Faculty Profile

Melissa A. St. Hilaire, PhD

Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Associate Biostatistician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Other Affiliation(s)

See publications


221 Longwood Avenue, BLI-438
Boston, MA 02115

Inter-office Mail Address


Phone 617-278-0620

Email msthilaire@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Sleep Research Society
Society for Research on Biological Rhythms

Research Unit(s)

Research Interests

Dr. St. Hilaire’s research is focused on both computational and experimental approaches to understanding the impact of sleep and circadian rhythms on human health and performance.

Her current and past work has been focused in the following areas:
1.    Studying the effects of the timing, duration, intensity, and wavelength of light exposure on circadian phase resetting, melatonin suppression, and acute alerting effects on performance in humans.
2.    Studying the effects of insufficient sleep, including altered durations and patterns of sleep, on human neurobehavioral performance and alertness.
3.    Applying machine learning approaches to estimate sleep-loss-related performance impairment from baseline measures of performance.
4.    Applying computational approaches to analyze human circadian rhythms in multiple physiological signals (e.g., melatonin, markers of bone metabolism, urinary metabolites) studied under both laboratory conditions and in field-based studies.
5.    Developing and refining biomathematical models of sleep, circadian rhythms, and neurobehavioral performance, including individualized predictions of highly variable sleep-wake schedules collected under operational settings.
6.    Developing and refining biomathematical models of the effects of light on human circadian pacemaker.


Research Funding

Mayo Clinic Metabolomics Resource Core Pilot and Feasibility Award (2016)  

Selected Publications

Selected Publications
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. [PMID: 28472667]

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. [PMID: 28405608]

St Hilaire MA, Rüger M, Fratelli F, Hull JT, Phillips AJ, Lockley SW. Modeling
Neurocognitive Decline and Recovery During Repeated Cycles of Extended Sleep and
Chronic Sleep Deficiency. Sleep. 2017 Jan 1;40(1). [PMID: 28364449]

Grima NA, Ponsford JL, St Hilaire MA, Mansfield D, Rajaratnam SM. Circadian
Melatonin Rhythm Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair.
2016 Nov;30(10):972-977. [PMID: 27221043]

Anderson JL, Hilaire MA, Auger RR, Glod CA, Crow SJ, Rivera AN, Salgado SM,
Pullen SJ, Kaufman TK, Selby AJ, Wolfe DJ. Are short (blue) wavelengths necessary
for light treatment of seasonal affective disorder? Chronobiol Int. 2016 Aug
5:1-13. [PMID: 27494399]

Lane JM, Chang AM, Bjonnes AC, Aeschbach D, Anderson C, Cade BE, Cain SW,
Czeisler CA, Gharib SA, Gooley JJ, Gottlieb DJ, Grant SF, Klerman EB, Lauderdale
DS, Lockley SW, Munch M, Patel S, Punjabi NM, Rajaratnam SM, Rueger M, St Hilaire
MA, Santhi N, Scheuermaier K, Van Reen E, Zee PC, Shea SA, Duffy JF, Buxton OM,
Redline S, Scheer FA, Saxena R. Impact of Common Diabetes Risk Variant in MTNR1B
on Sleep, Circadian, and Melatonin Physiology. Diabetes. 2016 Jun;65(6):1741-51.
[PMID: 26868293]

St Hilaire MA, Lockley SW. Caffeine does not entrain the circadian clock but
improves daytime alertness in blind patients with non-24-hour rhythms. Sleep Med.
2015 Jun;16(6):800-4. [PMID: 25891543]

Breslow ER, Phillips AJ, Huang JM, St Hilaire MA, Klerman EB. A mathematical
model of the circadian phase-shifting effects of exogenous melatonin. J Biol
Rhythms. 2013 Feb;28(1):79-89. [PMID: 23382594]

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 1;591(1):353-63. [PMID: 23090946]

Gooley JJ, Ho Mien I, St Hilaire MA, Yeo SC, Chua EC, van Reen E, Hanley CJ,
Hull JT, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. Melanopsin and rod-cone photoreceptors play
different roles in mediating pupillary light responses during exposure to
continuous light in humans. J Neurosci. 2012 Oct 10;32(41):14242-53. [PMID: 23055493]

St Hilaire MA, Sullivan JP, Anderson C, Cohen DA, Barger LK, Lockley SW,
Klerman EB. Classifying performance impairment in response to sleep loss using
pattern recognition algorithms on single session testing. Accid Anal Prev. 2013
Jan;50:992-1002. [PMID: 22959616]

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 1;590(13):3035-45. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.227892. [PMID: 22547633]

Klerman H, St Hilaire MA, Kronauer RE, Gooley JJ, Gronfier C, Hull JT,
Lockley SW, Santhi N, Wang W, Klerman EB. Analysis method and experimental
conditions affect computed circadian phase from melatonin data. PLoS One.
2012;7(4):e33836. [PMID: 22511928]

St Hilaire MA, Gronfier C, Zeitzer JM, Klerman EB. A physiologically based
mathematical model of melatonin including ocular light suppression and
interactions with the circadian pacemaker. J Pineal Res. 2007 Oct;43(3):294-304.
[PMID: 17803528]

St Hilaire MA, Klerman EB, Khalsa SB, Wright KP Jr, Czeisler CA, Kronauer RE.
Addition of a non-photic component to a light-based mathematical model of the
human circadian pacemaker. J Theor Biol. 2007 Aug 21;247(4):583-99. Epub 2007 Apr
4. [PMID: 17531270]

Indic P, Forger DB, St Hilaire MA, Dean DA 2nd, Brown EN, Kronauer RE,
Klerman EB, Jewett ME. Comparison of amplitude recovery dynamics of two limit
cycle oscillator models of the human circadian pacemaker. Chronobiol Int.
2005;22(4):613-29. [PMID: 16147894]

Klerman EB, St Hilaire MA. On mathematical modeling of circadian rhythms, performance, and alertness.
J Biol Rhythms. 2007 Apr;22(2):91-102. Review. [PMID: 17440211]

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