Photo of Steven A. Shea, Ph.D.

Steven A. Shea Ph.D.

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.


  • B.Sc., Loughborough University United Kingdom 1982
  • Ph.D., University of London United Kingdom 1989
  • Certifications:

    • Certificate of Completion, Leadership Program, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, 2010

Memberships and associations

  • Sleep Research Society
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine


  • "The effect of visual and auditory stimuli upon resting ventilation in man" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology  1987
  • "Endogenous circadian rhythm in human motor activity uncoupled from circadian influences on cardiac dynamics" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America December 26 2007
  • "Effects of inspiratory support upon breathing in humans during wakefulness and sleep" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology  1993
  • "Sleep disorders, health, and safety in police officers" JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association December 21 2011
  • "The human endogenous circadian system causes greatest platelet activation during the biological morning independent of behaviors" PLoS One September 8 2011
  • "Upper airway muscle responsiveness to rising PCO2 during NREM sleep" Journal of Applied Physiology  2000
  • "Life without ventilatory chemosensitivity" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology November 1997
  • "Respiratory sensations in subjects who lack a ventilatory response to CO2" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology  1993
  • "Behavioral and language-dependent tests of respiratory sensations in congenital central hypoventilation syndrome" Pediatric Pulmonology  1997
  • "Wake up to insomnia" Nature and Science of Sleep  2011
  • "Treatment of hypertension and its effect on cardiovascular risk factors" Circulation  1985
  • "Is there a circadian variation of epileptiform abnormalities in idiopathic generalized epilepsy?" Epilepsy and Behavior November 2009
  • "Absence of detectable melatonin and preservation of cortisol and thyrotropin rhythms in tetraplegia" Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism  2000
  • "Air hunger induced by acute increase in PCO2 adapts to chronic elevation of PCO2 in ventilated humans" Journal of Applied Physiology August 1996
  • "Reduced tidal volume increases 'air hunger' at fixed PCO2 in ventilated quadriplegics" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology  1992
  • "Polysomnographic respiratory abnormalities in asymptomatic individuals" Sleep  2008
  • "Volume detection during voluntary and passive breathing" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology  1991
  • "Behavioural and arousal-related influences on breathing in humans" Experimental Physiology January 1996
  • "Omission of cross-references between related articles" American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine October 1 2002
  • "Evaluation of a single-channel nasal pressure device to assess obstructive sleep apnea risk in laboratory and home environments" Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine  2013
  • "Respiratory and cardiovascular effects of central and peripheral intravenous injections of capsaicin in man" Clinical Science  1986
  • "Hypercapnia can induce arousal from sleep in the absence of altered respiratory mechanoreception" American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine  2000
  • "Does the abnormal pattern of breathing in patients with interstitial lung disease persist in deep, non-rapid eye movement sleep" American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine  1989
  • "Competition between gas exchange and speech production in ventilated subjects" Biological Psychology September 1998
  • "Non-random fluctuations and multi-scale dynamics regulation of human activity" Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications June 1 2004
  • "Self-control of level of mechanical ventilation to minimize CO2 induced air hunger" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology February 1996
  • "Evidence for individuality of breathing patterns in resting healthy man" Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology  1987
  • "Human circadian system causes a morning peak in prothrombotic plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) independent of the sleep/wake cycle" Blood January 23 2014
  • "Microgravity reduces sleep-disordered breathing in humans" American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine August 1 2001
  • "Erratum (Journal of Physiology (1991) 440)" Journal of Physiology  1991

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