Dr. Pak is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and completed her undergraduate, graduate (MS, MTR-Translational), and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Pak is a native to Philadelphia. She conducted post-doctoral research in Sleep Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at Perelman School of Medicine. Her overall research is focused on disturbed sleep as a predictor of adverse health outcomes. Dr. Pak has expertise in sleep medicine, biomarkers, and translational research. Her work has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Obesity-Nature (London), Metabolomics, and SLEEP.  Her publications have been referenced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Dr. Pak has served as a PI of work funded by the National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, and others for research studies focused on sleep, biomarkers, and translational research. Dr. Pak has experience as a PI of over a dozen foundation/university funded human research studies in the area of sleep, biomarkers, and Alzheimer’s disease. She has authored and coauthored over 40 manuscripts and book chapters. Her research findings have received recognition with awards from organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

At Emory, she has served as the Vice-Chair of the research committee, an advisory board member of the Emory University Sleep Consortium, and lead of the Emory University Sleep, Life-course, and diverse settings working group.  Dr. Pak holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor of epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

She has served as an invited speaker at international conferences on the topics of sleep, biomarkers, and translational research. The goal of her research is to improve sleep and quality of life of individuals and families.

Areas of Expertise

Sleep Medicine
Clinical And Translational Research
Alzheimer's Disease


Pak,V. M., Maislin D.G., Keenan B. T., Townsend R. R., Benediktsdottir, B., B., Pack, A., Gislason, T., Kuna, S. (2023).Obesity does not modify the effect of CPAP on insulin resistance in adults with OSA. ERJ Open. Mar 13;9(2):00443-2022.  doi:10.1183/23120541.00443-2022. eCollection2023 Mar.

Pak, V. M., Paul, S., Swieboda, D., Balthazar, M., & Wharton, W. (2022). Sleep duration and biomarkers of inflammation in African American and white participants with a parental history of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia8, e12332. https://doi.org/10.1002/trc2.12332  

Johnson, B., Brewster G., Cicero, E., Hepburn K., Clevenger, C., Daniel, G., Pak V. M., Paul, S., & Epps F. (2022). Promoting caregiver mastery in Black American dementia caregivers. The Gerontologist, 62(5), 685-693. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnab147  

Knyazev, S., Chhugani, K., Sarwal, V., Ayyala, R., Singh, H., Karthikeyan, S., Deshpande, D.,  Baykal, P. I., Comarova, Z., Lu, A., Porozov, Y., Vasylyeva, T., Wertheim, J. O., Tierney, B. T., Chiu, C. Y., Sun, R., Wu, A., Abedalthagafi, M. S., Pak, V. M., … & Mangul, S. (2022). Unlocking capacities of genomics for the Covid-19 response and future pandemics. Nature Methods, 19, 374-380. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-022-01444-z   

Pak, V. M., Russell, K., Shi, Z., Zhang, Q., Cox, J., Uppal, K., Yu, T., Hertzberg, V., Liu, K., Ioachimescu, O.,Collop, N., Bliwise, D., Kutner, N., Rogers, A., & Dunbar, S. (2022). Sphinganine is associated with 24-hour MAP in the non-sleepy with OSA. Metabolomics18(4) 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11306-021-01860-w 

Kim, S., Zhang, W., Pak, V. M., Aqua, J., Hertzberg, V.,Spahr, C., Slavich, G., & Bai, J. (2021). How stress, discrimination, acculturation, and the gut microbiome affect depression, anxiety, and sleep among Chinese and Korean immigrants in the USA: a cross-sectional pilot study protocol. BMJ Open, 11(7), e047281. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047281  

Pak, V.M., Maislin, D.G., Keenan, B.T., Townsend, R., Benediksdottir, B., Dunbar, S., Pack, A.I., Gislason, T., Kuna, S.T. (2021). Sleep and Breathing. Changes in sleepiness and 24-h blood pressure following 4 months of CPAP treatment are not mediated by ICAM-1. PMID: 33404963 DOI:10.1007/s11325-020-02257-0

Pak, V.M., Butts, B., Hertzberg, V., Collop, N., Quyyumi, A., Cox, J., Rogers, A., Dunbar S. (2020). Daytime Sleepiness Predicts Inflammation and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Sleep Apnea. ERJ Open Research. 6(4). doi: 10.1183/23120541.00310-2019.

Pak, V.M., Onen, H., Bliwise, D., Kutner, N., Russell, K., Onen, F. (2020). Sleep disturbances in MCI and AD: Neuroinflammation as a possible mediating pathway. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00069

Pak, V.M., Mazzoti, D., Keenan, B., Hirotsu, C., Gehrman, P., Bittencourt L., Pack, A.,Tufik, S. Candidate Gene Analysis in the São Paulo Epidemiologic Sleep Study (EPISONO) Shows an Association of Variant in PDE4D and Sleepiness. (2018). Sleep Medicine. 47, 106-112. PMID: 29783161.

Pak, V.M., Dai, F., Keenan, B., Gooneratne, N., Pack, A. (2018) “Lower Plasma Choline Levels are Associated with Sleepiness Symptoms.” Sleep Medicine, 44, 89-96.

Pak, V.M., Onen, S., Gooneratne, N., Fallisard, B., Onen, F. (2017). Observation and Interview-based Diurnal Sleepiness Inventory for measurement of sleepiness in older adults. Nature and Science of Sleep: 9, 241-24.

Pak, VM., Keenan, B. Jackson, N., Grandner, M. et al., Pack, A. (2014). Adhesion Molecule Increases in Sleep Apnea: Beneficial Effect of Positive Airway Pressure and Moderation by Obesity. International Journal of Obesity. Jul 21. 39(3):472-9.

Pak, VM., Grandner, M., Pack, A. (2013). Circulating Adhesion Molecules in Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease. Sleep Medicine Reviews.18(1):25-34.


Dr. Pak has been teaching for over 15 years. She has experience serving as a mentor for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level students. She is currently the course coordinator of the undergraduate 2022-2024 Honors program.