Russell G. Foster, Leon Kreitzman

Russell G. Foster, Leon Kreitzman

Russell Grant Foster (born 1959) is a British professor of circadian neuroscience, the Director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology and the Head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi). He is also a Nicholas Kurti Senior Fellow at the Brasenose College at the University of Oxford.

Foster and his group are credited with key contributions to the discovery of the non-rod, non-cone, photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs) in the mammalian retina which provide input to the circadian rhythm system. He has written and co-authored over a hundred scientific publications. Foster studied at the University of Bristol and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Zoology in 1980. He also carried out postgraduate studies at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Brian Follett, and was awarded a PhD in 1984 for his thesis entitled An investigation of the extraretinal photoreceptors mediating photoperiodic induction in the Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica).

From 1988 to 1995 Foster was a member of the National Science Foundation Center for Biological Rhythms at the University of Virginia, where he worked closely with Michael Menaker. In 1995, he returned to UK and started his own lab at Imperial College, where he became Chair of Molecular Neuroscience within the Faculty of Medicine. He later transferred his laboratory to the University of Oxford to engage in more translational research.


Leon Kreitzman is a writer interested in how biology and society interact to influence human behaviour. His 1998 book The 24 Hour Society was followed by two more co-authored books on circadian and circannual rhythms. His latest book will be published by OUP in March 2017. He is a visiting consultant at the Nuffield Health Centre at Oxford University.

Leon was the chair of Age UK Lewisham & Southwark from 2003-2014. He has degrees in Bio-chemistry and International Relations. He became involved in concerns about an Ageing Society in the mid-1980s and is a member of Age UK Public Policy committee.




Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living
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