Sleep DownUnder 2023

Professor Russell G. Foster CBE, FRSB, FMedSci, FRS

Director, Sir Jules Thorn Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi) and Head, Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology (NLO), University of Oxford, UK

Professor Russell G. Foster CBE, FRSB, FMedSci, FRS

Presentation title: Light, circadian rhythms and sleep: fundamental science to new drug discovery.

Professor Foster is the Head of Oxford’s Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, the founder and Director of the Sleep and Circadian Research Institute and is a Fellow of Brasenose College Oxford. His research addresses how circadian rhythms and sleep are generated and regulated and what happens when these systems fail as a result of societal pressures, ageing and disease.

A key finding has been his discovery and characterisation of an unrecognised light-detecting system within the eye that regulates circadian rhythms and sleep and, most recently, the translation of these findings to the clinic. For his work, Professor Foster was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2008, the Royal Society of Biology in 2011 and the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013. Russell was honoured by being appointed as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2015 for services to Science. He has been a member of the Governing Council of the Royal Society and he established and led for six years the Royal Society Public Engagement Committee.

He was the Chair of the Cheltenham Science Festival for six years and was a Trustee of the Science Museum for eight years. Professor Foster has published over 290 scientific papers and has received multiple national and international awards, including most recently the “Daylight Prize”. He has co-written four popular science books and his fifth for Penguin entitled Life Time was published in March 2022 and became a bestseller in both hardback and paperback.