Clinical Physiology and Chronobiology Program

Program Members

Steven A. Shea, PhD

Steven A. Shea, PhD
Professor and Director
Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences

The goal of Dr. Shea’s research is to understand the biological basis behind changes in disease severity across the day and night, and to understand the physiological and adverse health effects of shift work. For instance, Dr. Shea is determining whether cardiovascular changes across the day and night 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 physiological and pathophysiological 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), and countermeasures aimed at reducing the adverse health effects of shift work.

Link to his faculty page

 Saurabh Thosar Ph.D., M.S., OTR/L

Saurabh S. Thosar, PhD, MS, OTR/L
Assistant Professor
Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences

Saurabh received a B.O.Th in Occupational Therapy from Maharashtra University of Health Science in India, an M.S. in Movement Sciences from the Univ. of Illinois Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Human Performance (Physiology) from Indiana Univ. Bloomington. He is a certified clinical exercise specialist and licensed occupational therapist. Saurabh has received a fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, an early clinical investigator award from the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon, and a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Thosar studies the interactions between sleep, circadian rhythms and physical inactivity/activity as they relate to cardiovascular disease; and the development of chronotherapeutic countermeasures to cardiovascular risks in vulnerable populations. Link to his faculty page.

Nichole Bowles, PhD, Research Assistant Professor

Nicole Bowles, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences

Dr. Bowles graduated with her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University and went on to earn a master's in clinical epidemiology from Weill Cornell Medical College as a Health Disparities and Community Engagement Research Fellow. Dr. Bowles who joined Dr. Shea's laboratory in August 2016 is currently funded by a Ford Foundation Fellowship; broadly her research focuses on the interplay between stress, endogenous circadian rhythms, and the endocannabinoid system in humans. Link to her faculty page.

Andrew W. McHill, PhD

Andrew McHill, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences

Dr. McHill graduated with a Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology with a specialization in sleep and circadian physiology from the University of Colorado Boulder. After graduating, he completed an NIH funded post-doctoral fellowship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School within the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders and joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in Dr. Shea's Circadian Laboratory in 2016 as a visiting post-doctoral fellow. In July 2017, he became a full time postdoctoral fellow within the institute. Dr. McHill is interested in understanding the contributing mechanisms by which circadian misalignment (i.e. shiftwork or jetlag) and insufficient sleep leads to adverse metabolic health and poor cognitive performance outcomes. Link to his faculty page.