Jennifer Choi Tudor, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Saint Joseph’s University, has earned an Outstanding Early Investigator Award Honorable Mention from the Sleep Research Society. Her 2016 study, “Sleep deprivation impairs memory by attenuating mTORC1-dependent protein synthesis,” examines the effects of sleep deprivation on the molecular mechanism to form memories.
“We are delighted that the Sleep Research Society has honored Dr. Tudor for her important contribution to the neuroscience of sleep deprivation,” says Christina King-Smith, professor and chair of biology. “SJU is fortunate to have such a talented teacher and scholar as a faculty member.”
Tudor’s study, published in Science Signaling, has significant implications for most Americans’ abysmal sleeping habits, particularly for college students.
“In a mouse that has been sleep deprived for a single period of time, even as short as five hours (the equivalent of staying awake until 2 a.m. for humans), the brain’s ability to make the proteins required to make memories is impaired,” says Tudor. “For students that stay up late to study, for example, lack of sleep would attenuate the process to make memories of their test material.”
The Sleep Research Society organizes scientists who educate on and research sleep, offering trainings and opportunities for collaboration. The Outstanding Early Investigator Award recognizes an excellent investigative effort by an early-stage sleep researcher.