APPLICATION: NEW DEADLINE = FEB 22, 2013!
START DATE CHANGE: May 27, 2013!
Program of Research
Research projects in the lab focus on examining sleep patterns, circadian rhythms, and related processes in adolescents and young adults. Sleep patterns in humans depend upon the complex interplay of distinct extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Research in our laboratory reflects a longstanding interest in the fundamental organization of sleeping and waking patterns in humans. Our group currently has a broad program of research that focuses on the development and regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms in children, adolescents, and young adults. The program’s major projects enable us to examine these issues with experimental paradigms involving manipulating sleep and with studies that evaluate sleep/wake and circadian processes at fundamental mechanistic levels.
Summer studies bring adolescents and young adults into the laboratory for extended periods to undertake careful and lengthy assessments of sleep and circadian rhythm control mechanisms. Using such paradigms as forced desynchrony, we measure phase, period, and amplitude of circadian rhythms as well as the strength of the sleep/wake homeostatic process. All these parameters are assessed in relation to developmental stage. Research participants are recruited to “Sleep for Science,” and the participants become collaborators in the research endeavor.
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Sleep and Chronobiology Research Lab
The E.P. Bradley Hospital Sleep and Chronobiology Research Lab was established in 1985 and remains part of Bradley Hospital, a Lifespan Partner affiliated with Brown University. The laboratory building, located at 300 Duncan Drive on the campus of Butler Hospital on Providence’s East Side, is a free-standing facility containing a 4-bedroom laboratory, offices, testing areas, storage space, and kitchen facilities and an annex with an assay lab, graduate student offices, a classroom, and additional research space. The laboratory director is Mary A. Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Other academic leaders in the laboratory are Katherine Sharkey, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor; Eliza Van Reen, Ph.D., lecturer. Other affiliated faculty and fellows include John McGeary, Ph.D., Valerie Knopik, Ph.D., Rachel Herz, Ph.D., Ron Seifer, Ph.D., Dave Barker, Ph.D., and Chantelle Hart, Ph.D., of Brown University and/or Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Kathleen Perri, M.A., of Valencia College; Leila Tarokh, Ph.D., Zurich University. Core members of the research team at the lab include data coordinator Caroline Gredvig-Ardito; research assistants Dave Bushnell, Erin Campopiano, and Sharon Driscoll; research technologists Ellyn Ferriter and Katie Esterline; administrative secretary Marian Elliott; programmer Michelle Loxley.
Recent and Relevant References
Hagenauer, M.H., Perryman, J.I., Lee, T.M., Carskadon, M.A. Adolescent changes in the homeostatic and circadian regulation of sleep. Dev. Neurosci. 31:276-284, 2009.
Crowley, S.C. and Carskadon, M.A. Modifications to weekend recovery sleep delay circadian phase in older adolescents. Chronobio. Int. 27(7):1469-1492, 2010.
Tarokh, L., Carskadon, M.A., and Achermann, P. Developmental changes in brain connectivity assessed using the sleep EEG. Neuroscience 171(2):622-634, 2010.
Van Reen, E., Tarokh, L., Rupp, T.L., Seifer, R., and Carskadon, M.A. Does timing of alcohol administration affect sleep? Sleep 34(2):195-205, 2011.
Sharkey, K.M., Carskadon, M.A., Figueiro, M.G., Zhu, Y., and Rea, M.S. Effects of an advanced sleep schedule and morning short wavelength light exposure on circadian phase in young adults with delayed sleep schedule misalignment. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 12(7):685-692, 2011.
Short, M.A., Gradisar, M., Wright, H., Lack, L.C., Dohnt, H., and Carskadon, M.A. Time for bed: Parent-set bedtimes associated with improved sleep and daytime functioning of adolescents. Sleep 13(4):378-384, 2012.
Tarokh, L., Van Reen, E., Acebo, C., LeBourgeois, M., Seifer, R., Fallone, G., and Carskadon, M.A. Adolescence and parental history of alcoholism: Insights from the sleep EEG. Alc. Clin. Exp. Res. 36(9):1530-1541, 2012.
Carskadon, M.A., Sharkey, K.M., Knopik, V.S., and McGeary, J.E. Short sleep as an environmental exposure: A preliminary study associating 5-HTTLPR genotype to self-reported sleep duration and depressed mood in first-year university students. Sleep 35(6):791-796, 2012.
Tarokh, L., Carskadon, M.A., and Achermann, P. Dissipation of sleep pressure is stable across adolescence. Neuroscience 216:167-177, 2012.
