Moldofsky, Harvey

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Moldofsky, Harvey

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Dr. Harvey Moldofsky is a world-renowned specialist on sleep disorders, chronic pain and fatigue, and chronobiology. He is Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Medicine and Member Emeritus, Institute of Medical Science, School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, and formerly Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine. From 1993-2000 he served as the founding Director of the University of Toronto Center for Sleep and Chronobiology. In addition to serving in various administrative positions at the university, university-affiliated hospitals and institutions, national and international scientific organizations, and professional organizations, he served from 1998-2003 as a medical assessor for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal of Ontario.

Born in Toronto, he attended Harbord Collegiate Institute and then earned his M.D. from the University of Toronto in 1959. He subsequently pursued postgraduate training in psychiatry in Vancouver, Toronto, London and San Francisco. In 1966, he was appointed Staff Psychiatrist at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry of Toronto, the first in a long line of appointments within hospitals in Toronto and at the University of Toronto.

Throughout much of his career together with his colleagues and students, he has been studying sleep physiology and biological rhythms. His interests have included sleep/wake-related immune, cytokine and neuroendocrine functions in various conditions including long-term space flight. Early research studies were devoted to eating disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, and rheumatic disease. For more than 30 years he has studied the cause and treatment of illnesses characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and nonrestorative sleep, which became known as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

In the 1990’s, he was the Principal Investigator on a team that worked with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to study the effects of spaceflight, microgravity, and sleep/wake immune functions (SWIF) in humans. This research included numerous sleep experiments with astronauts and cosmonauts on the Mir Space Station.

He has received many local, national and international awards and honors, including the regional award of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for his long-standing contributions as a medical educator. In honour of his contributions, in 1989 his friends and associates established The Dr. Harvey Moldofsky Scholarship for Psychiatric/Neuroscience Research, which is awarded annually to a medical student of the University of Toronto.


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