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Thomas Jefferson University - George C. Brainard, PhD
George C. Brainard, PhD

Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson Medical College
Department of Neurology
Professor (Primary)
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Mailing Address
1025 Walnut Street, Suite 507
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
United States
Contact Information
Connecticut Wesleyan University
B.A. (Psychology), 1973

Goddard College
M.A. (Psychology), 1978

University of Texas Health Science Center Ph.D. (Anatomy), 1982
Expertise and Research Interests
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.
Other Expertise

National Institute of Mental Health, Psychobiology Branch: Consultant for experimental light therapy, 1986-1989.

NASA, Lighting design of space vehicle and space craft interiors: space shuttle, space station and space laboratory, 1987-present.

Inter-Society Color Council, Co-Chairman Committee on Physiological Response to Color, 1988-1994.

Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Chairman, Federal and Industrial Relations Committee, 1989-1992.

Illumination Engineering Society of North America, Chairman Photobiology Committee, 1990-2000.

Bio-Brite, Inc., Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board, 1991-present.

Commission International De L'Eclairage (International Commission on Illumination),

United States National Committee, Chairman Photobiology Committee (Division 6), 1992-present.

Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Chairman, Membership Committee, 1992-1996.

Temple University, Center for Frontier Sciences, Advisory Board, 1997-present.

European Pineal and Biological Rhythms Society, Board of Directors, 1999-present.

Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Board of Directors, 2000-present.

NASA, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Member Human Performance Factors, Sleep and Chronobiology Team, 2001-present.

NASA, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Associate Team Leader Human Performance Factors, Sleep and Chronobiology Team, 2002-present.


Animal Review Committee, Chairman, 1985-1988
Postgraduate Recommendation (Dean's Letters) Committee, 1988-1991
Delaware/Jefferson Medical Scholars Program Committee, 1988-1992
Student Affairs Committee, 1991-1995
Jefferson Medical College LCME Task Force, 1992-1993
First Years Course Coordinators Committee, 1992-present
Instruction and Research Computing Planning Group, 1993-1994
Faculty Advisor, Ars Medica, 1988-present
Faculty Advisor, Neurology Club, 1992-present
Faculty Advisor, Environmental Club, 1993-present
Pennsylvania Generalist Advisory Committee, 1995-1997
Curriculum Committee, 1995-present
Faculty Club Board Member, 1997-2001
Faculty Club President, 2000-2001
Jefferson Medical College Professional Development Task Force, 2000-2001
Jefferson Medical College LCME Committee, 1998-present
Jefferson Medical College First Year Curriculum Task Force, 2001-present
Thomas Jefferson University Food Service Committee, 2001-present
Jefferson Medical College Nominating Committee Chairman, 2001-2005
Year 1 Curriculum Revision Task Force, 2003-present

