Russell Foster (neuroscientist)

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Russell Foster at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, 2014

Russell Grant Foster, CBE, FRS FMedSci (born 1959)[1] is a British professor of circadian neuroscience, currently based at Brasenose College[2] at the University of Oxford.[3] He and his group are credited with the discovery of the non-rod, non-cone, photosensitive ganglion cells in the mammalian retina which provide input to the circadian rhythm system.[4] Foster was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2008[5] and a member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council council in 2011.[6]

Educated at the University of Bristol with a PhD in Neuroscience from 1984 for thesis titled An investigation of the extraretinal photoreceptors mediating photoperiodic induction in the Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica),[7] Foster was a member of the National Science Foundation Center for Biological Rhythms at the University of Virginia[8] before returning to the UK. Internationally, he has received several awards for his discovery of ocular photoreceptors.[4] He is the co-author with writer and broadcaster Leon Kreitzman of two popular science books on circadian rhythms, Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing[9][10] and Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms That Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive.[11]

Foster was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to science.[12][13]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Professor Russell Foster, Brasenose College
  3. ^ Russell Foster, Chair of Circadian Neuroscience, Nicholas Kurti Fellow, Brasenose College, Head of DepartmentCircadian and Visual Neuroscience
  4. ^ a b "Seven new Royal Society Fellows". The Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford. 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  5. ^ "Russell Foster BSc PhD FRS". The University of Oxford. 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  6. ^ New BBSRC Council members appointed
  7. ^ Konishi, H.; Foster, R. G.; Follett, B. K. (1987). "Evidence for a daily rhythmicity in the acute release of luteinizing hormone in response to electrical stimulation in the Japanese quail". Journal of Comparative Physiology A 161 (2): 315. doi:10.1007/BF00615251. 
  8. ^ Ralph, M.; Foster, R.; Davis, F.; Menaker, M. (1990). "Transplanted suprachiasmatic nucleus determines circadian period". Science 247 (4945): 975–978. doi:10.1126/science.2305266. PMID 2305266. 
  9. ^ Leon Kreitzman; Russell G. Foster (2004). Rhythms of life: the biological clocks that control the daily lives of every living thing. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10969-5. 
  10. ^ Harman, Oren (2008-12-24). "Time After Time" (Book Review). The New Republic. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  11. ^ Leon Kreitzman; Russell G. Foster (2009). Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms That Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11556-3. 
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61092. p. N9. 31 December 2014.
  13. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List

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