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Nancy F. Fishback , MD

    • Title:
    • Professor

    • Role:
    • Faculty

    • Faculty Appointments:
    • Professor of Pathology and Anatomy
      Professor of Medicine

    • Additional Certifications:
    • Focus Areas:
    • Sleep Medicine & Pathology

    • Office Location:
    • Lewis Hall

    • Undergraduate Education:
    • Graduate Education:
    • Postdoctoral Education:
    • Medical Education:
    • MD in Medicine, 1970 - Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana

    • Residency:
    • Internal Medicine, 1976 - Tulane University School of Medicine

      Anatomic Pathology, 1991 - University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center

    • Fellowship(s):
    • Pulmonary Disease, 1978 - Tulane University School of Medicine

    • Board Certification(s):
    • American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) - 2000
      American Board of Pathology (Anatomic Pathology) - 1991
      American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) - 1984

    • Affiliation(s):
    • American Sleep Disorders Association

      Virginia Academy of Sleep Medicine

    • Research Interests:
    • Faculty Development

      Student Learning 

    • Primary Specialty:
    • Pathology & Sleep Medicine

    • Hospital:
    • Courses Taught:
    • Pathophysiology for Physician Assistants

    • Current Projects:
    • Bio:
    • Dr. Nancy Fishback graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1970. She began her career with a rotating internship at Touro Infirmary, Tulane University and then studied anesthesiology at Abba Khoushy School of Medicine, Rambam Government Hospital in Haifa, Israel. She served as a medical officer for the Israel Defense Forces during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 before returning to the United States where she completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Tulane. She later completed a residency in anatomic pathology at University of Texas Health Science Center, a fellowship in pulmonary disease at Tulane, and then served as a Commander in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy.

       She came to Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in 1998 and was appointed a full Professor of Medicine and Pathology in 2005. Her research focuses on the effects of sleep deprivation on mood, memory, recall, and decision making. Her studies have investigated ways to reduce the number of automobile deaths that are sleep-related (second only to the number of automobile deaths that are alcohol related), and the relationship between sleep and aging.

       While researching and helping patients with sleep disorders, Nancy Fishback has built a parallel career as an award winning teacher of medical students. She was Chairman of Pathology and Anatomy from 2006-2013. She has won four years in a row (from 2002-2005) the coveted Sir William Osler Award for Excellence in Teaching Basic Science given each year by the graduating class at AVMS. She also won the prestigious Dean's Faculty Achievement Award for excellence for teaching in 2000.

      Of her accomplishments, Nancy Fishback points to her teaching as particularly rewarding. "When you are teaching, you get a glimpse into how you can touch somebody's life and make a difference. That is a tremendous reward."

      She is the author of numerous abstracts, articles, and reviews, and is a frequent speaker and presenter at sleep research conferences.

Book Chapters and Journal Articles:

Movement Disorders in Sleep, in Sleep for Otolaryngologists. Yaremchuk and Waldrop ed. Plural Publishing Inc, San Diego, California. 2010

Pikoulis E, Rhee P, Nishibe T, Koronarchis D, Leppäniemi A, Karavokyros I, Burris D, Bakoyiannis C, Fishback N, Wherry D, Rich N. Vein patch angioplasty with non-penetrating titanium clips. Comparison to standard suture technique

Acta Chir Belg. 2009 Nov-Dec;109(6):756-9.

SourceFirst Department of Surgery, University of Athens, Athens, Greece


Tang X, Yang L, Fishback NF, Sanford LD. Differential effects of lorazepam on sleep and activity in C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ strain mice. J Sleep Res. 2009 Sep;18(3):365-73.


Reynold EB, Seda G, Ware JC, Vinick AI, Risk MR and Fishback NF. Autonomic function in sleep apnea patients: increased heart rate variability except during REM sleep in obese patients.  Sleep Breath. 2007 Mar;11(1):53-60.


Fishback N, Wettach G. Cardiac Changes Noted within 4 Years of Transplant in Postmortem Evaluation of a Patient with Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Breath. 2004 May;8(2):107-9.