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Steven W. Lockley

Steven Lockley Steven W. Lockley  
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Neuroscientist, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston USA
Professor, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Person Type: 


What does working at the Center mean to you?

I recently joined the Center to assist Dr. John D. Spengler, Director, and Dr. Memo Cedeño Laurent, Program Leader, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Mitigation, in assessing the impact of sleep and light on undergraduate health as part of the Harvard University Houses refurbishment.

New lighting technologies provide the opportunity to decrease energy usage while developing “smart” lighting systems to improve alertness, safety, and productivity in the workplace, or to facilitate longer and better quality sleep at home. I will help apply the recent developments in understanding how light affects human physiology and health to Center projects.

Furthermore, undiagnosed sleep disorders, suboptimal work hour scheduling, and occupational and social practices contribute to workplace sleepiness that increases the risk of accidents and injuries, and are associated with chronic disease long-term. A focused effort to address workplace sleepiness is a key addition to wellness programs and evaluation of workplace health and safety. I will help develop opportunities for such interventions across the Center.


Dr. Lockley is a Neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is also a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

He received his BSc degree in Biology from the University of Manchester, UK in 1992 and a PhD in 1997 from the University of Surrey after studying circadian rhythms in the blind. He has 20 years’ experience on sleep and circadian rhythm research, and is a specialist in the effects of light on the circadian pacemaker and other ‘non-visual’ responses to light. This work has led to development of ‘smart’ lighting applications designed to improve alertness, safety and productivity.

He has also studied the impact of long work hours, sleepiness and sleep disorders on performance and health in occupational groups, including doctors, police and firefighters, and has led a number of workplace interventions that have reduced workplace errors and injury rates through application of work hours rescheduling and sleep disorders screening and treatment. He also advises NASA on jetlag and shiftwork alleviation for astronauts and mission controllers, respectively.

Dr. Lockley has published more than 100 original reports, reviews, chapters and editorials on sleep and circadian rhythms and his research is funded by NIH, NASA, DOD and others. He recently co-authored Sleep: A Very Short Introduction from Oxford University Press.