Although narcolepsy was first described in the late nineteenth century in Germany and France, much of the research on this disorder has been conducted at Stanford University, starting with Drs. William C. Dement and Christian Guilleminault in the 1970s. The prevalence of narcolepsy was established, and a canine model discovered. Following the finding in Japan that almost all patients with narcolepsy carry a specific HLA subtype, HLA-DR2, Hugh Mac Devitt, F. Carl Grumet, and Larry Steinman initiated immunological studies, but results were generally negative. Using the narcoleptic canines, Dr. Nishino and I established that stimulants increased wakefulness by stimulating dopaminergic transmission while antidepressants suppress cataplexy via adrenergic reuptake inhibition. A linkage study was initiated with Dr. Grumet in 1988, and after 10 years of work, the canine narcolepsy gene was cloned by in 1999 and identified as the hypocretin (orexin) receptor 2. In 1992, studying African Americans, we also found that DQ0602 rather than DR2 was a better marker for narcolepsy across all ethnic groups. In 2000, Dr. Nishino and I, in collaboration with Dr. Lammers in the Netherlands, found that hypocretin 1 levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were undetectable in most cases, establishing hypocretin deficiency as the cause of narcolepsy. Pursuing this research, our and Dr. Siegel's group, examining postmortem brains, found that the decreased CSF hypocretin 1 was secondary to the loss the 70,000 neurons producing hypocretin in the hypothalamus. This finding revived the autoimmune hypothesis but attempts at demonstrating immune targeting of hypocretin cells failed until 2013. At this date, Dr. Elisabeth Mellins and I discovered that narcolepsy is characterized by the presence of autoreactive CD4(+) T cells to hypocretin fragments when presented by DQ0602. Following reports that narcolepsy cases were triggered by vaccinations and infections against influenza A 2009 pH1N1, a new pandemic strain that erupted in 2009, our groups also established that a small epitope of pH1N1 resembles hypocretin and is likely involved in molecular mimicry. Although much remains to be done, these achievements, establishing hypocretin deficiency as the cause of narcolepsy, demonstrating its autoimmune basis, and showing molecular mimicry between hypocretin and sequences derived from a pandemic strain of influenza, are likely to remain classics in human immunology.