Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology

HASTINGS AWARDED FARRELL PRIZE

by Jim Henle

July 7th, 2006


Woody Hastings (photo by Graham G. Ramsay)
Professor J. Woodland (Woody) Hastings has been awarded the 4th annual Peter C. Farrell Prize in Sleep Medicine from the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine

Professor Hastings, Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Natural Sciences in MCB, was cited as a “pioneer in photobiology and founding father of the field of circadian biology”.  Specifically, Professor Hastings was credited, among many achievements, as “discoverer of the circadian rhythm of light sensitivity (phase response curve) and the dose response curve for circadian resetting – the gold standards for understanding how the timing and intensity of environmental signals affects circadian clock timing” and recognized as an “innovative explorer in molecular circadian biology”.

Prof. Hasting expressed his gratitude:  “I was certainly surprised, but nevertheless very pleased” by the award. “Basic knowledge is essential to all areas of human endeavor, so it is gratifying that the prize was given to recognize fundamental contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of sleep and its endogenous biological control, as well as effects of light, which we all recognize in experiencing jet lag.”

The Prize is designed, as its bestowers remark, as part of the Division of Sleep Medicine’s work toward “a permanent presence for circadian and sleep medicine” within HMS. The Prize and its associated lecture, along with other events, bring together the “sleep community” “to further the understanding and study of sleep, and its importance beside nutrition and physical fitness as one of the three pillars of health.”

This Prize was endowed by Dr. Peter C. Farrell, founder and Chairman of ResMed, Inc., and business leader in the field of Sleep Medicine.