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Auburn University’s Research and Economic Development Advisory Board presented Mona El-Sheikh, a professor in the College of Human Sciences, with the 2017 Research and Economic Development Advisory Board Advancement of Research and Scholarship Achievement Award at its recent fall meeting. The award recognizes El-Sheikh’s contributions to public health, and particularly to sleep research, over the course of her 27-year career at Auburn.

Composed of more than 40 industry professionals from across the country who actively support Auburn’s research efforts, the board established the award in 2014 to recognize significant research and scholarly activity that exemplifies and advances Auburn’s research and scholarship mission. The recipient of the annual award receives a $25,000 grant to further his or her research.

“I am thrilled that Dr. El-Sheikh has been named the recipient of the 2016-2017 Advancement of Research and Scholarship Achievement Award. Noted for being one of the world’s leading scholars in the area of sleep regulation and its physiological and socio-cultural correlates, Dr. El-Sheikh continues to advance the field with her transdisciplinary lines of creative inquiry, continuous pursuit of excellence, and commitment to mentoring the next generation of scholars,” said June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences.

El-Sheikh, the Leonard Peterson and Company Inc. Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, was honored for innovative research that links socio-economic adversity, family risks and well-being, with physical health, sleep processes and brain function. Supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation among others, El-Sheikh and her colleagues’ groundbreaking work on the role of sleep and sleep problems in child development has expanded to include sleep regulation in adults and adolescents. Her findings help identify and address insufficient sleep as an important public health issue.

“Dr. El-Sheikh is one of Auburn’s most accomplished health science researchers and has earned this recognition through her strong track record of impactful research,” said John Mason, vice president for research and economic development.