CCS researcher Dinesh Pal, Ph.D., has received the American Physiological Society’s (APS) Central Nervous System Section New Investigator Award. The award recognizes an outstanding young investigator who has made a meaningful contribution within the field.

Pal is an assistant professor of anesthesiology whose research focuses on the neural regulation of states of arousal such as sleep, wake, anesthesia, and altered states produced by traditional psychedelics. His laboratory(link is external) is also engaged in understanding if there are common underpinnings for sleep and anesthesia, as well as if and how sedative-hypnotics can provide a physiologic sleep-like state.

“Although these are just small steps in the larger quest to understand the nature and mechanisms of consciousness, I feel our work on the prefrontal acetylcholine and cortical connectivity has contributed data to inform the debate on correlates and theories of consciousness,” Pal said. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized by peers outside the immediate fields of anesthesiology and consciousness.”

APS, the oldest and largest society in physiology, presented the award to Pal virtually this week during the Experimental Biology 2021 Meeting.