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Janis Louise Anderson, PhD
Psychologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

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

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Research Narrative:

I came to BWH from a Clinical Research Postdoc at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in 1988. My teaching and mentoring efforts at HMS have centered around Seasonal Affective Disorder diagnosis and treatment, including clinical instruction of psychiatry residents, consultation with clinician colleagues, and presentations to clinical services at BWH. In recent years I authored a clinical review paper for a nationally-edited Handbook on evidence-based treatments. I have been working with the IT Committee of Harvard-Longwood Psychiatry residents to create a chronobiology treatment section for their new HLPRTP wiki page ( In addition, as a long-time faculty affiliate of the Division of Sleep Medicine I mentor research post-docs and fellows, participate in a weekly journal club with the Analytic Modeling Unit, and work individually with young scientists on designing and publishing research.

In addition to an NPR interview, and contributions to national print media, I have posted on the BWH Health Blog and participated in a national health tweet chat organized by Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News. One ongoing interest is in developing mechanisms for patient-centered organization of research focused on disseminating information regarding dosing of therapeutic light exposure and other practical questions for outpatient treatment of SAD.

Nationally and internationally, I participate in several professional groups including the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Sleep Research Society, and National Network of Depression Centers.

Recently, I have concentrated research efforts on data analysis and publication of results from several past projects. This has culminated in the recent peer-reviewed publication of results from an industry-sponsored multi-site clinical trial for which I was P.I. We compared effectiveness of two light devices for outpatient treatment of seasonally-recurrent major depression. That project uses behavioral data collected during the clinical trial as input to a mathematical model predicting circadian effects of various light-exposure regimen. A third clinically-focused manuscript will cover the diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) patients according to DSM5 criteria. Three additional research projects recently published or in closing phases of data analysis/publication include a collaborative project with Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne Australia and the Brigham & Women’s Dept. of Sleep Medicine resulting in a peer-reviewed publication examining personality traits associated with earlier versus later circadian phase in healthy young adults, as well as the relationship of trait and phase to preferred sleep/wake routines. Another collaborative project is within the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and headed by Dr. Florina Haimovici of the Department of Psychiatry. It concerns the relationships among stress experienced by couples undergoing IVF protocols, titers of various cytokines within those individuals, and the pregnancy outcomes of their IVF intervention. Finally, a collaborative project funded by the U.S. Department of Education 2006-2010 with a Psychology P.I. at Washington University in St. Louis and collaborators at the University of New Mexico evaluated the learning outcomes in undergraduate psychology students from various types of online testing or studying of neuroscience material presented in an online introductory neurobiology course for which I am the primary instructor.


Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Thomas RC, Weywadt C, Anderson JL, Martinez-Papponi B, McDaniel MA. Testing encourages transfer between factual and application questions in an online learning environment. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. 2018; 7(2):252-260.

2. Haimovici F, Anderson JL, Bates GW, Racowsky C, Ginsburg ES, Simovici D, Fichorova RN. Stress, anxiety, and depression of both partners in infertile couples are associated with cytokine levels and adverse IVF outcome. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 04; 79(4):e12832.

3. Bullock B, Murray G, Anderson JL, Cooper-O’Neill T, Gooley JJ, Cain, SW, Lockley SW. Constraint is associated with earlier circadian phase and morningness: Confirmation of relationships between personality and circadian phase using a constant routine protocol. Personality and Individual Differences. 2016; 104:69-74.

4. Anderson JL, St Hilaire MA, Auger RR, Glod CA, Crow SJ, Rivera AN, Fuentes Salgado SM, Pullen SK, Kaufman TK, Lynch AJ & Wolfe DJ. Is short-wavelength (blue) light necessary for treatment of seasonal affective disorder?. Chronobiology International DOI: 10.1080/07420528.2016.1207660. 2016.

5. Anderson JL. Translating Psychological Research into Practice (LR Grossman & S Walfish (eds)). Clinician Application --Seasonal Affective Disorder. 2014; 262-266.

6. Quan SF, Anderson JL, Hodge GK. Use of a supplementary internet based education program improves sleep literacy in college psychology students. J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Feb 01; 9(2):155-60.

7. McDaniel MA, Wildman KM, & Anderson JL. Using quizzes to enhance summative-assessment performance in a web-based class: An experimental study. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2011.10.001. 2011.

8. Anderson JL, Glod CA, Dai J, Cao Y, Lockley SW. Lux vs. wavelength in light treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009 Sep; 120(3):203-12.

9. McDaniel M, Anderson JL, Derbish MH, & Morrisette N. Testing the “Testing Effect” in the classroom. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology. 2007; 19(4):494-513.

10. Ash JB, Piazza E, Anderson JL. Light therapy in the clinical management of an eating-disordered adolescent with winter exacerbation. Int J Eat Disord. 1998 Jan; 23(1):93-7.