Namni Goel, PhD

Editorial Board Member

Department of Psychiatry
University of Pennsylvania, USA

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Department / University Information


Dr. Namni Goel, Ph.D., is a Research Associate Professor in Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Goel received her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). As a graduate student, she researched the behavioral and neuroanatomical substrates underlying circadian rhythms in an animal model. As a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia and Cornell Universities, Dr. Goel made the transition to human work, conducting studies on basic human physiological sleep and on seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mood disorder which may result from circadian rhythm pathophysiology. Dr. Goel’s research investigates how genetic, physiological, behavioral and environmental factors affect circadian rhythm physiology and sleep-wake functions and regulate mood and cognition. Dr. Goel has spear-headed studies of candidate genes for sleep homeostasis and human neurobehavioral vulnerability to sleep deprivation and also collaborates with Dr. Dinges on physiological and neurobehavioral experimental studies of sleep deprivation in healthy adults. Additionally, Dr. Goel collaborates on work investigating the circadian basis of Night Eating Syndrome and on ongoing research on the effects of blue spectrum light on alertness and cognitive performance in healthy humans. Dr. Goel has obtained prior funding from NIA and NIMH, and was recently a Co-Principal Investigator of a phenotype-genotype grant from Penn’s Genomic Frontiers Institute (PGFI) awarded through Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT). She is currently the Principal Investigator of a 5-year Department of Defense grant investigating candidate genes for sleep homeostasis and human neurobehavioral vulnerability to sleep deprivation. In recognition of her contributions to the field, Dr. Goel was elected and served from 2008-2010 as President of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR), a major international scientific organization, and is Immediate Past President (2010-Present) and sits on the Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Sleep Research Society, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, the Society for Neuroscience and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute Human Factors and Performance (HFP) Team. Dr. Goel is an Academic Editor of PLoS ONE, and a Review Editor for Frontiers in Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics. She also serves on the Editorial Boards of 4 other journals (SLEEP, Chronobiology International, Journal of Circadian Rhythms, and Journal of Neurology Research).

Research Interest

Dr. Namni Goel's research interests include: Sleep, circadian rhythms, and depression: biological, environmental treatments. Nonphotic and photic stimuli's effects on mammalian sleep, circadian rhythms and mood. Individual (gender, diagnostic, personality, etc) differences in sleep, circadian rhythms and mood including differential vulnerability to sleep deprivation. Behavioral and genetic biomarkers for sleep loss.

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