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Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD
Associate Neuroscientist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

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

Research Location: Boston Lying-In

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Research Narrative:

The major focus of my research interest lies in the field of Mind-Body Medicine. Specifically, I am interested in the evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and basic psychophysiological mechanisms underlying the practice of yoga and meditation techniques. These behavioral techniques include specific manipulations of respiratory frequency and tidal volume, maintenance of body postures and stretching exercises, and meditation, which involves relaxed control of attention in a manner that precludes ruminative thought.

I am currently conducting research studies on the treatment of primary insomnia with yoga and meditation techniques which involve both subjective and objective polysomnographic evaluation of sleep quality in randomized controlled trials as well as concurrent evaluation of psychophysiological measures including cortisol, catecholamines, melatonin and heart rate variability. I am also interested in the potential effectiveness of these techniques in insomnia secondary to other conditions such as depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia and in other sleep disorders.

University of Toronto, 1985, Ph.D.

Courses Taught:
2004-, Harvard Medical School, Mind Body Medicine, Mind Body Medicine (course ME729) is an elective course held at Harvard Medical School in October and November on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:00 pm in the Longwood Medical Area. The course is held in a seminar series format with presentations from expert faculty speakers in the Boston area who will cover a broad range of topics in Mind-Body Medicine including its history, societal significance, clinical applications, psychophysiology, and research. Topics and practices will include relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, imagery, biofeedback, placebo, and more. There will also be an opportunity for students to participate in a free yoga class following each presentation.

2004-, Harvard Medical School, Mind Body Medicine

Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Khalsa SB. Author response to manuscript: "religious behavior, sleep quantity, sleep quality, and sleep disorders in American adults". J Behav Health Serv Res. 2013 Jan; 40(1):135.

2. Büssing A, Khalsa SB, Michalsen A, Sherman KJ, Telles S. Yoga as a therapeutic intervention. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012:174291.

3. Rüger M, St Hilaire MA, Brainard GC, Khalsa SB, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Human phase response curve to a single 6.5 h pulse of short-wavelength light. J Physiol. 2013 Jan 01; 591(1):353-63.

4. Büssing A, Michalsen A, Khalsa SB, Telles S, Sherman KJ. Effects of yoga on mental and physical health: a short summary of reviews. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012:165410.

5. Stern JR, Khalsa SB, Hofmann SG. A yoga intervention for music performance anxiety in conservatory students. Med Probl Perform Art. 2012 Sep; 27(3):123-8.

6. St Hilaire MA, Gooley JJ, Khalsa SB, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Human phase response curve to a 1 h pulse of bright white light. J Physiol. 2012 Jul 01; 590(13):3035-45.

7. Noggle JJ, Steiner NJ, Minami T, Khalsa SB. Benefits of yoga for psychosocial well-being in a US high school curriculum: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2012 Apr; 33(3):193-201.

8. Khalsa SB, Hickey-Schultz L, Cohen D, Steiner N, Cope S. Evaluation of the mental health benefits of yoga in a secondary school: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. J Behav Health Serv Res. 2012 Jan; 39(1):80-90.

9. Silverthorne C, Khalsa SB, Gueth R, DeAvilla N, Pansini J. Respiratory, physical, and psychological benefits of breath-focused yoga for adults with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI): a brief pilot study report. Int J Yoga Therap. 2012; (22):47-51.

10. Gooley JJ, Chamberlain K, Smith KA, Khalsa SB, Rajaratnam SM, Van Reen E, Zeitzer JM, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar; 96(3):E463-72.