Richa Saxena, Ph.D.
Associate ProfessorMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Richa Saxena, PhD is an Associate Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, and an Investigator in the Center for Genomic Medicine and Department of Anesthesia at Mass General Hospital. She is also an Associate Member at the Broad Institute and a member of the Harvard Division of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Saxena received her BA in Biology and Chemistry from Cornell University and her PhD in Biology from MIT in 2000. Dr. Saxena’s research focuses on finding genes and biological mechanisms underlying daily rhythms of behavior and sleep disorders, and how disruption of the biological clock and sleep contribute to chronic disease. Her team leads collaborative research that has elucidated genetic differences between night owls or larks, and in sleep quality, quantity and timing, as well as sleep disorders such as insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Dr. Saxena’s team is exploring biological and physiologic mechanisms linking circadian rhythms, melatonin and sleep to type 2 diabetes, neuropsychiatric diseases as well as neurodegenerative diseases. The overall aim of her research is to identify new therapies for sleep disorders, and to define specific disease mechanisms where targeted interventions for sleep or circadian rhythms could be used to prevent, delay or manage related human disease. She is the recipient of the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award and is currently a Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar.