2006 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Life Sciences
In Field: Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
Professor Peretz Lavie was born in Petach Tikva in 1949 and raised in Zichron Ya'acov.
He started his academic studies at the Psychology and Statistics Departments of the Tel Aviv University. He received his formal training in sleep research and sleep medicine in American universities.
In 1975 he joined the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he founded the Sleep Research Laboratory and the Center for Sleep Medicine. He served as head of the Unit of Behavioral Biology in the Faculty of Medicine and head of the Technion Research Center for Work Safety and Human Engineering, as well as dean of the Faculty of Medicine. He currently holds the André Ballard Chair in Biological Psychiatry, and has served as the Technion’s Vice President for Resource Development and External Relations since 2001.
His research over the years was dedicated to sleep and sleep disorders. In order to describe periods of the day marked by changes in levels of alertness and the way in which they affect the ability to function he coined the terms “gates of sleep” and “forbidden zones for sleep”. His findings have had important implications for the planning of work shifts and for investigations of work-related and motor accidents. He was also one of the first scientists to examine the impact of the hormone melatonin. Another area he has focused on is the influence of traumatic events on sleep and dreams. In recent years he focused his attention on mortality and its causes in patients with sleep apnea, and together with his wife, Dr. Lena Lavie, he is investigating the underlying mechanisms of cardiovascular morbidity in patients with this syndrome.
He has published more than 340 scientific articles and eight books in the field of sleep research. His book The Enchanted World of Sleep has so far been translated into 15 languages.
His work has won him many prizes, including the Alkales Prize awarded by Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, the University of Pisa Sleep Award to Best Sleep Researcher in Europe, and the American Society of Sleep Research Prize for innovative research.