Russell Foster (University of Oxford)
A 24 hour biological (circadian) clock controls, modulates and fine-tunes our sleep patterns, alertness, mood, physical strength, blood pressure, and every other aspect of our physiology and behaviour. Even our responses to different drug treatments show a large daily variation. Under normal conditions we experience a 24 hour pattern of light and dark, and our clock uses this signal to align biological time to the day and night. The clock is then capable of anticipating the differing demands of the 24 hour day and adjusting our biology in advance of the changing conditions. Body temperature drops, blood pressure decreases, tiredness increases in anticipation of going to bed, whilst before dawn, metabolism is geared-up in anticipation of increased activity. The past decade has witnessed remarkable progress in understanding the mechanisms that generate circadian rhythms and sleep, and in parallel, an appreciation of the severe consequences of ignoring the impact of these rhythms on our health and quality of life. The presentation will consider how circadian rhythms are generated and why internal time must be taken into consideration in both medical treatments and in our increasingly 24/7 society.
Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience and Chair of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford. He is a Senior Kurti Fellow at Brasenose College and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008. With his co-author Leon Kreitzman, he has published "Rhythms of Life" and "Seasons of Life" to much critical acclaim.
Free event: contributions for expenses welcome
7:30 for an 8pm start (aim for 7:30 if you want a seat)
Added by dallaway on March 11, 2010