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Zzzzzzzz. Nationally Known Sleep Researcher to Discuss Adolescent Sleep, March 24

By Clarke News  |  March 16, 2009

Pulling an all-nighter is still a common occurrence on America’s College campuses. In fact, some students regularly don’t go to sleep until most people are getting out of bed for the day.

Noted sleep researcher Mary A. Carskadon, Ph.D. will discuss how sleep impacts adolescents when she presents this year’s Mary Murphy, BVM Endowed Lecture in Biology entitled “Biology and Adolescent Sleep: The Science Behind Too Little and Too Late.” The lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Jansen Music Hall on the Clarke campus. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Lecture attendees will learn how the circadian timing system and sleep homeostatic process regulate sleep and how these processes are altered during adolescent development. The interactions of these biological processes with lifestyles of the 21st century combine to result in many teens taking too little sleep at the “wrong” time.

Carskadon is a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown College’s Warren Alpert Medical School and is also the director of chronobiology and sleep research laboratory at EP Bradley Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. She holds a doctorate with distinction in neuro- and bio-behavioral sciences from Stanford College and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Gettysburg College.

Carskadon’s scientific activities include research examining associations of sleep regulatory mechanisms to sleep/wake patterns of children, adolescents, and young adults. Her findings have raised public health issues regarding consequences of insufficient sleep in adolescents and concerns about early school starting times.  Her new research will examine genetic contributions to these processes and the association of chronic sleep restriction with development of depressed mood.

With over 150 scientific papers to her name, Carskadon is also editor or co-editor of several books and has been associate editor of several scientific journals.  Her work has been acknowledged by a number of honors, including an honorary doctor of sciences degree from Gettysburg College, Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Sleep Foundation, the Outstanding Educator Award and the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Sleep Research Society.  She was also elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Mary Murphy, BVM Endowed Lecture in Biology was established in memory of Mary Murphy, BVM, to invite noted scientists to present an annual lecture in biology at Clarke College. The purpose is to increase the exposure of Clarke College science majors to cutting-edge research, and provide science and health professional majors with insights into the practical application of scientific research in post-graduate careers. At the same time, it is open to members of the greater community as an opportunity to learn more about current advances in basic science and medical research.