Subimal Datta, PhD, Professor of Anesthesiology and Professor of Psychology at the UT College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2015 B.K. Anand Oration Award at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Asari Nagar, New Delhi. The international award is given annually to an eminent basic medical scientists with special contributions related to neurosciences. The award was fist given in 2004 and is named for Dr. B.K. Anand, an eminent neurophysiologist who established the Department of Physiology at AIIMS and made significant contributions to the field of physiology. The award is given to eminent Indiana or foreign scientists for outstanding basic science or clinical contributions to the field. Dr. Datta’s oration was, “Gift of Sleep and Dreaming: A Cellular and Molecular Mechanism for Converting Today’s Experience into Tomorrow’s Memories.”
Dr. Datta is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the neurobiology of sleep and cognitive neuroscience. He joined Anesthesiology’s neuroscience research team in January 2015. Current research led by Dr. Datta aims to understand disorders such as insomnia, addiction, depression, and different types of anxiety disorders (including PTSD). Understanding the cellular, neurochemical, and molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of REM sleep and processing of different types of memory, including emotional memory, during different stages of sleep and wakefulness have been the main focuses of Dr. Datta’s research to date. Dr. Datta’s research is currently funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health totaling $1,385,000. His work has been continuously funded by NIH research grants since 1995.
Prior to joining the UT Graduate School of Medicine, Dr. Datta was Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, the Director of Sleep and Cognitive Neuroscience Research laboratories, and an Associate Director of Clinical Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training program in Boston University School of Medicine.
At Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Datta and his team of researchers identified an intracellular signaling enzyme that regulates the wake-sleep cycle, which could help lead to the development of more effective sleep aid medications. The results of the study point to a specific enzyme inside neurons in the brain that trigger an important shift in consciousness from sleep to wakefulness and wakefulness to sleep.
Dr. Datta has authored and co-authored numerous chapters and scientific publications. He is the Associate Editor of Sleep and of Frontiers in Neuroscience and serves on the editorial board of several additional professional journals. He serves regularly on the review committees of several national and international scientific funding agencies.
Dr. Datta earned his doctoral degree in Human Physiology and Neuroscience from AIIMS and completed postdoctoral training in Neurophysiology at Laval University School of Medicine and at Harvard Medical School.