Published: 25 April 2013

Prestigious award for Surrey sleep expert

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk’s pioneering sleep-wake research has been recognised with a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award

The award recognises scientists of ‘outstanding achievement and potential’ and was given for Professor Dijk’s research on Individual differences in sleep-wake regulation: a multidisciplinary approach.

Professor Dijk, professor of Sleep and Physiology at the University of Surrey and Director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre, has more than 25 years of experience in sleep research and leads the University’s Sleep, Chronobiology and Addiction Research Group.

Recently-published research which revealed that a lack of sleep can affect the activity patterns of more than 700 genes attracted worldwide attention.

The Wolfson Research Merit Award scheme helps universities to recruit or retain respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential to the UK. The scheme is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Professor Dijk said: “I am very grateful and humbled to receive the award. It reflects the strength of sleep and chronobiology research within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the University, and the power of multidisciplinary approaches to research problems”.

“It will help to give me and the university more visibility, and help us to better explain the great benefits of sleep and chronobiology research for health and wellbeing.”

Professor Dijk is the second professor within the faculty of Health and Medical Sciences to receive this prestigious award. Debra Skene, Professor of Neuroendocrinology, was awarded it in 2011 for her work Linking light, circadian rhythms, sleep and metabolism in health and disease.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, said: “I am delighted that Professor Dijk has received this award, which is so well deserved. Professor Dijk has made such a huge contribution to the field of sleep/wake research and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is very proud to be the home of such internationally leading research.”

To find out more about sleep research at Surrey, watch our sleep and wake research video.

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