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UCSD's Sonia Ancoli-Israel to Receive National Sleep Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award


February 23, 2007  |  

To be Presented During National Sleep Awareness Week

Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the National Sleep Foundation’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The award, to be presented at Foundation’s 7th Annual Night of a Thousand Dreams Gala in Washington, D.C. on March 6, is in recognition of her invaluable contributions to the fields of sleep science and public health. 

A pioneering researcher with more than 30 years experience,

Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D.

-Israel is one of the nation’s preeminent experts in the field of sleep disorders and sleep research in aging. She is a prolific researcher and writer who has produced a vast library that includes over 300 publications and three books, including All I Want is a Good Night’s Sleep.  She continues to be published regularly in medical and psychiatric journals. 

She has held such distinguished offices as President of the Sleep Research Society (2004-2005), President of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (2000-2004) and President of the Association of Professional Sleep Societies (2005-2006).  She broke new ground by becoming the first person at the UCSD School of Medicine to be board certified in sleep medicine, and is the only UCSD faculty member to be board certified in behavioral sleep medicine.  In addition to her work as a professor of psychiatry at UCSD, she is also the research director of the UCSD Sleep Medicine Center, co-director of the UCSD General Clinical Research Center Gillin Laboratory of Sleep and Chronobiology, and director of the psychiatry sleep disorders clinic at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

Ancoli-Israel is also involved in generating broader understanding of sleep, serving as the Deputy Editor of the journal Sleep.  As part of her mission to promote public awareness about sleep, she was a founding member of the National Sleep Foundation’s board of directors and served on the board for most of the organization’s first decade.

In recognition of her achievements, Ancoli-Israel has been honored with a long list of awards, including the Pfizer Scholar award.  Her commitment to sleep extends to multiple professional societies, including the Sleep Research Society, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Geriatrics Society, International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology,  Society for Research in Biological Rhythms and the European Sleep Research Society.

“The National Sleep Foundation is extremely grateful to Sonia for her outstanding devotion to the field of sleep medicine,” said Barbara A. Phillips, M.D., M.S.P.H., and  Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  “In addition to being a leader in science and its applications to public health, Sonia is a wonderful, warm-hearted and caring person – someone who is always there for people in our field, starting with her students and extending to all of her peers.  NSF extends its sincerest appreciation for everything that she has done to advance public understanding of the importance of sleep.” 

Ancoli-Israel received a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, a master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.  She is currently studying the longitudinal effect of sleep disorders on aging, the relationship between circadian rhythms and cancer, and use of light therapy to improve sleep behavior in chronic illness.

This is the seventh year that NSF has granted its Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented in Washington, DC, at NSF’s Night of a Thousand Dreams Gala during National Sleep Awareness Week®, NSF's annual week-long campaign to raise awareness about the importance of sleep. The week leads up to the return of Daylight Saving Time, when much of the nation "loses" an hour of sleep. This year, National Sleep Awareness Week takes place March 5 – 11, 2007; the award presentation will be March 6th at the JW Marriott Hotel.

About NSF

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving greater understanding of sleep and sleep disorders. NSF furthers its mission through sleep-related education, research, and advocacy initiatives. NSF’s membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine as well as other professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients and more than 800 sleep clinics throughout North America that join the Foundation’s Community Sleep Awareness Partners program.

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Media Contact:  Debra Kain, 619-543-6163,


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