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Professor Russell Foster, head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, has won the BBSRC Social Innovator of the Year award at a ceremony on the 29th March. He received the award, now in its fourth year, for his work in identifying photosensitive retinal ganglion cells and the important role they play in regulating sleep, circadian rhythms and other physiological responses to light. Professor Foster’s work has had major implications in the clinic and social inferences in designing new lighting systems and the use of natural light in building design.

Professor Foster receives his award from the Business Secretary, Vince Cable. © BBSRC
Professor Foster receives his award from the Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

The awards aim to recognise researchers who have used their work to bring real-life benefits to society. Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable was in attendance and said "I would like to congratulate the winners on their success. Their innovative ideas highlight the vital role that scientific knowledge plays in driving growth in important sectors like healthcare, food, and pharmaceuticals.

"The UK is a world leader in the biosciences and it is vital that we capitalise on this strength to deliver the maximum social and economic benefit. All of the finalists have gone to impressive lengths to ensure that the impacts of their research are felt well beyond the scientific community and this is truly worth celebrating."

Please visit the BBSRC website for more information.