Prof. Russell Foster

Head of Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology (University of Oxford)

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. Professor Foster has published over 270 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 is working on his fifth for Penguin to be published in 2022.

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