburk, J. S., Pigeon, W. R., & Maisto, S. A. (2014). Insomnia treatment experience and preferences among VA primary care patients. Military Medicine, 179, 10, 1072-1076.

Pigeon, W. R., Campbell, C., Possemato, K., & Ouimette, P. (2013). Longitudinal relationships of insomnia, nightmares, and PTSD severity in recent combat veterans. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 75(6), 546-550.

Bishop, T., Pigeon, W. R., & Possemato., K. (in press). Suicidality and sleep disturbance among VA primary care patients. Military Behavioral Health, 1(2), 81-84.

Pigeon, W. R., Pinquart, M., & Conner, K.. (2012). Meta-analysis of sleep disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 73(9), 1160-1167.

Pigeon, W. R., & Cribbet, M. R. (2012). The pathophysiology of insomnia: From models to molecules (and back). Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 18(6): 546-553.

Pigeon, W. R., Moynihan, J., Matteson-Rusby, S., Jungquist, C., Xia, Y., Tu, X., & Perlis, M. L. (2012). Comparative effectiveness of CBT interventions for comorbid chronic pain and insomnia: A pilot study. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 50(11), 685-689.

Jungquist, C. R., Tra, Y., Smith, M. T., Pigeon, W. R., Matteson-Rusby, S., Xia, Y., & Perlis, M. L. (2012). The durability of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in patients with chronic pain. Sleep Disorders. Article ID 679648, 8 pages, doi:10.1155/2012/679648

Perlis, M. L., Gehrman, P., Pigeon, W. R., Findley, J., & Drummond, S. (2012) Neurobiologic mechanisms in chronic insomnia: An update. Sleep Medicine Clinics, 7(3), 545-554.

MacGregor, K. L., Funderburk, J. S., Pigeon, W. R., Maisto, S. A. (2012) Evaluation of the PHQ-9 item 3 as a screen for sleep distrubance in primary care? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27, 339-344.

Manber, R., Carney, C., Edinger, J., Epstein, D., Friedman, L., Haynes, P. L., Karlin, B. E., Pigeon, W. R., Siebern, A. T., & Trockle, M. (2012). Dissemination of CBT-I to the non-sleep specialist: Protocol development and training issues. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 8(2), 209-218.

Pigeon, W. R., Britton, P., Ilgen, M., Chapman, P., & Conner, K. (2012) Sleep disturbance preceding suicide among veterans. American Journal of Public Health, 102(S1), S93-S97.

Heffner, K. L., Ng, H. M., Suhr, J. A., France, C.R., Marshall, G.D., Pigeon, W. R., & Moynihan, J. A. (2012). Sleep disturbance and older adults’ inflammatory responses to acute stress. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(9): 744-752.


Recent Presentations:


Presentations will be updated


Recent Grants:

Principal Investigator: Managing sleep symptoms & modifying mechanisms of traumatic stress. (With: K. Heffner). National Institute of Nursing Research [R01 NR013909]. $1,531,255 (2012-2016).

Principal Investigator: Slow wave sleep and inflammatory processes in pain. (With: K. Heffner). NIH/NIA [R21 AG041942]. $434,644 (2012-2014).

Co-Investigator: Pilot test of behavioral activation for depression & suicidality in primary care. (PI: J. S. Funderburk) VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention. $ 24,142 (2012-2013).

Co-Principal Investigator: Mindfulness based stress reduction for primary care veterans with PTSD symptoms: clinical demonstration project. (Co-PI: K. Possemato). VA Office of Mental Health Services. $115,534 (2011-2013).

Principal Investigator: Brief CBT for insomnia in VA primary care patients with depression & insomnia to reduce suicide risk. VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention. $69,025 (2011-2013).

Principal Investigator: Pattern and prevalence of sleep disturbances in OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD symptoms and piloting a brief primary care based intervention. VA Center for Integrated Healthcare. $ 9,995 (2010-12).

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