Foster, Russell G.

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Foster, Russell G.

PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Bristol, B.Sc., 1980, Ph.D., 1984.

ADDRESSES: Office—Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: AFRC Research Group on Photoperiodism and Reproduction; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, senior fellow with the NSF Center for Biological Timing; Zoological Society of London, scientific fellow; Imperial College London, London, England, member of biology department, 1995-2000, chair in molecular neuroscience, 2000-. Speaker at various organizations. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, chair of animal sciences committee, 2002, strategy board member, 2002.

MEMBER: Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Society for Neuroscience, Assocation for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, European Dana Alliance for the Brain.

AWARDS, HONORS: Honma Prize in Biological Rhythms Research (Japan), 1997; Scientific Medal, Zoological Society of London, 2000; Cogan Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2001; Award for Excellence in Teaching, Imperial College, London.


(With Leon Kreitzman) Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks That Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2004.

Section editor, Experimental Brain Research, 2000-02; contributor of more than thirty works to scientific journals, including Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Current Biology, and Journal of Experimental Biology.

SIDELIGHTS: A molecular neuroscientist, Russell G. Foster has a particular interest in the mysterious rhythms that regulate our bodies, our so-called biological clocks. As Manchester Guardian contributor Ian Sample explained, "With built-in clocks, we can anticipate what will be required of us in the coming hours, and ramp up the activity of organs we'll need the most. Our clocks dictate when our brains are most alert, when our stomachs are ready to break down food, and when we can safely shut down and sleep." While this is a triumph of evolutionary efficiency, preserving the body from the impossible task of going full-tilt all the time involves costs. Heart attacks and strokes are more likely in the early-morning hours, as the body ramps up blood pressure, and asthma attacks often spike between two and six a.m. due to plummeting levels of a hormone regulating stress.

In Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks That Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing, Foster and coauthor Leon Kreitzman provide "a thorough analysis of a broad field," in the words of Science News contributor Cait Goldberg. Among many other issues, they discuss the impact these rhythms can have on medication, providing tantalizing examples of treatments that are more or less effective based on the hour they are administered. "Biology buffs will marvel at the fascinating material, and medical professionals should put the book at the top of their must-read lists," concluded a Publishers Weekly contributor.



Guardian (Manchester, England), July 1, 2004, Ian Sample, "The Time of Your Life," p. 4.

Newsweek, October 11, 2004, Anne Underwood, "We've Got Rhythm," p. 46.

Ophthalmology Times, November 1, 2001, "Cogan Winner Honored for Contributions on Photoreception," p. 80.

Publishers Weekly, August 16, 2004, review of Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks That Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing, p. 54.

Science News, November 6, 2004, Cait Goldberg, review of Rhythms of Life, p. 303.


Imperial College, London Web site, (December 14, 2004), "Russell G. Foster."