Mary Carskadon

Adolescent sleep: Timing is everything…or is it?

Mary A. Carskadon, PhD
Professor, Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Director, Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory
EP Bradley Hospital
Providence, RI 02906 USA

Keynote Summary: A major focus of Dr. Carskadon’s scientific activities is research examining interrelations between the circadian timing system and sleep/wake patterns of children, adolescents, and young adults. Her findings have raised public health issues regarding the consequences of insufficient sleep for adolescents as well as concerns about early starting times of schools. Her work has affected education policy, prompting the AAP, CDC, and others to promote later school timing for adolescents and many school districts to delay school start times for high school students.

Carskadon’s current research includes an evaluation of how sleep and circadian timing influence smell, taste, food choices, and food consumption in overweight and assessing effects of serial nights of alcohol on sleep and next-day function in adults. Proposed new projects seek to (1) assess the chronic and direct effects of caffeine on circadian and homeostatic sleep systems in early adolescents; (2) evaluate sleep health disparities in inner-city children with chronic asthma; (3) measure gene methylation and genotype with observational phenotyping and experimental sleep interventions in young adults.

Biosketch: Mary A. Carskadon, PhD is an authority on adolescent sleep and circadian rhythms. Dr. Carskadon serves as director of the Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory at Bradley Hospital and is a Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Carskadon’s early research with her graduate mentor, William C. Dement, culminated in the development and application of a standardized measure for daytime sleep tendency, the multiple sleep latency test.

Dr. Carskadon is a distinguished alumna of Gettysburg College in psychology and holds a doctorate in neuro- and bio-behavioral sciences from Stanford University, with a specialty in sleep research. She is a past president of the Sleep Research Society and is a co-founder of the Northeastern Sleep Society and organized the Women in Sleep Research interest group of the SRS. Dr. Carskadon has received awards from several national organizations recognizing her scientific, educational, and public policy contributions, including Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Sleep Foundation, Outstanding Educator and Distinguished Scientist Awards of the Sleep Research Society, and Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service and Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Awards of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


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