Short, M.A., Gradisar, M., Lack, L.C., Wright, H.R., Dewald, J., Wolfson, A., and Carskadon, M.A. A cross-cultural comparison of sleep duration between U.S. and Australian adolescents: The effect of school start time, parent-set bedtimes, and extra-curricular load. Health Educ. Behav. (2012). [Epub ahead of print]
Rea, M.S., Figueiro, M.G., Sharkey, K.M., and Carskadon, M.A. Relationship of morning cortisol to circadian phase and rising time in young adults with delayed sleep times. Int. J. Endocrinol. 12:, 2012. doi: 10.1155/2012/749460. Epub 2012 Oct 22.
Sands, M., Loucks, E.B., Lu, B., Carskadon, M.A., Sharkey, K., Stefanick, M., Ockene, J., Shah, N., Hairston, K.G., Robinson, J., Limacher, M., Hale, L., and Eaton, C.B. Self-reported snoring and risk of cardiovascular disease among postmenopausal women (from the Women’s Health Initiative). Am. J. Cardiol. 2012 Dec 4. doi:pii: S0002-9149(12)02325-9. 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.10.039. [Epub ahead of print].
Van Reen, E., Rupp, T.L., Acebo, C., Seifer R., and Carskadon, M.A. Biphasic effects of alcohol as a function of circadian phase. Sleep (in press).
Zhu, Y., Fu, A., Hoffman, A.E., Figueiro, M.G., Carskadon, M.A., Sharkey, K.M., and Rea, M.S. Advanced sleep schedules affect circadian gene expression in young adults with delayed sleep schedules. Sleep Med. (in press).
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Commitment [May 21-August 21, 2013]
Complete the application form (link at the top of this page) and submit it by 18 February 2013. Have 2 letters of recommendation (from professors) sent or emailed directly to Dr. Carskadon by the same deadline. Candidates are subsequently interviewed by telephone or in person (if from a local university or college). The application form can be downloaded by clicking on "application form" at the top of this page.
Students who are admitted to the apprenticeship through this process are also eligible to enroll in CLPS1194 through the Brown University Office of Continuing Education. Tuition and fees are NOT covered by the Sleep Lab. You will not receive a Brown transcript credit for the experience unless you opt to enroll in this course and pay the university fees.
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Undergraduate students with strong interest in behavioral sciences research and who demonstrate enthusiasm for, commitment to, and availability for the full program are encouraged to apply. Previous courses or lab work in sleep or circadian rhythms are helpful but not required. Students from local institutions, especially Brown University, are encouraged to maintain participation in sleep lab activities beyond the summer by working on sleep studies during the school year. Apprentices must reside in or near Providence for the summer. [Graduate students may be accepted under special circumstances. Students may apply for a repeat summer experience as a Senior Research Apprentice (usually no more than 3), with a slightly higher stipend.] Successful applicants are required to apply for student membership in the Sleep Research Society.
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What Research Apprentices Learn: Formal Training Program
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What Research Apprentices Do
The major research project during the summer assesses the circadian rhythms and sleep homeostatic process in children and adolescents. This project includes lengthy in-lab sessions that involve assessments on non-24-hour days, thus necessitating staff involvement at times that circle the clock.
Research Apprentices carry out multiple facets of data collection (electrode application, one–to-one work with research participants, forms and tests administration), data reduction, and data entry. During the research phases of the program, apprentices are assigned to teams and work 5 or 6 days each week—not always Monday through Friday, often Saturday and Sunday—in research protocols that involve working unusual schedules. Although we attempt to assign teams to hours that correspond to team members’ circadian phase preferences, applicants must be able and willing to work on any of the following types of schedules for all or part of the program: “Owl” shifts may begin as early as 2 pm or as late as 9:45 pm and end as early as 10:30 pm or as late as 5:45 am; “lark” shifts may begin as early as 3:00 am or as late as noon and may end as early as 8:45 am or as late as 5:15 pm; “neither” shifts may begin as early as 6:45 am or as late a 3:45 pm and end as early as 11:00 am or as late as 10:15 pm. [Sleep planning assistance is provided to help your adaptation to work schedules; sample schedules are available on request.]
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Stipend and Other Benefits
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The 2013 summer research project is funded by a grant from the Periodic Breathing Foundation. Academic activities of the summer apprenticeship program are sponsored by a gift from Brown University alumnus, Robert Daly.
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