Action Spectrum; Biological Rhythms; Circadian; Light; Light Therapy; Melatonin; Nasa; Neuroendocrine; Neurology; Performance Testing; Photobiology; Photon; Photoreceptor; Pineal Gland; Psychoneuroimmunology; Sad; Spaceflight; Winter Depression
  • Glickman, G., B. Byrne, C. Pineda, W.W. Hauck and G.C. Brainard Light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder with blue narrow-band light-emitting diodes. Biological Psychiatry, in press, 2005.
  • Jasser, S.A., D.E. Blask and G.C. Brainard Light during darkness and cancer: relationships in circadian photoreception and tumor biology. Cancer Causes and Control, in press, 2005.
  • Brainard, G.C. and J.P. Hanifin Photons, clocks and consciousness. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 20(4):314-325, 2005.
  • Fucci, R.L., J. Gardner, J.P. Hanifin, S. Jasser, B. Byrne, E. Gerner, M. Rollag and G.C. Brainard Toward optimizing lighting as a countermeasure to sleep and circadian disruption in space flight. Acta Astronautica, 56(9-12):1017-1024, 2005.
  • Brainard, G.C. and J.P. Hanifin The effects of light on human health and behavior: relevance to architectural lighting. Symposium '04 'Light and Health: non-visual effects. CIE, Vienna, x027:2004:2-16, 2004.
  • Lockley, S.W., G.C. Brainard and C.A. Czeisler High sensitivity of the human circadian melatonin rhythm to resetting by short wavelength light. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 88(9):4502-4505, 2003.
  • Rosenzweig, S., D.K. Reibel, J.M. Greeson, M. Hojat and G.C. Brainard. Mindfulness-based stress reduction reduces psychological distress in medical students. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 15(2):88-92, 2003.
  • Blask, D.E., R.T. Dauchy, L.A. Sauer, J.A. Krause and G.C. Brainard. Growth and fatty acid metabolism of human breast cancer (MCF-7) xenografts in nude rats: impact of constant light-induced nocturnal melatonin suppression. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 79(3):313-320, 2003.
  • Glickman, G., J. Hanifin, M.D. Rollag, J. Wang, H. Cooper and G.C. Brainard. Inferior retinal light exposure is more effective than superior retinal exposure in suppressing melatonin in humans. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 18(1):71-79, 2003.
  • Boulos, Z., M.M. Macchi, M.P. Stürchler, K.T. Stewart, G.C. Brainard, A. Suhner, G. Wallace and R. Steffen. Light visor treatment for jet lag after westward travel across 6 time zones. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, 73(10):953-963, 2002.
  • Blask, D.E., R.T. Dauchy, L.A. Sauer, J.A. Krause and G.C. Brainard. Light during darkness, melatonin suppression and cancer progression. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 23(Suppl 2):52-56, 2002.
  • Glickman, G., R. Levin and G.C. Brainard. Ocular input for human melatonin regulation: relevance to breast cancer. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 23(suppl 2):17-22, 2002.
  • Reibel, D.K., J.M. Greeson, G.C. Brainard and S. Rosenzweig. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health-related quality of life in a heterogenous patient population. General Hospital Psychiatry, 23(4):183-192, 2001.
  • Brainard, G.C., J.P. Hanifin, F.M. Barker, B. Sanford and M.H. Stetson. Influence of near ultraviolet radiation on reproductive and immunological development in juvenile male Siberian hamsters. Journal of Experimental Biology, 204(14):2535-2541, 2001.
  • Brainard, G.C., J.P. Hanifin, J.M. Greeson, B. Byrne, G. Glickman, E. Gerner and M.D. Rollag. Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans: evidence for a novel circadian photoreceptor. Journal of Neuroscience, 21(16):6405-6412, 2001.
  • Brainard, G.C., J.P. Hanifin, M.D. Rollag, J. Greeson, B. Byrne, G. Glickman, E. Gerner and B. Sanford. Human melatonin regulation is not mediated by the three cone photopic visual system. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 86(1):433-436, 2001.
  • Brainard, G.C., S. Beacham, B. Sanford, J.P. Hanifin, L. Streletz and D. Sliney. Near ultraviolet radiation elicits visual evoked potentials in children. Clinical Neurophysiology, 110(3):379-383, 1999.
  • Brainard, G.C., R. Kavet and L.I. Kheifets. The relationship between electromagnetic field and light exposures to melatonin and breast cancer risk: a review of relevant literature. Journal of Pineal Research, 26(2):65-100, 1999.
  • Dauchy, R.T., D.E. Blask, L.A. Sauer, G.C. Brainard and J.A. Krause. Dim light during darkness stimulates tumor progression by enhancing tumor fatty acid uptake and metabolism. Cancer Letters, 144(2):131-136, 1999.
  • Zhang, Y., G.C. Brainard, P.C. Zee, L.H. Pinto, J.S. Takahashi and F.W. Turek. Effects of aging on lens transmittance and retinal input to the suprachiasmatic nucleus in golden hamsters. Neuroscience Letters, 258(3):167-170, 1998.
  • Brainard, G.C., M.D. Rollag and J.P. Hanifin. Photic regulation of melatonin in humans: ocular and neural signal transduction. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 12(6):537-546, 1997.
  • Ruberg, F.L., D.J. Skene, J.P. Hanifin, M.D. Rollag, J. English, J. Arendt and G.C. Brainard. Melatonin regulation in humans with color vision deficiencies. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 81(8):2980-2985, 1996.
  • Sanford, B., S. Beacham, J.P. Hanifin, P. Hannon, L. Streletz ,D. Sliney and G.C. Brainard The effects of ultraviolet-A radiation on visual evoked potentials in the young human eye. Acta Ophthalmologica, 74(6):553-557, 1996.
  • Bernecker, C.A., G.C. Brainard, F.J. Fernsler, M.D. Rollag, R.R. Long, S.P. Tirney and J.R. Gaddy . Biological effects of architectural lighting and their associated energy utilization. Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, 23(2):31-39, 1994.
  • Brainard, G.C., F.M. Barker, R.J. Hoffman, M.H. Stetson, J.P. Hanifin, P.L. Podolin and M.D. Rollag. Ultraviolet regulation of neuroendocrine and circadian physiology in rodents. Vision Research, 34(11):1521-1533, 1994.
  • Schiffman, J.S., H.M. Lasch, M.D. Rollag, A.E. Flanders, G.C. Brainard and D.L. Burk. Effect of magnetic resonance imaging on the normal human pineal body: Measurement of plasma melatonin levels. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 4(1):7-11, 1994.
  • Gaddy, J.R., M.D. Rollag and G.C. Brainard. Pupil size regulation of threshold of light-induced melatonin suppression. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 77(5):1398-1401, 1993.
  • Rosenthal, N.E., D.E. Moul, C.J. Hellekson, D.A. Oren, A. Frank, G.C. Brainard, M.G. Murray and T.A. Wehr. A multicenter study of the light visor for Seasonal Affective Disorder: No difference in efficacy found between two different intensities. Neuropsychopharmacology, 8(2):151-160, 1993.
  • Waxler, M., R.H. James, G.C. Brainard, D.E. Moul, D.A. Oren and N.E. Rosenthal. Retinopathy and bright light therapy [letter]. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(11):1610-1611, 1992.
  • Stewart, K.T., J.R. Gaddy, B. Byrne, S. Miller and G.C. Brainard 1991 Effects of green or white light for treatment of seasonal depression. Psychiatry Research, 38(3):261-270.
  • Oren, D.A., G.C. Brainard, J.R. Joseph-Vanderpool, S.H. Johnston, E. Sorek and N.E. Rosenthal. Treatment of seasonal affective disorder with green light versus red light. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(4):509-511, 1991.
  • Brainard, G.C., N.E. Rosenthal, D. Sherry, R.G. Skwerer, M. Waxler and D. Kelly. Effects of different wavelengths in seasonal affective disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 20(4):209-216, 1990.
  • French, J., P. Hannon and G.C. Brainard. Effects of bright illuminance on body temperature and human performance. Annual Review of Chronopharmacology, 7:37-40, 1990.

Individual Expertise profile of George C. Brainard, PhD, Copyright © George C. Brainard, PhD.
Last Updated by Admin : Thursday, December 1, 2005 9:44:03 AM

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