Research Laboratories and Divisions

Medical Chronobiology Program (MCP) Research on Circadian Rhythms in Health and Disease

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Director: Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD

MCP video still 201706

“Circadian Rhythms and Your Health Video - Brigham and Women's Hospital”


MCP group photo 201808

Top row (left to right): Nicholas Leung, Lauren Kelly, Jared Stone, Frank Scheer, Sarah Chellappa, Kayla Kerlin‐Monteiro, Ivy Mason.
Bottom row (left to right): Suhina Srivastav, Nina Vujovic, Jingyi Qian, Hoa Nguyen, Su Wei Heng

MCP logo
The severity of many diseases varies across the 24-hour period. For example, heart attacks occur most frequently in the morning a few hours after waking up, temporal lobe epileptic seizures of the brain’s temporal lobe usually occur in the late afternoon or early evening, and asthma is generally worst at night. The goal of the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital is to understand the biological basis behind these time-variant changes in disease severity. We aim to determine whether or not these changes are caused by the body clock (the endogenous circadian pacemaker) or attributable to behaviors that occur on a regular daily basis, including the sleep/wake cycle. Understanding the biological basis of these changes across the day and night may provide an insight into the underlying cause of the disease and could lead to better therapy (e.g. appropriately timed medication to target specific phases of the body clock or to coincide with specific behaviors that cause vulnerability, such as exercise).

To study these effects, we study both healthy and diseased human volunteers while they live in a laboratory in dim light (to prevent the body clock from being reset) and over a period of 5-14 days, during which we adjust their scheduled behaviors including the sleep/wake cycle. During their stay, volunteers have no knowledge of the time. In this way, we can schedule all behaviors to occur at all phases of the body clock, which allows us to analyze the data for the separate influences from circadian and behavioral factors. In addition, we investigate the interaction between the circadian timing system and therapy in the treatment of, e.g., hypertension and nocturnal asthma.


List of Publications by MCP Faculty and Post-doctoral Fellows via PubMed.

News and Announcements:

News and Announcements  from HMS DSM about MCP.

Training and Employment Opportunities:

For training and employment opportunities in the Medical Chronobiology Program, contact Frank A.J.L. Scheer, Ph.D.


F_Scheer for MCP 20170914
Frank A.J.L Scheer, Ph.D.

Marta Garaulet, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Marta Garaulet, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Visiting Professor, University of Murcia, Spain


Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD

Affiliated Faculty

Kun Hu for MCP cropped
Saxena for MCPS_Shea for MCP webpage 201706
Steven Shea, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellows

MCP website - Sarah C.
Sarah Chellappa, MD, PhD
Ivy M.  MCP 2018
Jingy Qian
Vujovic for MCP webpage 2017

Research Staff

MCP Su Wei Heng 201808

Su Wei Heng

MCPLauren Kelly 201801

Lauren Kelly

MCP Kerlin 201801

Kayla Kerlin

Hoa Nguyen MCP 201808

Hoa Nguyen

Per Diem Research Staff

Joshua Bowen MCP

Joshua Bowen

MCP Jin Cheng 201801

Jin Cheng Chen

MCPTory Govan 201808

Tory Govan

MCP Matthew Mayer 201808

Matthew Mayer

MCP Luke Pezanko 201801

Luke Pezanko


MCP Nicholas Leung  201808

Nicholas Leung

MCP Suhina Srivastav 201808

Suhina Srivastav

MCP Jared Stone 20180

Jared Stone

Administrative Contact Name

Ellen Young

Medical Chronobiology Program, Division of Sleep Medicine, BWH
221 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115

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