Light + Human Health Symposium

Light + Human Health SymposiumAt the 2018 IES Research Symposium the latest research on how light during the day and night affects our circadian, biological, and behavioral responses will be presented along with discussions on how this research might affect current and future design applications. The Symposium brings together researchers and design professionals for an open exchange of ideas that will influence future priorities for developing and adopting metrics, standards, and recommended practices.

April 8-10, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown
590 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30308

Experiential Events
The Light + Human Health Symposium will include a tour of the SimTigrate Design Lab at Georgia Tech.

Preliminary Speakers

Samer Hattar

Samer Hattar, PhD – Opening Keynote Speaker

Senior Investigator and Chief, Section on Light and Circadian Rhythms (SLCR), National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Samer Hattar is a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Section on Light and Circadian Rhythms (SLCR). He received his PhD from the University of Houston in Texas under the mentorship of Arnold Eskin. From 2000-2004, Dr. Hattar was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute with Dr. King-Wai Yau.In 2004 Dr. Hattar joined the faculty of the Biology department at Johns Hopkins University with a joint appointment in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2017 Dr. Hattar joined the faculty of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. His research focuses on light effects on circadian rhythms, sleep, mood and learning.

Craig Zimring

Craig Zimring, PhD – Opening Keynote Speaker

Professor; Director, SimTigrate Design Lab, Georgia Tech

An environmental psychologist and professor of architecture, Dr. Zimring and his multidisciplinary research group of associated faculty and PhD students focus on understanding the relationships between the physical environment of healthcare and other facilities and human satisfaction, performance, and behavior. He has consulted and directed research with the Military Health System, NIH, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ascension Health, Centers for Disease Control, MCG Health, LSU Health Science Center, Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center, and numerous other organizations.

He currently serves on the board of the Center for Health Design and has served on the boards of the Environmental Design Research Association, the National Academies’ Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, the Joint Commission’s Roundtable on the Hospital of the Future and other organizations. He has more than 75 publications in the scholarly and professional press and has won 10 awards for his research.

David E. Blask

David E. Blask, PhD, MD

Professor, Department of Structural & Cellular Biology, Tulane University School of Medicine

For the past 35 years, Dr. Blask has dedicated his research career to understanding the mechanisms by which the central circadian system of the brain regulates human breast cancer growth and metabolism via the nighttime circadian production of the pineal gland hormone melatonin. He is a Professor in the Dept. of Structural & Cellular Biology, Head of the Laboratory of Chrono-Neuroendocrine Oncology, and Co-Leader (with Dr. Steven Hill, PI) of the Tulane Circadian Cancer Biology Research Group in the Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Blask is also a member of the Tulane Cancer Center and Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium and the Tulane Center for Aging. His work has been funded over the years by multiple RO1 grants from NIH/NCI, NIH/NCCAM, and NIEHS.

George C. Brainard

Dr. George C. Brainard, PhD

Director of Light Research Program, Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Brainard has directed Jefferson’s Light Research Program since 1984. This program’s research studies the effects of light on neuroendocrine physiology and circadian regulation in humans. Using the techniques of photobiology, radioimmunoassay, and performance testing, this group has documented how various visible and nonvisible light sources influence both hormonal balance and behavior. Current studies include elucidating the action spectrum of melatonin regulation, investigating the phase shifting capacities of light, studying the influence of light on tumor progression, and testing new light treatment devices for winter depression.

Eva Schernhammer

Dr. Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Associate Epidemiologist, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H.
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Epidemiology, University of Vienna Medical School

Dr. Schernhammer’s research focuses on the influence of lifestyle as well as gene-environment interactions in the context of chronic diseases. These include a variety of cancers such as breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease and its relation with cancer etiology, to further understand biological mechanisms in carcinogenesis. Her research interests include: epidemiology of chronic diseases (etiology of cancer, coronary heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases); circadian phase (melatonin/cortisol as biomarkers for cancer risk); shift work (light exposure and the etiology of cancer); and breast cancer biomarkers, gene-environment interactions, and prevention.

Kenneth P. Wright

Kenneth P. Wright Jr., PhD

Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Wright’s research interests include: health and safety consequences of insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment and the development of countermeasures and treatments for sleep and circadian disruption to improve public health and safety.