Research Fellows Directory
Professor Derk-Jan Dijk FSB
University of Surrey
Sleep and circadian rhythmicity are important determinants of health and well-being. My research at the University of Surrey focusses on the interaction of sleep and circadian rhythmicity in humans and individual differences herein.
Sleep loss and circadian disruption lead to deterioration of waking performance but some individuals are more affected than others. One strand of my current research focusses on understanding the mechanisms underlying these individual differences as well as the identification of novel biomarkers for the vulnerability to cognitive decline associated with sleep and circadian disruption. This is accomplished in highly multidisciplinary research involving extensive cognitive testing and gene expression analyses in clinical studies under controlled environmental conditions as well as the assessment of individual differences in circadian parameters both in vivo and in vitro. Sex differences in sleep and circadian rhythms represent one focus area of the current research efforts. In addition, mathematical models of sleep-wake regulation and the influence of light on the biological clock are increasingly being used to predict effects of shift work or changes in the light environment on sleep patterns in humans . In addition, we are now developing blood tests for circadian clock abnormalities. This will greatly enhance our abilities to monitor circadian rhythms in individuals while they are going about their normal lives
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)