Graduate Studies Faculty
Alfred J. Lewy, M.D., Ph.D.
Programs:Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:Light, melatonin, winter depression, shift work, jet lag, newborns, blind people, depression, sleep disorders, circadian rhythms » PubMed Listing
Preceptor RotationsDr. Lewy has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty MentorshipDr. Lewy has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.
Summary of Current Research
My laboratory studies chronobiologic sleep and mood disorders. These disorders include winter depression, jet lag, maladaptation to shift work and certain types of sleep disturbances. Relying on a very precise assay for plasma melatonin (a hormone that has a clearly defined 24-hour pattern of secretion), biological rhythm disorders can be assessed and their treatment can be monitored. Current research is focused on developing bright light exposure and melatonin administration as treatment modalities for these disorders. Treatment must be precisely scheduled. Morning light exposure and evening melatonin administration cause circadian phase-advance shifts; evening light exposure and morning melatonin administration cause circadian phase-delay shifts. Totally blind individuals have 25-hour circadian rhythms, drifting an hour later each day, unless they take a melatonin capsule at a certain time every day.
Lewy A., Emens J., Jackman A. and Yuhas K. (2006) Circadian uses of melatonin in humans. Chronobiology Int. 23(1-2): 403-412
M.D., Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1973