Research

Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen

Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen

The Centre for Chronobiology – based at the Psychiatric University Hospital and affiliated with the Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences at the University of Basel – is headed by Prof. Christian Cajochen.

Investigative work in our research group focuses on circadian and homeostatic regulation of human sleep-wake rhythms, alertness, cognitive performance, mood, memory consolidation, as well as thermo- and endocrine system- regulation.

One of our main emphasis is understanding the role of so-called  “Zeitgebers” (i.e. synchronizers) in the regulation of the human circadian timing system and their repercussions on circadian and sleep-wake physiology, endocrine  rhythms and subjective and objective markers of sleepiness, motivation and well-being. Currently we are conducting projects targeting non-visual effects of photic Zeitgebers (artificial light and daylight), caffeine, and environmental noise on sleep and circadian rhythms using intensive physiological monitoring ranging from molecular, endocrine, electrophysiological, brain imaging techniques to subjective markers.

It is our goal to translate our research results into clinical aspects in the field of sleep medicine, psychiatry and occupational health medicine. Hence, we have recently initiated different applied and clinical projects to improve lighting conditions at the work-place, as well as provide chronotherapeutic trainings to improve circadian sleep-wake rhythms of employees in companies and hospitals.