Instructor in Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis St
Boston MA 02115
|Monash University, Australia||BSc (Hons)||10/2013||Psychology|
|Monash University, Australia||PhD||07/2018||Psychological Medicine|
Abstract Excellence Award - Australian Chronobiology Society
Certificate of Distinction in Teaching - Derek Bok Center, Harvard University
Abstract Merit Award - Society for Research on Biological Rhythms
Research Excellence Award - Brigham Research Institute
Outstanding Abstract Award - Endocrine Society
Dr. Grant is an Associate Physiologist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and an Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on the effects of sleep, the circadian system and light on behavioral, metabolic, and endocrine outcomes in humans.
Sleep and circadian rhythms in women’s health
A primary focus of Dr. Grant’s research is understanding sleep and circadian control of metabolism, reproduction, and cognition in women. This work has examined menstrual cycle regulation of 1) vulnerability to neurobehavioral impairment associated with sleep loss and adverse circadian timing; and 2) circadian and diurnal rhythms in female sex hormones in premenopausal women. In ongoing work, she is exploring the effects of menopause-related sleep and hormone changes on metabolism (nutrient utilization and energy expenditure) and cognition.
Shift work and metabolism
While light is the primary time cue for entraining central circadian rhythms, such as melatonin, peripheral metabolic rhythms may be more responsive to other time cues, for example food. Dr. Grant’s recent work has shown that 1) eating at night, as many shift workers do, acutely effects lipid levels in addition to causing internal desynchrony in the timing of lipid rhythms, and 2) lipid and hepatic rhythms show differential resetting compared to melatonin in response to simulated shift work paradigms, suggesting that light may not be the primary time cue for resetting some metabolic rhythms. Her ongoing work is examining how acute metabolic responses to food change with circadian phase.
Non-visual effects of light
In addition to allowing us to see, light has a number of ‘non-visual’ benefits including improved alertness, sleep and mood. Dr. Grant has studied the acute alerting effects of light 1) as a countermeasure to mitigate vulnerability to performance impairment overnight in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, and 2) to improve alertness, performance and learning in moderately sleep restricted college-aged adults. Currently, she is examining whether supplementing sub-optimal ambient lighting with a task lamp can improve alertness, mood, and cognition.
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