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Steven Andrew Shea, PhD
Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Lecturer on Medicine, Part-time, Harvard Medical School
Director, Sleep Disorders Research Program, Brigham & Women's Hospital

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

Phone: 617 732 5013
Fax: 617 278 0683

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Research Narrative:

Sleep Disorders Research Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital: The goal of this research program is to understand the pathophysiology and improve the therapy for all sleep disorders, and to understand the interaction between sleep and other medical problems. There are approximately 10 current faculty performing research in areas including mechanistic physiology in healthy humans, clinical research, epidemiology, animal models and mathematical models. These approaches are used to understand the pathophysiology and therapy for obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, and to understand the relationship of sleep with other disorders, including periodic limb movements of sleep, hypertension, other cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular biomarkers, seizures and 'nocturnal' asthma. There is also research on the effect of aging and gender on sleep disorders, and the influence of sleep deprivation on metabolic function.

Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital: 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,  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 London, 1989, PhD

A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, 2009-10, Harvard Medical School

Courses Taught:
yearly in the fall semester, Harvard Extension School, Physiology of Sleep, seminar course (limited enrollment)

Other Professional Activities:
Director, American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Director, American Board of Sleep Medicine
Editor-in-Chief, Nature and Science of Sleep (online journal)
President, American Sleep Medicine Foundation

Additional News: