Outstanding Early Investigator Award

This award recognizes an outstanding research effort by an early-stage investigator in the field of sleep research. The basis for evaluation of a candidate is a single, peer-reviewed publication reporting original research (not a review), supported by a senior investigator’s letter of recommendation that must address specific elements described below. The candidate must be the first author, and the article must be published or accepted for publication in 2018.

The award consists of a plaque and a travel honorarium to be applied toward travel to SLEEP 2019, the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. The plaque and honorarium will be presented at a ceremony at SLEEP 2019, during the SRS Club Hypnos Reception, Sunday evening, June 9, 2019 in San Antonio, TX.

To be eligible, the candidate must:

  • Be the first author of the original, peer-reviewed publication,
  • Which must have been published or accepted for publication in 2018,
  • Be a member, in good standing, with the SRS,
  • Hold a terminal degree (PhD, MD, DO) and be within 7 years of having obtained such degree, as of the March 1, 2019 deadline. If the applicant has taken time away from research and is thus beyond 7 years of having obtained a terminal degree, then the applicant must provide a description of extenuating circumstances (e.g. clinical training, maternity/paternity leave or care of dependents).

Candidates must submit the completed Application Form, as a single PDF or Word Document, which includes:

  1. Complete citation of the article being submitted
  2. Brief description (100-word maximum) of the significance of the article
  3. A copy of the published article. If an article is in press at the time of application, a copy of the written notification of the article’s acceptance for publication must also be included
  4. The name of a senior investigator providing the letter of recommendation. The senior investigator does not need to be an author on the article but should be familiar with the candidate’s role on the research project
  5. Senior investigator letter of recommendation precisely describing the role of the applicant in the 1) design, 2) execution, 3) analysis and 4) writing of the article
  6. Brief description of extenuating circumstances, if applicant is not within 7 years of obtaining terminal degree (e.g., medical or family issues, clinical training period)

Multiple awards may be made, depending on the quality of the applications and availability of funds. Candidates are welcome to apply for the SRS Outstanding Early Investigator Award in addition to the Trainee Merit Awards, but in the event the candidate receives the SRS Outstanding Early Investigator Award, she/he will receive only this award.

2019 Recipients

Jonathan Cedernaes, MD, PhD
Jonathan Cedernaes, MD, PhDNorthwestern University
“Acute Sleep Loss Results in Tissue-Specific Alterations in Genome-Wide DNA Methylation State and Metabolic Fuel Utilization in Humans” published in Science Advances August 2018

Jonathan Cedernaes started doing basic and clinical research while he was in medical school, which he completed in 2011. He first studied central and peripheral regulation of appetite and fat metabolism at the Department of Neuroscience at Uppsala University. There he met Dr. Christian Benedict, with whom he started collaborating with, at first by helping out with ongoing sleep studies. Given Jonathan’s interest in nutrition, peripheral metabolism and his experience of shift work during his clinical work, he soon initiated his own clinical sleep studies. Jonathan obtained his PhD during his medical internship in 2013, and has continued to focus on how various forms of sleep loss interact with lifestyle factors to impact metabolic integrity in humans, with a keen interest in circadian rhythms, genomics, as well as adipose tissue and skeletal muscle metabolism.

In 2014, Dr. Cedernaes received two international grants, one from the Swedish Research Council, to carry out postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Prof. Joseph Bass at Northwestern University. This work has primarily focused on how the brain’s circadian system establishes rhythms in appetite and peripheral metabolism. In 2019, Jonathan was the recipient of the Large prize from the Swedish Göran Gustafsson foundation. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed publications, and has already received over 40 research grants, stipends and awards.

Jacqueline Lane, PhD
Jacqueline Lane, PhDMassachusetts General Hospital
“Biological and Clinical Insights from Genetics of Insomnia Symptoms” published in Nature Genetics February 2019

Jacqueline M. Lane, PhD is an Instructor in Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her interdisciplinary research program marries human genetics with functional approaches to address important issues in human health related to sleep and circadian biology.

Dr. Lane has a long-standing commitment to utilize genetics to understand the mechanisms, causal links, and novel therapeutic targets of common traits and disease. She obtained her doctoral degree in genetics from Tufts University in 2011. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in the lab of Dr. Richa Saxena with co-mentors Frank Scheer and Susan Redline, she studied the genetic factors underlying the relationship between sleep, circadian rhythms, and metabolic disorders with her work to date focusing on the identification of common genetic variants associated with self-reported sleep and circadian traits in large-scale cohorts, such as the UK Biobank. She recently started a new position as an Instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she will study the genetics of extreme circadian rhythm disorders. Her goal is to identify new causal genetic factors for circadian rhythm disorders and elucidate biological pathways underlying circadian regulation. Dr. Lane has been supported by the NIH’s K01, T32, and F32 programs, the Massachusetts General Hospital Claflin Distinguished Scholar award, and the Broad Next 10 award.

Masahi Tabuchi, PhD
Masahi Tabuchi, PhDJohns Hopkins University
“Clock-Generated Temporal Codes Determine Synaptic Plasticity to Control Sleep” published in Cell November 2018

Masashi Tabuchi received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo with Dr. Ryohei Kanzaki, where his graduate research focused on studying olfactory system processing in moths, using neurophysiological and engineering techniques. He is currently conducting his NIH K99-funded postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Mark Wu at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he investigates molecular, behavioral, and electrophysiological characterization of neural circuits regulating sleep in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Masashi performs this work in Drosophila, in order to exploit the robust toolkit available in this system, including cell-type specific genetic manipulation, in vivo electrophysiological amenability, and the power of forward genetic and/or behavioral screening. In the Wu Lab, he studied how sleep quality is determined by Drosophila circadian clock neurons and showed that their temporal pattern of firing directly controls sleep quality. Using genetic approaches, he also delineated the molecular mechanisms underlying these clock-driven spiking patterns. Finally, his work also revealed that these temporal pattern codes can themselves trigger synaptic plasticity. Together, his work provided some of the first evidence for a functional physiological role for temporal pattern codes and identified a novel form of synaptic plasticity triggered solely by changes in the pattern of spiking.

Past Recipients

2018 – Thomas Andrillon, PhD, Daniel B. Kay, Ph, Daniel A. Lee, PhD & Andrey Zinchuk, MD
2017 – Ada Eban-Rothschild, PhD & Keith Hengen, PhD; Jason Gerstner, PhD, Jennifer C. Tudor, PhD & Shirley Xin Li, PhD, DClinPsy
2016 – Jonathan Lipton, MD, PhD, Divya Sitaraman, PhD & Andrea M. Spaeth, PhD
2015 – Christelle Anaclet, PhD & Sha Liu, PhD
2014 – Miranda Lim, MD, PhD, Rachel Markwald, PhD & Simon Warby, PhD
2013 – Josianne Broussard, PhD & John Lesku, PhD
2012 – Jeffrey Donlea, Maxine Bonjean & David Plante
2011 – Matthew Carter, PhD & Siobhan Banks, PhD
2010 – Eva Szentirmai, MD, Tracy Rupp, PhD & Mark R. Smith, PhD
2009 – Sara Aton, PhD, Georgina Cano, & Thien Thang Dang-Vu, MD, PhD