Faculty Profiles

Steven A. Shea, PhD

Director, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
RJH 2501J

Read more about Dr. Shea 's research

PubMed Listing


Sleep Research Society
American Academy of Sleep Medicine


President's Council, OHSU, member 2012-
Let's Get Healthy Advisory Board, OHSU, member 2012-
American Sleep Medicine Foundation, President (2010-2013)
American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Director (2009-2014)
American Board of Sleep Medicine, Director (2009-2014)
Research Committee, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Member (2002-2009; Chair 2007-2009)
Program Committee SLEEP APSS International Conferences, Member (2006-2009)
Circadian Rhythms Section, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Chair (2008-2009)
Selection Committee, Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Chair (2007-2012)


Nature and Science of Sleep (Editor-in-chief)
American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease (Editor)
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Editor)


The effect of circadian rhythms and sleep disorders on human disease. 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, epileptic seizures of the brain's temporal lobe usually occur in the late afternoon or early evening, and asthma is generally worst at night. In addition, shift work, when behaviors occur at unusual circadian phases, is related to increased prevalence of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. 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. (Honours), Human Biology, Loughborough University, UK, 1982

Ph.D., Physiology  (Thesis Advisor: Professor Abraham Guz), University of London, London, UK 1989

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


1989-1992,  Lecturer in Physiology, Physiology,  Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, University of London, London, UK

1992-2000, Assistant Professor of Physiology, Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

1997-2001, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

2002-Present, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

1998-2010, Associate Director, Sleep Health Centers, Newton, MA then Brighton, MA (affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital)


1: Buxton OM, Cain SW, O'Connor SP, Porter JH, Duffy JF, Wang W, Czeisler CA, Shea SA. Adverse metabolic consequences in humans of prolonged sleep restriction  combined with circadian disruption. Sci Transl Med. 2012 Apr 11;4(129):129ra43. PubMed PMID: 22496545.

2: Jeyaraj D, Scheer FA, Ripperger JA, Haldar SM, Lu Y, Prosdocimo DA, Eapen SJ,  Eapen BL, Cui Y, Mahabeleshwar GH, Lee HG, Smith MA, Casadesus G, Mintz EM, Sun H, Wang Y, Ramsey KM, Bass J, Shea SA, Albrecht U, Jain MK. Klf15 orchestrates circadian nitrogen homeostasis. Cell Metab. 2012 Mar 7;15(3):311-23. PubMed PMID: 22405069; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3299986.

3: Jeyaraj D, Haldar SM, Wan X, McCauley MD, Ripperger JA, Hu K, Lu Y, Eapen BL,  Sharma N, Ficker E, Cutler MJ, Gulick J, Sanbe A, Robbins J, Demolombe S, Kondratov RV, Shea SA, Albrecht U, Wehrens XH, Rosenbaum DS, Jain MK. Circadian rhythms govern cardiac repolarization and arrhythmogenesis. Nature. 2012 Feb 22;483(7387):96-9. doi: 10.1038/nature10852. PubMed PMID: 22367544; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3297978.

4: Rajaratnam SM, Barger LK, Lockley SW, Shea SA, Wang W, Landrigan CP, O'Brien CS, Qadri S, Sullivan JP, Cade BE, Epstein LJ, White DP, Czeisler CA; Harvard Work Hours, Health and Safety Group. Sleep disorders, health, and safety in police officers. JAMA. 2011 Dec 21;306(23):2567-78. PubMed PMID: 22187276.

5: Shea SA, Hilton MF, Hu K, Scheer FA. Existence of an endogenous circadian blood pressure rhythm in humans that peaks in the evening. Circ Res. 2011 Apr 15;108(8):980-4. Epub 2011 Apr 7. PubMed PMID: 21474818; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3086568.

6: Hu K, Scheer FA, Laker M, Smales C, Shea SA. Endogenous circadian rhythm in vasovagal response to head-up tilt. Circulation. 2011 Mar 8;123(9):961-70. Epub 2011 Feb 21. PubMed PMID: 21339480; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3089897.

7: Scheer FA, Hu K, Evoniuk H, Kelly EE, Malhotra A, Hilton MF, Shea SA. Impact of the human circadian system, exercise, and their interaction on cardiovascular  function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Nov 23;107(47):20541-6. Epub 2010 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 21059915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2996667.

8: Litinski M, Scheer FA, Shea SA. Influence of the Circadian System on Disease Severity. Sleep Med Clin. 2009 Jun 1;4(2):143-163. PubMed PMID: 20161149; PubMed  Central PMCID: PMC2733366.

9: Scheer FA, Hilton MF, Mantzoros CS, Shea SA. Adverse metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of circadian misalignment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.  2009 Mar 17;106(11):4453-8. Epub 2009 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 19255424; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2657421.

10: Hu K, Scheer FA, Ivanov PCh, Buijs RM, Shea SA. The suprachiasmatic nucleus functions beyond circadian rhythm generation. Neuroscience. 2007 Nov 9;149(3):508-17. Epub 2007 Oct 24. PubMed PMID: 17920204; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2759975.