PURPOSE OF THE CENTER

The Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology (CSCB) integrates both basic and clinical research on circadian rhythms and sleep into a unified program at Northwestern University. The Center has as its goals: 1) the elucidation of the fundamental mechanisms that underlie the generation, expression and synchronization of circadian rhythms, 2) the determination of the consequences of circadian rhythm dysfunction for human health, safety, performance and productivity, 3) the development of treatments to alleviate the adverse effects associated with circadian dysfunctions, and 4) education of students and the general public about circadian rhythms. The Center creates an environment that fosters collaborations between researchers in different disciplines who have mutual research interests in the study of circadian rhythms, with a particular emphasis on the circadian control of the activity-rest and sleep-wake cycle. The Center seeks new sources of external support for the study of biological rhythms at Northwestern University from federal, private, foundation, and industrial sources. Finally, the Center integrates its activities with other units at Northwestern to enhance the overall quality of the academic mission of the University.

The growing awareness of the various and numerous ways in which a better understanding of circadian rhythms could impact on human health is why the recent NIMH report to the U.S. Congress on the "Decade of the Brain" has targeted the study of circadian rhythms as one of the main areas in which basic neuroscience research could be transferred to the clincial community for the benefit of mankind. Northwestern University is in a position to play a leading role in this emerging area of biomedicine, and the decision to establish the Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology at Northwestern was taken in order to enhance the activities of the investigators perfoming research on sleep and biological rhythms within the University.