DARIEN, IL – Four individuals have been selected as the 2023 Sleep Research Society (SRS) award recipients for their outstanding contributions to the SRS, sleep and circadian science, and public health. They will be recognized Monday, June 5, during the plenary session of the SLEEP 2023 annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Indianapolis, IN.

“The SRS awards recognize the highest achievements by sleep and circadian scientists whose work supports our mission to cultivate knowledge in the field and to optimize health and well-being,” said SRS President Namni Goel, Ph.D. “I congratulate these leaders for their commitment, dedication, and inspiring contributions to our field.”

The 2023 SRS award recipients were nominated by a colleague, recommended by the SRS Awards Nominating Committee, and approved by the SRS Board of Directors.

Chiara Cirelli, M.D., Ph.D.

Distinguished Scientist Award for significant, original and sustained scientific contributions of a basic, clinical or theoretical nature to the sleep and circadian research field, made over an entire career

Dr. Cirelli is a professor and vice chair for research in the department of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her laboratory aims to understand the function of sleep and clarify the functional consequences of sleep loss. Dr. Cirelli identified neuronal and glial genes whose expression changes due to sleep and sleep loss, suggesting specific cellular processes that are favored by sleep and impaired by sleep deprivation. Using large-scale mutagenesis screening in Drosophila, she also identified the first extreme short sleeper fly mutant. With Dr. Giulio Tononi, she has developed the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis, according to which sleep is needed for synaptic renormalization to counterbalance the net increase of synaptic strength due to wake plasticity. Dr. Cirelli received the SRS Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award in 2018.

Joseph Bass, M.D., Ph.D.

Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award for novel and seminal discoveries of a basic, clinical or theoretical nature that have made a significant impact on the sleep field

Dr. Bass is the Charles F. Kettering Professor of Medicine, director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolism, and chief of endocrinology in the department of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. He made the original discovery that disruption of the core molecular clock causes constant hunger and disrupted sleep and promotes obesity, demonstrating that clock genes are essential for health. Dr. Bass is the senior author of the Science publication, “Obesity and metabolic syndrome in circadian clock mutant mice,” which has been cited more than 2,500 times. This finding was the first to establish the essential role of circadian clocks in the regulation of metabolism at the molecular/cellular level. It also has led to the recognition that circadian clocks play a critical role in mammalian energy homeostasis and metabolism at multiple levels of organization and it has catalyzed a new and robust field of research on the impact of circadian dysregulation on metabolic health and disease.

Jacques Montplaisir, M.D., Ph.D.

Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award for excellence in education related to the sleep and circadian research field

Dr. Montplaisir is a professor in the department of psychiatry and neurological sciences at the Université de Montréal Medical School. After establishing the Center for the Study of Sleep at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal in 1977, he dedicated his career to knowledge dissemination in the field of sleep and circadian science. Today, a new generation of researchers are continuing the legacy of his important work. Dr. Montplaisir has supervised 55 master’s and doctoral students and trained 17 postdoctoral students and 18 clinicians. Additionally, more than 20 of Dr. Montplaisir’s former students are now faculty members of universities in Asia, Europe, and America; in turn, they are now training their own students in the sleep and circadian field. Throughout his career, he has dedicated a remarkable amount of time to sharing his knowledge through more than 400 academic journal publications, hundreds of conference presentations, and media communications. Dr. Montplaisir was the co-recipient of the SRS Distinguished Scientist Award in 2005.

Karin Johnson, M.D.

Public Service Award for significant and extraordinary contributions to the mission of SRS above and beyond research and educational activities

Dr. Johnson is a professor of neurology and a professor in the department of healthcare delivery and population science at UMass Chan School of Medicine-Baystate in Springfield, MA. For more than 10 years she has been the regional sleep program director and sleep laboratory director at Baystate Health, where she maintains an active clinical practice. Her research goals are to bring recognition to a variety of important topics by publishing early, critical papers and chapters on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and stroke, OSA and headaches, treatment-emergent sleep apnea, advanced positive airway pressure (PAP) technology, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on sleep services, scoring and treatment of mild sleep apnea, and daylight saving time. Dr. Johnson is the vice president of Save Standard Time, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, donor-funded, volunteer-run effort to preserve and extend the observation of longitudinally correct standard time. She led the creation of and narrates “The Science of Clock Change” video series, which educates the public about daylight saving time, standard time, and the implications of clock change policies.

More information about the SRS awards is available online.


Photos are available upon request. For more information, please contact SRS Coordinator Jenny Bogda at 630-737-9702, or jbogda@srsnet.org.

About the Sleep Research Society

The SRS is a professional membership society that advances sleep and circadian science. The SRS provides forums for the exchange of information, establishes and maintains standards of reporting and classifies data in the field of sleep research, and collaborates with other organizations to foster scientific investigation on sleep and its disorders. The SRS also publishes the peer-reviewed, scientific journals SLEEP and SLEEP Advances.