Faculty Profile

Shadab A. Rahman, PhD, MPH

Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School

See publications


Brigham and Women's Hospital
221 Longwood Avenue, Room RF-486
Boston, MA 02115

Inter-office Mail Address

BWH, Richardson Fuller 486

Phone 617-525-8830

Email sarahman@partners.org

Research Unit(s)

Research Interests

My research interests are in sleep and circadian neurophysiology. My primary research interest is in basic and applied circadian photobiology. I have been studying how the spectral, duration and pattern characteristics of light modulate behavioral, endocrine and molecular outputs that are under the control of the biological clock. My secondary interest is in peripheral rhythms including metabolic, immune and reproductive rhythms. I am exploring the endogenous circadian regulation of these rhythms and the effects of light exposure on these rhythms. My goal is to combine the findings from these two research streams to develop effective photobiologic countermeasures for circadian disruption. 


Research Funding

NASA, PI: Steven W. Lockley PhD. Development and Testing of Biomarkers to Determine Individual Astronauts’ Vulnerabilities to Behavioral Health Disruptions.

NASA/Thomas Jefferson University, PI: Steven W. Lockley PhD. Testing solid state lighting countermeasures to improve circadian adaptation, sleep, and performance during high fidelity analog and flight studies for the International Space Station.

MIT, PI: Steven W. Lockley PhD. Investigation of Blue-Enriched Light as a Countermeasure for Automobile Driver Sleepiness and Fatigue.

NASA, PI: Steven W. Lockley PhD.  Lighting Protocols for Exploration - HERA Campaign

NIH/NICHD, PI: Elizabeth Klerman MD PhD. Effects of Light and Melatonin on Contractions in Pregnant Women


Teaching Assistant: PSL-472 Sleep Physiology; Dr. Richard L. Horner, University of Toronto. Teaching Fellow: MCB-186 Circadian Biology: From cellular oscillators to sleep regulation; Dr. Charles C. Czeisler, Harvard University

In the News
Special glasses may cut perils of the night shift; The Globe and Mail, Jan. 9 2009
Glasses may improve health for night shift; Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, Jan. 2009
Acquainted with the Night (Documentary); Prod: Markham Street Films; Aired on CBC, Sept. 2010
Researchers Find Blue Light Fights Fatigue Around the Clock; BWH Bulletin, Feb. 2014
Unexpected Ways To Recharge For 2016; HUFFPOST, Dec. 2015
The Uncertain Science Behind Your Phone’s Blue Light Dimmer; WIRED, Mar. 2017

University of Toronto Department of Physiology Graduate Fellowship
Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine
Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral Research Award
Ontario Graduate Scholarship
American Academy of Sleep Medicine Young Investigators Award Honorable Mention
Ontario Centers of Excellence Canada Outreach Program Award
JW Knox Ritchie Research Awards, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto
Standard Life Award for Human Research

Selected Publications

Original Articles:

Rahman SA, St Hilaire MA, Lockley SW. The effects of spectral tuning of
evening ambient light on melatonin suppression, alertness and sleep. Physiol
Behav. 2017 Aug 1;177:221-229. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 May
1. PMID: 28472667;  PMCID: PMC5536841.

Rahman SA, St Hilaire MA, Chang AM, Santhi N, Duffy JF, Kronauer RE, Czeisler
CA, Lockley SW, Klerman EB. Circadian phase resetting by a single short-duration
light exposure. JCI Insight. 2017 Apr 6;2(7):e89494. doi:
10.1172/jci.insight.89494. PMID: 28405608; PMCID:PMC5374060.

Rahman SA, Castanon-Cervantes O, Scheer FA, Shea SA, Czeisler CA, Davidson AJ, Lockley SW. Endogenous circadian regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and
chemokines in the presence of bacterial lipopolysaccharide in humans. Brain Behav
Immun. 2014 Nov 13. pii: S0889-1591(14)00518-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.11.003.
[Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25452149; Central PMCID: PMC4430446.

Rahman SA, Flynn-Evans EE, Aeschbach D, Brainard GC, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW.
Diurnal spectral sensitivity of the acute alerting effects of light. Sleep. 2014
Feb 1;37(2):271-81. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3396. PMID: 24501435;  PMCID: PMC3900613.

Ftouni S, Rahman SA, Crowley KE, Anderson C, Rajaratnam SM, Lockley SW.
Temporal dynamics of ocular indicators of sleepiness across sleep restriction. J
Biol Rhythms. 2013 Dec;28(6):412-24. doi: 10.1177/0748730413512257. PMID: 24336419;  PMCID: PMC4418540.

Rahman SA, Shapiro CM, Wang F, Ainlay H, Kazmi S, Brown TJ, Casper RF. Effects
of filtering visual short wavelengths during nocturnal shiftwork on sleep and
performance. Chronobiol Int. 2013 Oct;30(8):951-62. doi:
10.3109/07420528.2013.789894. Epub 2013 Jul 8. PMID: 23834705; PMCID: PMC3786545.

Rahman SA, Marcu S, Shapiro CM, Brown TJ, Casper RF. Spectral modulation
attenuates molecular, endocrine, and neurobehavioral disruption induced by
nocturnal light exposure. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar;300(3):E518-27. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00597.2010. Epub 2010 Dec 21. PMID: 21177289.

Rahman SA, Kayumov L, Shapiro CM. Antidepressant action of melatonin in the
treatment of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. Sleep Med. 2010 Feb;11(2):131-6. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2009.07.013. Epub 2009 Dec 30. PMID: 20044310.

Rahman SA, Marcu S, Kayumov L, Shapiro CM. Altered sleep architecture and
higher incidence of subsyndromal depression in low endogenous melatonin
secretors. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2010 Jun;260(4):327-35. doi: 10.1007/s00406-009-0080-7. Epub 2009 Dec 18. PMID: 20016908.

Rahman SA, Kayumov L, Tchmoutina EA, Shapiro CM. Clinical efficacy of dim
light melatonin onset testing in diagnosing delayed sleep phase syndrome. Sleep
Med. 2009 May;10(5):549-55. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.03.020. Epub 2008 Aug 23.  PMID: 18725185.

 Rahman SA, Kollara A, Brown TJ, Casper RF. Selectively filtering short
wavelengths attenuates the disruptive effects of nocturnal light on endocrine and
molecular circadian phase markers in rats. Endocrinology. 2008 Dec;149(12):6125-35. doi: 10.1210/en.2007-1742. Epub 2008 Aug 7. PMID:

Kayumov L, Lowe A, Rahman SA, Casper RF, Shapiro CM. Prevention of melatonin suppression by nocturnal lighting: relevance to cancer. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2007 Aug;16(4):357-62. PMID: 17554209.

Reviews, Chapters, etc.

Rahman SA. Are We Ready to Assess Circadian Phase at Home? Sleep. 2015 Jun
1;38(6):849-50. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4722.  PMID: 26039960;
PMCID: PMC4434549. [Commentary]

Casper RF, Rahman S. Spectral modulation of light wavelengths using optical
filters: effect on melatonin secretion. Fertil Steril. 2014 Aug;102(2):336-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.06.006. Epub 2014 Jul 9. Review. PMID:
25015557. [Review]

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