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Dr. Chang received her Ph.D. from the Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience, where she trained with Drs. Joseph Takahashi and Phyllis Zee. Her research efforts focused on the physiologic and genetic characterization of sleep and circadian biology including: 1) identification and characterization of molecular genetic mechanisms of the mammalian circadian clock, 2) physiologic evaluation of human sleep and circadian rhythm phenotypes including Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD) and Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD), and 3) genetic mapping of loci underlying the sleep disorder familial ASPD.
Dr. Chang completed her postdoctoral training in the Division of Sleep Medicine (DSM) of Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Czeisler. Her clinical research examined the effects of light on circadian rhythms, sleep physiology, and neurobehavioral function; and the genetic influence on well-characterized circadian and sleep phenotypes. Following her appointment to Instructor in the DSM, Dr. Chang began working on several epidemiological studies and was awarded a Mentored Career Development Award (K01) from the NIH/NHLBI entitled “Effect of Circadian Gene Variants on Sleep, Obesity, and Metabolic Phenotypes.” The research goal of this project was to investigate the role of candidate genetic variants on sleep behavior, obesity and cardio-metabolic outcome measures across the lifespan using a candidate gene approach in multiple, large cohorts.
Currently Dr. Chang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health with an appointment in the College of Nursing. Her research experience involves the physiologic evaluation and genetic analysis of sleep, circadian rhythms, and cardio-metabolic function in humans, particularly in phenotypes of extreme sleep and circadian behaviors with a goal of informing and developing better research criteria for identifying and accurately characterizing these behavioral phenotypes. Her current research examines the associations between candidate gene variants and measures of sleep duration, obesity, and cardio-metabolic function; and to further investigate potential gene-gene interactions and pathways involved in these complex behaviors.