Professor Emerita of Medicine

Medical Director, UAB Sleep-Wake Disorders Center

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine
1900 University Blvd., THT-422
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294

Physician Provider Profile

Board Certifications
1985, American Board of Internal Medicine

1988, American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases
1989, 1999, 2009, American Board of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
2007 American Board of Sleep Medicine

Medical School:  University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Internship:  University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Residency:  University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Fellowship:  University of Alabama at Birmingham, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Birmingham, AL

Summer Fellowship, Physiology, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, Molecular and Cell Biology, Woods Hole, MA

Diving Medicine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Dept of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Sleep Disorders Medicine, Birmingham, AL

Contact Information

Campus Address:

 THT 422

Academic Office location:

 LHRB 319

Office Phone:

 (205) 934-3742

Office Fax (Academic):

 (205) 934-3743

TKC Clinic Phone:

 (205) 930-7114

TKC Clinic Fax:

 (205) 930-8225

Email Address:


Beeper #:


Office Assistant:
Diane Blizard

Phone: (205) 934-3742                               
Fax: (205) 934-3743

Brief Bio
Dr. Susan Harding completed her undergraduate education in Biology at Florida State University and received her medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1983 where she graduated Phi beta kappa and Magna cum laude. She completed her residency and fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and additional training in sleep medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  An avid diver, she also completed additional postdoctoral training at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and esophageal training under the mentorship of Dr. Joel Richter at UAB. Her academic career at UAB began in 1985 when she was appointed to the faculty in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. She has since risen to the rank of Professor of Medicine.  

Since 1997, Dr. Harding has served as Medical Director of the UAB Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, a 10-bed accredited sleep center now located in UAB Highlands Hospital. She is also the Adult Program Director of the ACGME-accredited sleep medicine fellowship program, and has trained 19 fellows in sleep medicine. She is a past recipient of the NIH Physician-Scientist Award and an NHLBI Sleep Academic Award, and currently serves on the NHLBI Data Safety Monitoring Board of the Apnea Positive Pressure Long-term Efficacy Study (APPLES) and other NIH grant review committees. Dr. Harding also served on the UAB Medical School Admissions Committee for seven years. 

From 2006 through 2008, Dr. Harding distinguished herself as the inaugural editor-in-chief of the CHEST Physician-the 24-page monthly newspaper of the American College of Chest Physicians.  She has served on numerous editorial boards--Chest, the American Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Clinical Medicine and Research, the ACCP SEEK series, and Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica, and as an ad hoc reviewer for 23 other journalsShe is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the American Gastroenterological Association.  Dr. Harding has held leadership positions within national and international societies, including the American Thoracic Society (International Conference Program Committee; Council of Chapter Representatives), the American College of Chest Physicians (Board of Regents member; past chair, Health and Science Policy Committee;  Scientific Program Committee, nominating committee, continuing education committee, scientific presentations and awards committee, executive director search committee, CHEST Foundation trustee, and the American Board of Sleep Medicine (where she is a past member of the board of directors).  She currently serves on the American Board of Internal Medicine's sleep medicine test writing committee. Dr. Harding was also responsible for developing the sleep medicine curriculum for the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

Clinical Interests
As medical director of the UAB Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, she sees patients in referral from all over the southeast.  Because sleep medicine is multidisciplinary in nature, the attending physicians come from cardiovascular medicine, neurology, and pulmonary/critical care medicine. Approximately 85% of patients are referred for sleep-disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea. Other areas of clinical interest are restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorders, narcolepsy, and insomnia.

Academic & Research Interests
In past years, Dr. Harding's research focused on the association between asthma and gastroesophageal reflux and the mechanisms of interaction. Because of her unique combination of expertise in airway disease and gastroesophageal reflux, she is a much sought after lecturer for symposia organized by gastroenterologists, asthma specialists, anesthesiologists, and others.  She collaborates with a wide range of researchers at UAB in the areas of cardiovascular disease, nutrition, obstetrics, and family medicine practice, pediatrics, and nursing as they relate to the various effects of sleep disorders. Currently, she is co-investigator with Dr. David Calhoun in an NIH/NHLBI funded study looking at the relationship between resistant hypertension, aldosterone and obstructive sleep apnea.

Key Publications
Harding SM
.  Gastroesophageal reflux, asthma, and mechanisms of interaction.  Am J Med 2001; Vol 111(8A):8S-12S  

Calhoun DA, Nishizaka MK, Zaman MA, Harding SM.  Aldosterone excretion among subjects with resistant hypertension and symptoms of sleep apnea.  Chest 2004; 125:112-117 

Fass R, Achem SR, Harding S, Mittal RK, Quigley E. Supra-oesophageal manifestations of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the role of nighttime gastro-oesophageal reflux.  Aliment Pharmacol Thera 2004; 20[Suppl 9]:26-38 

Harding SM. Gastroesophageal reflux:  a potential asthma trigger. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am 2005;25(1): 131-148 

Pratt-Ubunama, Nishizaka MK, Boedefeld RL, Cofield SS, Harding SM, Calhoun DA.   

Plasma aldosterone is related to severity of obstructive sleep apnea in subjects with resistant  hypertension. Chest 2007; 131:453-459 

Chandra D, Harding SM.  Therapy Insight:  Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux in adults with chronic cough. [Review] Nature Clinical Practice - Hepatol Gastroentrol 2007; 4(11): 604-613 

Abraham WT, Trupp RJ, Phillips B, Bourge RC, Harding SM, Schofield P, Pilsworth S, Shneerson JM, DiSalvo T, Camuso J, Johnson DC, King M.  Effect of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure or oxygen on sleep-disordered breathing in patients with heart failure:  Results of the Sleep Events, Arrhythmias, and Respiratory Analysis I Chronic Heart Failure (SEARCH) Study.  Congest Heart Fail 2008; 14:197-201 

Quan SF, Berry RB, Buysse D. Collop NA, Grigg-Damberger M, Harding SM, Iber C, McCall WV, Sateia MJ, Sheldon SH, Silber MH, Sorcher A, Ward SL, Veasey S, Woodson BT, Hess B, Kangilaski R. Development and results of the first ABIM subspecialty certification examination in sleep medicine. J Clin Sleep Med 2008, 4(5):505-508 

Harding SM.  Sleep-related gastroesophageal reflux: evidence is mounting. Clin Gastro Hepatol [Review] 2009;7:919-920

Please click here for Dr. Hawkins' complete publications listing.

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