BOSTON – Clifford Saper, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, received the 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sleep Research Society (SRS). The SRS's highest honor, the award was presented to Saper during the organization's annual meeting in Boston.
Established in 1989, the Distinguished Scientist award recognizes significant, original and sustained scientific contributions of a basic, clinical or theoretical nature to the sleep and circadian research fields. Saper's research explores the brain circuitry that controls basic functions, such as wake-sleep cycles and circadian rhythms, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory function. His laboratory has contributed to the understanding of the ascending arousal systems in the brain, the sleep promoting systems in the brain and between different behavioral states, and the brainstem circuitry controlling autonomic and respiratory activity.
Saper received both his MD and PhD and completed his internship in internal medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis before completing a neurology residency at Cornell University Medical Center-New York Hospital. He then joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine where, from 1981 to 1985, he served as Assistant and later Associate Professor of Neurology and Anatomy and Neurobiology. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he served as Associate Professor, as the William D. Mabie Professor of Physiology and Neurology, and as Chairman of the Committee on Neurobiology between 1985 and 1992. He joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1992.
Saper served on the Board of Directors of the SRS from 2006 to 2011, and served as SRS President during the 2009-2010 term. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Comparative Neurology between 1994 and 2011; serves on the editorial board of the journal Neurology and has held editorial board positions of the journals Brain, the Journal of Neuroscience, SLEEP and Physiological Genomics.
Elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2009, Saper is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal College of Physicians in London. He is a member of the American Association of Physicians.
Saper has received a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was named one of the "100 Most Frequently Cited Neuroscientists" by the Institute for Scientific Information. The author of over 200 scientific papers and co-author of the textbook Plum and Posner's Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma, he has served as Vice President and Councilor of the American Neurological Association and as Chairman of the Program Committee of the Society for Neuroscience.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is a clinical partner of the Joslin Diabetes Center and a research partner of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.
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