Chronobiology – University of Surrey

Chronobiology - University of Surrey

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Contact: Debra  
Position: Professor
Address: GU2 7XH
City: Guildford
Country: United Kingdom
Contact Email: Contact laboratory
KEYWORDS: Sleep and Ageing, Sleep and Body Functions (Cardio-Respiratory, Thermoregulation/Metabolism, Endocrine), Light and Non-Classical Photoreception, Biological Rhythms, Molecular Biology-Endocrinology-Biochemistry


Laboratory Description:

Research is focussed on the human circadian timing system in particular investigation of the causes, consequences and treatment of circadian rhythm disorders (such as shift work, jet lag and blindness). Optimisation of therapies to correct human clock disorders, such as appropriately timed light and melatonin, is a long term goal. Research areas include visual loss and circadian rhythms; circadian photoreception; ageing and the circadian timing system; factors affecting adaptation to shift work; metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of circadian desynchrony; circadian metabolomics.

Additional Descriptors, Keywords:

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
Shift work sleep disorder
Non 24 h sleep/wake disorder
Lighting for health

KEY Publications of the Laboratory:

Revell, V.L., Arendt, J., Terman, M. and Skene, D.J. Short-wavelength sensitivity of the human circadian system to phase-advancing light. J. Biol. Rhythms (2005) 20, 270-272.

Herljevic, M., Middleton, B., Thapan, K. and Skene, D.J. Light-induced melatonin suppression: Age-related reduction in response to short wavelength light. Experimental Gerontol. (2005) 40, 237-242.

Mistlberger, R. and Skene, D.J. Nonphotic entrainment in humans? J. Biol. Rhythms (2005) 20, 339-352.

Hack, L.M., Lockley, S.W., Arendt, J. and Skene, D.J. The effects of low dose 0.5 mg melatonin on the free-running circadian rhythms of blind subjects. J. Biol. Rhythms (2003) 18, 420-429.

Warman, V.L., Djik, D.-J., Warman, G., Arendt, J. and Skene, D.J. Phase advancing human circadian rhythms with short wavelength light. Neurosci. Letts. (2003) 342, 37-40.

Archer, S.N., Robilliard, D.L., Skene, D.J., Smits, M.G., Williams, A., Arendt, J. and von Schantz M. A length polymorphism in the circadian clock gene Per3 is linked to delayed sleep phase syndrome and extreme diurnal preference. Sleep (2003) 26, 413-415.45.

Robilliard, D.L., Archer, S.N., Arendt, J., Lockley, S.W., Hack, L.M., English, J., Leger, D., Smits, M.G., Williams, A., Skene, D.J. and von Schantz M. The 3111Clock gene polymorphism is not associated with sleep and circadian rhythmicity in phenotypically characterised human subjects. J. Sleep Res. (2002) 11, 305-312.

Thapan, K., Arendt, J. and Skene, D.J. An action spectrum for melatonin suppression: evidence for a novel non-rod, non-cone photoreceptor system in humans. J. Physiol. (2001) 535, 261-267

Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., James, K., Thapan, K., Wright, J. and Arendt, J. Melatonin administration can entrain the free-running circadian system of blind subjects. J. Endocr. (2000) 164, R1-R6.

Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J. and Arendt, J. Comparison between subjective and actigraphic measurements of sleep and sleep rhythms. J. Sleep Res. (1999) 8, 175-183.

Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Butler, L. and Arendt, J. Sleep and activity rhythms are related to circadian phase in the blind. Sleep (1999) 22, 616-623.

Arendt, J., Middleton, B., Stone, B. and Skene, D. Complex effects of melatonin: evidence for photoperiodic responses in humans? Sleep (1999) 22, 625-635.

Skene, D.J., Lockley, S.W., James, K. and Arendt, J. Correlation between urinary cortisol and 6-sulphatoxymelatonin rhythms in field studies of blind subjects. Clin. Endocrinol. (1999) 50, 715-719.

Tabandeh, H., Lockley, S.W., Buttery, R., Skene, D.J., Defrance, R., Arendt, J. amd Bird, A.C. Disturbance of sleep in blindness. Amer. J. Ophthalmol. (1998) 126, 707-712.

Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Thapan, K, English, J., Ribeiro, D., Haimov, I., Hampton, S., Middleton, B., von Schantz, M. and Arendt, J. Extraocular light exposure does not suppress plasma melatonin in humans. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1998) 83, 3369-3372.

Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Arendt, J., Tabandeh, H., Bird, A.C. and Defrance, R. Relationship between melatonin rhythms and visual loss in the blind. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1997) 82, 3763-3770.

Arendt, J., Skene, D.J., Middleton, B., Lockley, S.W. and Deacon, S. Efficacy of melatonin treatment in jet lag, shift work and blindness. J. Biol. Rhythms (1997) 12, 604-617.

Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Tabandeh, H., Bird, A.C., Defrance, R. and Arendt, J. Relationship between napping and melatonin in the blind. J. Biol. Rhythms (1997) 12, 16-25.

Ruberg, F.L., Skene, D.J., Hanifin, J.P., Rollag, M.D., English, J., Arendt, J. and Brainard, G.C. Melatonin regulation in humans with color vision deficiencies. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1996) 81, 2980-2985.

Lockley, S.W., Tabandeh, H., Skene, D., Buttery, R., Bird, A.C., Defrance, R. and Arendt, J. Day-time naps and melatonin in blind people. Lancet (1995) 346, 1491.

Bojkowski, C.J., Aldhous, M.E., English, J., Franey, C., Poulton, A.L., Skene, D.J. and Arendt, J. Suppression of nocturnal plasma melatonin and 6-sulphatoxymelatonin by bright and dim light in man. Horm. Metab. Res. (1987) 9, 437-440.