Medical Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Nico de Vries

Prof dr Nico de Vries is Otolaryngologist, at St Lucas Andreas Hospital, Amsterdam and University of Antwerp, Belgium. He has a special interest in diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in adults. At the SLAZ, more than 2000 sleep studies, >600 drug induced sleep endoscopies and >200 sleep surgeries are performed /year. Dr de Vries has published more than 200 scientific papers and book chapters in (inter)national journals. He was coauthor of the Dutch CBO guideline diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea in adults. Special research activities include in particular positional therapy, neuromodulation, drug induced sleep endoscopy and implants. He is coeditor of the recently appeared book “positional therapy in obstructive sleep apnea”. (Springer, New York).

Prof. David P. White, MD

Dr. White graduated from Emory University Medical School and completed training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He has held a number of positions at various universities over his career and is currently a Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Chief Medical Officer for Apnicure, Inc. Some of his major accomplishments include being President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine,Chairing the Task Force to write the research plan addressing sleep and its disorders for the National Institutes of Health, and being the Editor-in- Chief of the Journal SLEEP. He was also on the test writing committees for the American Board of Internal Medicine for both Pulmonary Disease and Sleep Medicine. Finally, his principle research interest has been the pathophysiology of disorders of breathing during sleep about which he has published over 180.

Dr. Heinzer

Dr. Heinzer is the Medical Director of the Centre for Investigation and Research in Sleep and senior tenured lecturer at University of Lausanne, Switzerland. In parallel with training in internal medicine and pulmonology, Dr. Heinzer began his specialization in sleep medicine in 1996 at the Stanford Sleep Clinic with Professor Guilleminault. He then had the opportunity to work with Prof. Jacques Montplaisir in Montreal and from 2003 to 2005 with Prof. David White at Harvard University. Returning to Switzerland in 2006, he opened the Centre for Investigation and Research in Sleep at the University of Lausanne. His main research interests are sleep-disordered breathing physiology, sleep in extreme conditions (high altitude, solo sailor, long-term solo flights) and the epidemiology of sleep disorders through the HypnoLaus Sleep Cohort. This population based cohort is one of the largest in this field including data on sleep, metabolic, cardiovascular and genetic characteristics of more than 5’000 individuals.

Prof. Jean-Louis Pépin, MD, PhD

Jean-Louis Pépin received his MD from Montpellier University, France (1987), where he was a Resident in Respiratory Medicine and obtained a Certificate of Specialist in Sleep Medicine (1987-1989). He then obtained a Master’s degree in Animal Biophysiology (option Neuroscience) from Claude Bernard University of Lyon (1990). He obtained his PhD in Biology (cardiovascular adaptations induced by chronic hypoxia) from Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble, France and was a Visiting Professor at the Laboratory of Pulmonary Physiology of Harvard University in Boston, USA (1999). He achieved European certification in Sleep medicine in 2013. Jean-Louis Pépin has pursued his education, training and research focusing on clinical and translational research on the cardiovascular consequences associated with chronic and intermittent hypoxia, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic respiratory failure, and non-invasive ventilation. Jean-Louis Pépin is currently Professor of Clinical Physiology at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble and Medical Director of the regional home care system for chronic respiratory failure; Head of the HP2 Laboratory clinical research team (Inserm U1042; Hypoxia Pathophysiology: cardiovascular consequences of intermittent hypoxia), a member of the Faculty of Medicine, Joseph Fourier University where he holds a five-year Inserm Interface full time research contract. He is Head of the Clinic of Physiology, Sleep and Exercise department, Scientific Director of Clinical Research Administration and presides the Research Division at Grenoble University Hospital. He runs the French registry of sleep apnea (90,000 individuals) and is involved in the European sleep apnea database (ESADA). He is involved in several European and American Thoracic Society task forces. Jean-Louis Pépin is the co-author of 250 scientific publications (H-index=38). He is the former President of the French Sleep Research and Medicine Society, a member of the European Respiratory Society and American Thoracic Society; and Associate Editor of THORAX for the sleep medicine field.

NightBalance innovation won awards


The innovation of the Sleep Position Trainer has through the years received various prizes including the Philips Innovation Award (2008), LIOF Yeah! (2010), New Venture (2010), the NGI Venture Challenge (2010), the ‘Product of Outstanding Interest Award’ at the European Respiratory Society congress (2015) and the VAPA Award (2012, 2016).

Collaborating parties


NightBalance still works with many different departments in the Technical University Delft, as well as with various hospitals including the Sint Lucas Andreas Hospital in Amsterdam and the Medisch Spectrum Twente in Enschede. A total of 18 hospitals are currently working on research. Since 2010 Thuja Capital Healthcare and Health Innovation have also been involved. In 2013 Van Herk Ventures joined as a third investment party.



NightBalance B.V. is an enterprise which was started by TU Delft alumni. In 2007 the research into improved position therapy aids began at the Delft University of Technology. NightBalance was founded in 2009 based on the research at the university in order to further develop the Sleep Position Trainer.