2009 Farrell Prize recipient: Robert W. McCarley, MD

Robert W. McCarley, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Boston VA Medical Center

Awarded in celebration of the life and work of Robert W. McCarley, explorer of the circuitry of the brain that generates sleep and wakefulness.

  • Pioneer of the neuronal networks in the brainstem that fire during Rapid Eye Movement Sleep and regulate sleep state organization
  • Structural and mathematical modeler of the cyclic alternation between Rapid Eye Movement Sleep and Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep as reflecting interacting brainstem neuronal populations
  • Builder of conceptual frameworks for understanding the architecture of brain systems controlling sleep and wakefulness
  • Explorer of the chemical basis for the homeostatic regulation of sleep, who demonstrated the role of adenosine as a mediator of homeostatic sleep drive
  • Thoughtful investigator into the effects of sleep loss on behavior and cognitive function 
  • Scientific mentor of a generation of sleep physiologists
Robert W. McCarley, MD

Harvard Medical School
Division of Sleep Medicine

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