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The SRS's highest award for scientific advances in the field of sleep research is presented to a single individual for research contributions over their entire career. The Distinguished Scientist Award recognizes significant, original and sustained contributions of a basic, clinical or theoretical nature. The award is presented each year at SLEEP, the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
To nominate someone, download the SRS Distinguished Scientist Award Nomination Form. Complete the form and email it to the SRS Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 1, annually.
Download Distinguished Scientist Award Nomination Form
Thomas S. Kilduff, PhD
Thomas S. Kilduff, PhD, has been a member of the Sleep Research Society (SRS) since 1986 and directs the Center for Neuroscience at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. He is co-discoverer of the neuropeptide hypocretin (orexin), a key neurotransmitter in the maintenance of wakefulness. His group at SRI has identified a cortical interneuron population that is activated during sleep in proportion to homeostatic sleep drive and also focuses on therapeutic development for insomnia and narcolepsy.
Dr. Kilduff received his PhD from Stanford University. He was a National Academy of Sciences–National Research Council Research Associate at NASA-Ames Research Center before joining the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Research Center in 1984. He founded the Sleep Neurobiology Laboratory at SRI International in 1999 and was subsequently appointed to direct the Center for Neuroscience. Dr. Kilduff is an AAAS Fellow, an SRI Fellow and was a Pfizer Neuroscience Visiting Scholar. He has held multiple elected offices in the SRS including TEAC chair and secretary/treasurer.
It is a great honor to receive this award and certainly humbling when I look at the list of previous awardees and think of colleagues in the sleep field who are more deserving than I. Clearly, the SRS has an embarrassment of riches in the years to come!
It is a source of pride that I can claim to be a ‘second generation’ Distinguished Scientist as my undergraduate mentor at the University of Florida, Wilse Webb, received this award in 1992. I had the unusually good fortune as a UF undergrad of having 3 mentors, as professors Tom Emmel and Bob Isaacson also played critical roles in guiding me toward grad school at Stanford. I also want to thank my PhD advisor and colleague, Craig Heller; Frank Sharp, who was an early career mentor; Bill Dement, who hired me for my first professional position; and Mike Tracy, who recruited me to SRI International.
I have been very fortunate throughout my career to work with great colleagues, postdocs and research staff at Stanford, the Scripps Research Institute, and SRI, and to have brilliant colleagues throughout the sleep field. This award would not have been possible without the loving support of my wife Debby Bolding, our daughters Katie, Kerry and Megan, and my late mother-in-law, Louise Bolding.
2016 - Charles M. Morin, PhD
2015 - Derk-Jan Dijk, PhD, FSB
2014 - Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD
2013 - Eve Van Cauter, PhD
2012 - Clifford Saper, MD, PhD
2011 - Fred W. Turek, PhD
2010 - Ronald M. Harper, PhD
2009 - Barbara E. Jones, PhD
2008 - Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD
2007 - Mary A. Carskadon, PhD
2006 - James M. Krueger, PhD
2005 - Christian Guilleminault, MD, PhD and Jacques Montplaisir, MD, PhD, CRCPc
2004 - Rosalind D. Cartwright, PhD
2003 - Alexander A. Borbely, MD
2002 - Adrian Morrison, DVM, PhD and Jerome Siegel, PhD
2001 - J. Christian Gillin, MD
2000 - Gerald Vogel, MD
1999 - Michael H. Chase, PhD and Ottavio Pompeiano, MD
1998 - J. Allan Hobson, MD and Thomas Roth, PhD
1997 - Pier Luigi Parmeggiani, MD
1996 - Irwin Feinberg, MD
1995 - Robert W. McCarley, MD
1994 - Dennis J. McGinty, PhD
1993 - Laverne C. Johnson, PhD
1992 - Wilse B. Webb, PhD
1991 - David Foulkes, PhD and William C. Dement, MD, PhD
1990 - Michael Jouvet, MD
1989 - Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD and Mircea Steriade, MD, DSc