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The award cycle for the 2016 Young Investigator Award is now closed.
This award recognizes an outstanding research effort by a young investigator in the field of sleep research. The basis for evaluation of a candidate is a single peer-reviewed publication supported by a senior investigator's letter of recommendation. The candidate must be the first author and the article needs to have been published or accepted for publication in 2015.
Christelle Anaclet, PhD
Dr. Christelle Anaclet received her PhD in 2008 from Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Jian-Sheng Lin, a former trainee of Jouvet’s, her dissertation research focused on the respective role of histamine and orexin neurons in promoting arousal. Following the conferral of her PhD, Dr. Anaclet moved to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School for her post-doctoral studies. First in the laboratory of Dr. Jun Lu and then of Dr. Patrick Fuller, she identified and characterized a population of sleep-active neurons in the parafacial zone of the medullary brainstem. She subsequently developed a model of slow-wave-sleep enhancement using genetically targeted activation of these neurons. Dr. Anaclet is the recipient of several awards, including a NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award. She is currently applying for faculty positions and hopes to start her own lab within the next 1-2 years. Going forward Dr. Anaclet’s investigative work will build on her previous findings and seek to define how the parafacial zone interacts with other brain areas to regulate sleep/wake cycles, as well as how sleep can positively modulate other neurophysiological functions, such as cognition.
Sha Liu, PhD
Dr. Sha Liu conducted his PhD research at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he studied developmental genetics in zebrafish. He then moved to Johns Hopkins University for his postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Mark Wu’s lab, where he has been using genetic approaches in Drosophila to study fundamental mechanisms underlying the regulation of sleep. During his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Liu identified and characterized a novel circadian output molecule, WIDE AWAKE, that specifically regulates the circadian timing of sleep onset. This molecule is conserved in mammals, and specifically enriched in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (the master circadian pacemaker), suggesting that the function of WIDE AWAKE may be conserved in humans.