The AASM regrets to announce the passing on Dec. 9 of longtime member, clinician, and sleep scientist Richard P. Allen, PhD. Dr. Allen was a licensed psychologist, fellow of the AASM, diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM), and research associate in neurology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he founded and co-directed the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center. Together with Christopher Earley, MBBCh, PhD, he also jointly founded the Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs Syndrome, located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Dr. Allen served the AASM in a variety of roles through the years, sharing his expertise to help advance the sleep field. He was a reviewer for the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Third Edition. Dr. Allen also served on the Movements Task Force that contributed to the development and publication in 2007 of The AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events and was co-author of the task force’s manuscript, The Scoring of Movements in Sleep.

Restless Legs Syndrome Scientist

Recognized worldwide as a leading RLS scientist, Dr. Allen was a prolific researcher who published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles on sleep disorders, including pioneering work on RLS augmentation, dopamine, and intravenous iron RLS treatments. He had a central role in defining the current diagnostic standards for RLS, the new standards for iron treatments of RLS, and scoring parameters for periodic limb movements. His work earned him the 2020 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Sleep Research Society (SRS).

Dr. Allen received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and went on to conduct graduate studies in psychology at MIT. He completed his graduate studies and received his doctorate in psychology at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.

Memorial donations in honor of Dr. Allen can be made to both the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation (RLSF) and International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG).

Learn more about Dr. Allen’s life and career in this tribute from the World Sleep Society. Read the tribute by Dr. Earley published Jan. 7, 2021, in Sleep Medicine.

Read memorial tributes to other sleep medicine leaders.

Updated Jan. 18, 2021