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Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD, MSc
Neuroscientist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Medicine
Sleep Medicine
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

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Research Narrative:

The severity of many diseases varies across the 24-hour period. For example, heart attacks occur most frequently in the morning a few hours after waking up, temporal lobe epileptic seizures of the brain's temporal lobe usually occur in the late afternoon or early evening, and asthma is generally worst at night. The goal of the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital is to understand the biological basis behind these time-variant changes in disease severity. We aim to determine whether or not these changes are caused by the body clock (the endogenous circadian pacemaker) or attributable to behaviors that occur on a regular daily basis, including the sleep/wake cycle. Understanding the biological basis of these changes across the day and night may provide an insight into the underlying cause of the disease and could lead to better therapy (e.g. appropriately timed medication to target specific phases of the body clock or to coincide with specific behaviors that cause vulnerability, such as exercise).

University of Amsterdam, 2003, PhD
Utrecht University, 1997, MSc

Pickwick Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Sleep Foundation (2005)
Young Investigator Neurology Section Award, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2005)
Alliance Chronosleep Award, European Sleep Research Society (2006)
Young Investigator Award, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2007)
1st Place Clinical Research Young Investigator Award, National Sleep Foundation/Sleep Research Society (2008)
Neal Miller Award, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (2009)
Young Investigator Award, Honorable Mention, Sleep Research Society (2010)

Additional News:
BWH HealthBlog about the Medical Chronobiology Program - April 26, 2016 (

Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Dashti HS, Merino J, Lane JM, Song Y, Smith CE, Tanaka T, McKeown NM, Tucker C, Sun D, Bartz TM, Li-Gao R, Nisa H, Reutrakul S, Lemaitre RN, Alshehri TM, de Mutsert R, Bazzano L, Qi L, Knutson KL, Psaty BM, Mook-Kanamori DO, Perica VB, Neuhouser ML, Scheer FAJL, Rutter MK, Garaulet M, Saxena R. Genome-wide association study of breakfast skipping links clock regulation with food timing. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Aug 01; 110(2):473-484.

2. Dashti HS, Scheer FAJL, Saxena R, Garaulet M. Timing of Food Intake: Identifying Contributing Factors to Design Effective Interventions. Adv Nutr. 2019 Jul 01; 10(4):606-620.

3. Guirette M, Dashti H, Tucker C, Vetter C, Garaulet M, Scheer F, Saxena R. How Accurately Can We Recall Food Timing? A Validity Study of a Novel Food Timing Questionnaire (P18-016-19). Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun; 3(Suppl 1).

4. Gao L, Li P, Hu C, To T, Patxot M, Falvey B, Wong PM, Scheer FAJL, Lin C, Lo MT, Hu K. Nocturnal heart rate variability moderates the association between sleep-wake regularity and mood in young adults. Sleep. 2019 May 01; 42(5).

5. Vetter C, Scheer FAJL. A healthy lifestyle - reducing T2DM risk in shift workers? Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019 04; 15(4):194-196.

6. Chang AM, Duffy JF, Buxton OM, Lane JM, Aeschbach D, Anderson C, Bjonnes AC, Cain SW, Cohen DA, Frayling TM, Gooley JJ, Jones SE, Klerman EB, Lockley SW, Munch M, Rajaratnam SMW, Rueger M, Rutter MK, Santhi N, Scheuermaier K, Van Reen E, Weedon MN, Czeisler CA, Scheer FAJL, Saxena R. Chronotype Genetic Variant in PER2 is Associated with Intrinsic Circadian Period in Humans. Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 29; 9(1):5350.

7. McHill AW, Czeisler CA, Phillips AJK, Keating L, Barger LK, Garaulet M, Scheer FAJL, Klerman EB. Caloric and Macronutrient Intake Differ with Circadian Phase and between Lean and Overweight Young Adults. Nutrients. 2019 03 11; 11(3).

8. Dashti HS, Jones SE, Wood AR, Lane JM, van Hees VT, Wang H, Rhodes JA, Song Y, Patel K, Anderson SG, Beaumont RN, Bechtold DA, Bowden J, Cade BE, Garaulet M, Kyle SD, Little MA, Loudon AS, Luik AI, Scheer FAJL, Spiegelhalder K, Tyrrell J, Gottlieb DJ, Tiemeier H, Ray DW, Purcell SM, Frayling TM, Redline S, Lawlor DA, Rutter MK, Weedon MN, Saxena R. Genome-wide association study identifies genetic loci for self-reported habitual sleep duration supported by accelerometer-derived estimates. Nat Commun. 2019 03 07; 10(1):1100.

9. Lane JM, Jones SE, Dashti HS, Wood AR, Aragam KG, van Hees VT, Strand LB, Winsvold BS, Wang H, Bowden J, Song Y, Patel K, Anderson SG, Beaumont RN, Bechtold DA, Cade BE, Haas M, Kathiresan S, Little MA, Luik AI, Loudon AS, Purcell S, Richmond RC, Scheer FAJL, Schormair B, Tyrrell J, Winkelman JW, Winkelmann J, Hveem K, Zhao C, Nielsen JB, Willer CJ, Redline S, Spiegelhalder K, Kyle SD, Ray DW, Zwart JA, Brumpton B, Frayling TM, Lawlor DA, Rutter MK, Weedon MN, Saxena R. Biological and clinical insights from genetics of insomnia symptoms. Nat Genet. 2019 03; 51(3):387-393.

10. Stenvers DJ, Scheer FAJL, Schrauwen P, la Fleur SE, Kalsbeek A. Circadian clocks and insulin resistance. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019 02; 15(2):75-89.