Our expertise

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk BSc, MSc, PhD – Director of Sleep/Wake Research, Professor of Sleep and Physiology and Director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre (SSRC)

Prof Dijk has more than 25 years of experience in sleep research. His research interests include the evaluation of human sleep and biological rhythms, quantitative EEG analysis, effects of light on sleep, performance and circadian rhythms, aging and sleep disorders.

He has worked collaboratively with the Pharmaceutical Industry on a number of projects involving the development of hypnotics and counter measures for shift-work and jet lag. His research is also funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and The Airforce Office of Scientific Research.

Professor Dijk is a Member of the European Sleep Research Society, Sleep Research Society, British Sleep Society, The Society for Neuroscience and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms. He has published more than 150 papers on sleep and circadian rhythms and is frequently invited to speak at national and international scientific conferences.

Professor Debra Skene BPharm, MSc, PhD - Professor of Neuroendocrinology 

Professor Skene's team's research is focused on the human circadian timing system in particular investigation of the causes, consequences and treatment of circadian rhythm disorders. Optimization of therapies to correct human clock disorders, such as appropriately timed light and melatonin, is a long term goal.

  • circadian rhythms in the blind, effect of visual loss and visual pathologies
  • characterisation and treatment of circadian rhythm disorders as experienced by blind people, shift workers, transmeridian air travellers and the elderly
  • role of endogenous and exogenous melatonin in circadian sleep disorders
  • investigation of circadian photoentrainment (optimum characteristics of light and melatonin) in humans
  • nature of the circadian photoreception pathway (retinal photoreceptors, neurotransmitters involved)
  • role of retina in human photic information processing, effect of ageing
  • age-related changes in the circadian timing system; effect of light on sleep, activity and the clock

Dr Simon Archer BSc, PhD - Reader in Chronobiology

Dr Archer's current research interests include the molecular aspects of the circadian clock and sleep homeostat systems. He is particularly interested in how polymorphisms in sleep and circadian genes can affect gene expression and function, and be associated with inter-individual differences in sleep and circadian-related phenotypes, in both humans and animal models.

Dr Jonathan Johnston BPharm MPhil PhD - Reader in Chronobiology and Integrative Physiology

Dr Johnston's research interests include the study of internal 'biological clocks' that influence many aspects of physiology (e.g. body temperature, sleep, hormone secretion and cell division), the circadian regulation of adipose physiology and the seasonal rhythmicity and melatonin receptor expression.