Faculty Profile

Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD

Orfeu Buxton, PhD
Lecturer on Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Associate Neuroscientist, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Other Affiliation(s)

See publications


221 Longwood Ave, Suite BLI-438
Boston, MA 02115

Inter-office Mail Address

BWH Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, BLI-438

Fax 617-507-9177

Email Orfeu_Buxton@hms.harvard.edu
Email Orfeu@PSU.edu

Research Unit(s)

Circadian Group,
Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Medical Chronobiology Program, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Interests

The causes of sleep deficiency (insufficient duration or inadequate sleep quality) in the workplace, home, and society.
The health consequences of sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes, and the physiologic and social mechanisms by which these outcomes arise.

Click here to read a brief biography of Dr. Buxton


Megan Kunz, MS, MD 2003-2004
Julian Thomas, HMS student, summer 2009
Katrine Bryne, undergraduate, 2010-2011
Cassandra Okechukwu, MSN, ScD, Assistant Professor, HSPH, 2011-2013
Shakir McLean, Brown Medical School student, summer 2012
Angela Bermúdez-Millán, Ph.D., M.P.H. / Research Instructor, U. Conn. Health Center, 2013-2015
Nina Vujovic, PhD/post-doctoral scholar, 2014-2017
Mike Strayer, Neuroscience graduate student (Penn State), 2014-present
Nancy Sin, Biobehavioral Health post-doctoral scholar (Penn State), 2014-2015
Soomi Lee, Biobehavioral Health post-doctoral scholar (Penn State), 2015-present



Research Funding


P01 AG009975-16      Czeisler (PI)      2013-2018
“Sleep, Aging, and Circadian Sleep Disorders”
Project 1: “Recurrent circadian disruption & pancreatic β-cell responsiveness in older people”
This Project will contribute to understanding the distinct metabolic risks from circadian disruption, laying the groundwork for research designed to develop therapies targeted to reduce the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and enhance the health and quality of life of older Americans whose circadian rhythms are disrupted by age-related changes, irregular schedules, and/or night shift work.
Project 2: “Adverse metabolic impact of sleep loss in older adults: insulin resistance”
This Project will contribute to understanding the mechanisms by which sleep loss impairs metabolism in older adults, contributing to future research to reduce the risk of diabetes, improve existing therapies, and enhance the health and quality of life of older Americans whose sleep is insufficient.
Roles: Project leader (Project 2) 2013-2015; Co-Investigator (Project 2) 2015-current: Co-Investigator (Project 1)

R01 HD073352      Hale (PI)      2013-2018
“Biopsychosocial determinants of sleep and wellbeing for teens in Fragile Families”
This study investigates the biopsychosocial and genetic determinants of adolescent sleep, and the extent to which differential sleep patterns and behaviors during childhood contribute to differences in obesity and cardiometabolic risk using the Fragile Families Study (FFS). The FFS is a national birth cohort study of health and development of children, with data collected at birth and ages 1, 3, 5, and 9, and, with recent NIH funding to locate and interview youths and mothers when the adolescents are age 15 (n~3,600). As an ancillary study to the parent FFS age 15 survey, this study aims to study adolescent physical activity and sleep and social/contextual predictors of these behaviors.
Role: Subcontract Principal Investigator

R01 HL107240     Buxton (PI)     2011-2016    
"Evaluating cardiometabolic and sleep health benefits of a workplace intervention"
Although the prevalence of “family-friendly” or “work-life” policies in U.S. workplaces has increased dramatically in recent years, few longitudinal experiments have evaluated the effects of work-family interventions on employee health outcomes.  The Work, Family and Health Study is an ongoing, randomized, controlled trial of an innovative workplace intervention to improve employee health. This Ancillary Study adds objective health outcomes in mid-level managers, a focus of the intervention, to evaluate the effects of this workplace intervention on managers' cardiometabolic and sleep health, and represents a unique opportunity to study the multi-level factors influencing health in the workplace.
Role: PI
Social Science Research Institute, Penn State, pilot grant 2014-2016 
“Female growth and development study 30-year follow up”
The lack of prospective longitudinal study has severely limited knowledge about specific mechanisms by which sexual abuse impinges on development over the life course. Studies of victims rarely span multiple developmental stages making it difficult to discern optimal intervention windows and developmental discordances that can impact adulthood competencies. The previous six timepoints have been collected and this study will focus on timepoints 7-8 which extend into the participants 30s and 40s and test the relative impact of early maldevelopment on later adulthood functioning. Capitalizing on the adulthood period affords inquiry into key outcomes (such as physical health outcomes and adulthood autonomy) that were not fully detectable earlier in development.
 Role: Co-Investigator (Noll, PI)

Penn State University, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) 2015-2016
“Complex interactions of behavior, genes, and environment in the multi-system characterization of the effects of sleep loss on health, cardio-metabolic disease risk, cognition, and the epigenome"
Role: Co-Investigator (Chang, PI)

NIH/NIMH     1R01DK103663  (Wagner, PI) 2015-2020
“Lifestyle & medication management to lower diabetes risk in severe mental illness”          
Serious mental illness (SMI), including chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, are known risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Role: Subcontract Principal Investigator

NIH/NIA UH2 AG052167 (Almeida, Smyth, mPIs)  2015-2020    
“Everyday Stress Response Targets in the Science of Behavior                    
The overarching goal of this project is to use an experimental medicine approach to develop an efficient, ecologically valid, within-person approach to measuring and intervening on the deleterious effects of everyday stress on meeting recommended levels of two
Role: Co-Investigator