Elizabeth Klerman, MD PhD

Neurology, Research Institute
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Research Staff
Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
PhD Harvard medical school 1990
MD Harvard Medical School 1990
MD Harvard Medical School/ BWH 1990
PhD Harvard University Graduate School of Arts And Sciences 1990
circadian rhythms; sleep

At Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Harvard Medical School (HMS), my efforts are concentrated in clinical and biomathematical research, teaching, and clinical practice. My areas of research are (i) the application of circadian and sleep research principles to normal and pathophysiologic states and (ii) mathematical analysis and modeling of human circadian, sleep, and neurobehavioral mood and performance rhythms. 

My clinical research focuses on the influences of circadian and sleep rhythms in normal and pathological states. Research projects have included studies of sleep and circadian rhythms in blind people, changes in sleep and performance in healthy aging, the effects of chronic sleep restriction on neurobehavioral performance and alertness, and the effects of light and darkness on circadian rhythms. I have also done studies that combine outpatient and inpatient assessments of sleep and circadian rhythms. My study of the effect of a melatonin agonist on sleep and circadian rhythms was published in 2008 in The Lancet and featured on the cover of that journal. My study of the effects of chronic sleep restriction, on which I was co-PI, was published in Science Translational Medicine in 2010 and was featured on the online cover of that journal; my second study of chronic sleep restriction on which I was PI was published in PNAS in 2018. Recent work includes the effects of light on non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease (published in JAMA Neurology); the effects of light and melatonin concentrations on uterine contractions in late-term pregnant women (J Pineal Research); identifying objective physiological markers and modifiable behaviors for self-reported stress and mental health status using wearable sensors and mobile phones in college students (Journal of Medical Internet Research); and relationships between timing of eating and lean/non-lean body composition and food choice in college students. (Am J Clin Nutr, Nutrients). I collaborate with investigators from other divisions and hospitals to apply the principles of circadian rhythms and sleep research to the study of human physiology and pathophysiology; current projects include collaborations with investigators in Ob/Gyn, cardiology, infectious disease, dermatology, metabolism, neurology, psychiatry, women’s health, and cancer epidemiology.

I am also Director of the Analytic and Modeling Unit (AMU) within the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at BWH. The work in analysis, modeling and simulation of biologic systems has included systematic mathematical exploration of many aspects of sleep, circadian rhythms and performance. Members of the AMU have developed new analytic techniques, and modeled and simulated experimental results and predictions. The work is part of the cycle of experimental work- mathematical modeling and predictions- experimental work.

(617) 643-2424
Sleep Medicine
100 Cambridge St
20th Floor- Neurology
20th floor - 2058
Boston, MA 02114