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Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen

Psychiatric University Clinics
Head, Centre for Chronobiology
Wilhelm-Kleinstr. 27
CH-4025 Basel, Switzerland
Tel: + 41 61 325 53 18, Fax: +41 61 325 55 77
Email: christian.cajochen@upkbs.ch
web: www.chronobiology.ch

Research Area(s)

Cognition, Emotion & Behavior
In Particular Sleep and Chronobiology

Previous and Current Research

We work in the fields of sleep and circadian rhythm research, and programs of both clinical care and patient-oriented research on the diagnosis and treatment of sleep and circadian-related disorders.

Sleep medicine, including sleep and circadian rhythm research, as well as clinical sleep-wake disorders medicine, has grown substantially over the past 20 years at our Centre.  It currently serves as the focus of the efforts of approximately 15 academic members (faculty, post-doc and PhD students) at the Centre for Chronobiology. The annual amount of financial support for the research grants awarded to the Centre is approx. 1 million CHF per year. We are also an affiliated partner of the Integrated EU project EUCLOCK and head of the subproject “entrainment in humans” (head by Prof. emerita Wirz-Justice).

Future Goals

Trying to bridge the gap between phenotype and genotype on different aspects of sleep regulatory mechanism and circadian regulation via the investigation of clock gene polymorphisms.

Trying to assess the impact of the non-visual effects of light through photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (melanopsin) on different physiological variables, such as sleep, clock gene expression, thermoregulation and molecular and endocrine circadian rhythms in healthy volunteers and cataract patients.

Trying to quantify the impact of disturbances in sleep-wake behavior and circadian rhythms on neuropsychological impairments in different psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, depression and borderline personality disorder

Trying to asses the impact of disturbances in thermoregulation on sleep and circadian physiology.

Trying to assess the impact of circadian phase and sleep on implicit and explicit memory paradigms.

Selected Publications

Schmidt, C., Peigneux, P., Muto, V., Schenkel, M., Knoblauch, V., Münch, M., de Quervain, D. J.-F., Wirz-Justice, A., Cajochen, C. (2006)
Encoding difficulty promotes postlearning changes in sleep spindle activity during napping. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(35): 8976-8982.

Cajochen, C., Münch, M., Kobialka, S., Kräuchi, K., Steiner, R., Oelhafen, P., Orgül, S., Wirz-Justice, A. (2005). High sensitivity of human melatonin, alertness, thermoregulation and heart rate to short wavelength light. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 90: 1311-1316.

Wirz-Justice, A., Terman, M., Oren, D.A., Goodwin, F.K., Kripke, D.F., Whybrow, P.C., Wisner, K.L., Wu, J.C., Lam, R.W., Berger, M., Danilenko, K.V., Kasper, S., Smeraldi, E., Takahashi, K., Thompson, C., van den Hoofdakker, R.H.(2004). Brightening Depression. Science, 303: 467-468.

Knoblauch, V., Kräuchi, K., Renz, C., Wirz-Justice, A., & Cajochen, C. (2002). Homeostatic control of slow wave- and spindle frequency activity during human sleep: effect of differential sleep pressure and brain topography. Cerebral Cortex, 12: 1092-1100.

Kräuchi, K., Cajochen, C., Werth, E. & Wirz-Justice A. (1999). Warm feet promote the rapid onset of sleep. Nature, 401: 36-37.

Homepage

www.chronobiology.ch

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