NSF Recognizes Important Contributors to Sleep Field

NSF Recognizes Important Contributors to Sleep Field

Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD and Newsweek Magazine Among Those Honored

WASHINGTON, DC (March 29) - Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD, a noted pioneer in sleep research whose work includes some of the first laboratory studies of insomnia, narcolepsy and napping, will be among those honored by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) for their contributions to the sleep field. Others being recognized include Newsweek magazine, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc. The awards will be presented at NSF's fourth annual Night of a Thousand Dreams Gala, held in the nation's capital on Monday, March 29 to kick off the Foundation's annual health promotion campaign, National Sleep Awareness Week.

Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD, is the recipient of NSF's Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Rechtschaffen has dedicated most of his professional life to making significant contributions to sleep research. His activities have included the effects on sleep of exercise, mental work, stimulation, stress and metabolism, as well as the effects of sleep deprivation. He has also looked at sleep in reptiles and rats. Dr. Rechtschaffen is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Chicago, where he has maintained a sleep research laboratory for 44 years.

Newsweek, the recipient of NSF's National Sleep Awareness and Media Leadership Award, is cited for its responsible and informative series of reports about the importance of healthy sleep, particularly through the work of Senior Editor Barbara Kantrowitz and Alexis Gelber, Director of Special Projects. Newsweek's coverage of sleep just in the past two years included a cover story, "Why We Can't Sleep: What Science is Learning About your 'Sleep Switch,'" as well as two articles that were part of the magazine's "Health for Life" series.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) receives NSF's Organization Leadership Award for advancing the field of sleep medicine and research to serve the interests of both the medical community and the public. Formed in 1987, AASM is the largest professional medical association representing practitioners of sleep medicine and sleep research. It is the primary medical authority on the disorders of sleep and wakefulness, providing programs, information, and services to and through its individual and sleep center members. The journal Sleep, published by AASM, is the preeminent source for current research in sleep.

Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc., recipient of NSF's 2004 Corporate Leadership Award, ranks among the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies, and the top seven pharmaceutical companies in Europe. Their core therapeutic areas are cardiovascular disease and thrombosis; diseases of the central nervous systems; oncology and internal medicine. Through its Ambien brand, Sanofi-Synthelabo has provided unrestricted support for National Sleep Awareness Week and other NSF initiatives, and has contributed generously to other programs that have advanced the fields of sleep science and sleep medicine as well as public awareness of the importance of sleep and the need to recognize and treat sleep disorders, including insomnia.

The fourth annual Night of a Thousand Dreams Gala, a fundraising event to benefit the National Sleep Foundation, is chaired by Tim Barberich, CEO and Chairman, Sepracor, Inc. The event vice chairs are John Yates, MB, ChB, MD, President, Takeda Global Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, and Steve Stefano, Senior Vice President, Managed Markets and NeuroHealth, GlaxoSmithKline. Funds raised from the Gala support NSF's research and education programs such as those aimed at preventing drowsy driving, and the Pickwick Postdoctoral Fellowships in Sleep awarded to postdoctoral scientists who conduct basic, applied, and clinical research of sleep and sleep disorders.

The National Sleep Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting education, sleep-related research, and advocacy. NSF is based in Washington, DC.