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Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD, MSc
Neuroscientist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Associate 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. Vetter C, Scheer FAJL. A healthy lifestyle - reducing T2DM risk in shift workers? Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019 Apr; 15(4):194-196.

2. 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 Feb 05.

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

4. Xiao Q, Garaulet M, Scheer FAJL. Meal timing and obesity: interactions with macronutrient intake and chronotype. Int J Obes (Lond). 2019 Jan 31.

5. Chellappa SL, Morris CJ, Scheer FAJL. Effects of circadian misalignment on cognition in chronic shift workers. Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 24; 9(1):699.

6. Scheer FAJL, Chellappa SL, Hu K, Shea SA. Impact of mental stress, the circadian system and their interaction on human cardiovascular function. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Jan 16; 103:125-129.

7. Qian J, Morris CJ, Caputo R, Garaulet M, Scheer FAJL. Ghrelin is impacted by the endogenous circadian system and by circadian misalignment in humans. Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Sep 19.

8. Wefers J, van Moorsel D, Hansen J, Connell NJ, Havekes B, Hoeks J, van Marken Lichtenbelt WD, Duez H, Phielix E, Kalsbeek A, Boekschoten MV, Hooiveld GJ, Hesselink MKC, Kersten S, Staels B, Scheer FAJL, Schrauwen P. Circadian misalignment induces fatty acid metabolism gene profiles and compromises insulin sensitivity in human skeletal muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 07 24; 115(30):7789-7794.

9. Qian J, Dalla Man C, Morris CJ, Cobelli C, Scheer FAJL. Differential effects of the circadian system and circadian misalignment on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in humans. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 10; 20(10):2481-2485.

10. Kolbe I, Carrasco-Benso MP, López-Mínguez J, Luján J, Scheer FAJL, Oster H, Garaulet M. Circadian period of luciferase expression shortens with age in human mature adipocytes from obese patients. FASEB J. 2019 Jan; 33(1):175-180.