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William C. Orr, PhD
Internal Medicine

William C. Orr, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine

COMD 7400
800 Stanton L Young Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK




William C. Orr, Ph.D., is Clinical Professor of Medicine, at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, and President Emeritus and Founding Board Member of the Lynn Health Science Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Dr. Orr has published extensively on a variety of topics in sleep medicine and esophageal disease. He is invited to speak on these topics to medical groups both nationally and internationally, and has served on numerous pharmaceutical advisory boards.  He was among the first investigators to identify and describe the sleep apnea syndrome and the effect of sleep on gastroesophageal reflux, both of which remain areas of clinical and research interest.

Educated at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he earned an MA and Ph.D., Dr. Orr served at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC from 1969-1972.   These were followed by positions at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,, at Presbyterian Hospital as the Director of the Department of Clinical Physiology and at Baptist Medical Center of Oklahoma as Director of Research all in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.   Dr. Orr has served on the Board of Directors of the National Sleep Foundation and the Educational Affairs Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. He has served on the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association.

In addition, he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, and a Fellow in the American Gastroenterology Association. He has been awarded recognition as a “Significant Early Contributor to Modern Sleep Medicine” by the Sleep Research Society. He received a service award from the National Sleep Foundation in 2006 and Leadership in Clinical Research Award in 2014.


Academic Section(s):

Digestive Diseases and Nutrition


Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. (with honors)
Dissertation Title: The Relationship Between Stimuluar Information, Reaction Time and Cortial Habituation
PHD (1969)


Board Certification(s):

Diplomat, American Board of Sleep Medicine

National Institute of Health Clinical Trials Certification as Principle Investigator 


Sigma Xi

The Association of Professional Sleep Societies

            American College of Gastroenterology (Fellow)

American Motility Society

American Gastroenterological Association

Clinical/Research Interests:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Functional and Motility Disorders
  • Sleep Physiology

Select Honors & Accomplishments:

1969-   Missouri Psychological Association Young Investigator Award

2003-   Significant Early Contribution to Modern Sleep Medicine:

            Presented by Sleep Research Society

2004-   Selected as top 30% of reviewers for Annals of Internal Medicine

2006-   Service Award- National Sleep Foundation


Select Publications:

Raad S, Wilkerson M, Jones KR, Orr WC.  The effect of baclofen on objective and subjective sleep measures in a model of transient insomnia.  Sleep Med. 2020 Aug;72:130-134. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2020.03.028. Epub 2020 Apr 4.PMID: 32615462

Orr WC, Fass R, Sundaram SS, Scheimann AO. The effect of sleep on gastrointestinal functioning in common digestive diseases. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Jun;5(6):616-624. doi: 10.1016/S2468-1253(19)30412-1.PMID: 32416862 Review.

Lei WY, Wang JH, Yi CH, Liu TT, Hung JS, Wong MW, Bair MJ, Vaezi MF, Orr WC, Chen CL  Association between use of proton pump inhibitors and colorectal cancer: A nationwide population-based study.  Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2020 Mar 26:S2210-7401(20)30050-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2020.02.017. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32224118

Lei WY, Chang WC, Wen SH, Wong MW, Hung JS, Yi CH, Liu TT, Hsu CS, Orr WC, Vaezi MF, Pace F, Hsieh TC, Chen CL  Impact of concomitant dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome on symptom burden in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.  J Formos Med Assoc. 2019 Apr;118(4):797-806. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2018.12.002. Epub 2018 Dec 21. PMID: 30584006

Orr WC.  Larks and owls and disease manifestation.  Sleep Med. 2018 Dec;52:196-197. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2018.09.002. Epub 2018 Sep 18.PMID: 30318449 No abstract available.

Badinloo M, Nguyen E, Suh W, Alzahrani F, Castellanos J, Klichko VI, Orr WC, Radyuk SN.  Overexpression of antimicrobial peptides contributes to aging through cytotoxic effects in Drosophila tissues.  Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2018 Aug;98(4):e21464. doi: 10.1002/arch.21464. Epub 2018 Apr 10.PMID: 29637607

Radyuk SN, Orr WC.  The Multifaceted Impact of Peroxiredoxins on Aging and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2018 Nov 1;29(13):1293-1311. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7452. Epub 2018 Jan 17.PMID: 29212351 Review.

Lei WY, Wang JH, Wen SH, Yi CH, Hung JS, Liu TT, Orr WC, Chen CL.  Risk of acute myocardial infarction in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease: A nationwide population-based study.  PLoS One. 2017 Mar 20;12(3):e0173899. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173899. eCollection 2017.  PMID: 28319162

Odnokoz O, Nakatsuka K, Klichko VI, Nguyen J, Solis LC, Ostling K, Badinloo M, Orr WC, Radyuk SN.  Mitochondrial peroxiredoxins are essential in regulating the relationship between Drosophila immunity and aging.  Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2017 Jan;1863(1):68-80. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.10.017. Epub 2016 Oct 19.