Helen J. Burgess, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory
Professor, Department of Psychiatry

"Sleep and circadian rhythms influence all aspects of physical and mental health.  By working to better understand sleep and circadian function in people with bipolar disorder, we can create, test and translate sleep and circadian treatments to improve the well-being of people with bipolar disorder."

-Helen J. Burgess, Ph.D.


Dr. Helen Burgess is Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory. Dr. Burgess received her Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia, with her Ph.D. thesis focusing on sleep and circadian rhythm influences on cardiac autonomic nervous system activity in humans. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Australia, followed by a second postdoctoral fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. There, her research focused on the biological effects of supplemental melatonin and light treatment, and the effects of sleep disturbance on the circadian clock’s response to light in humans.

After joining faculty at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Burgess moved to the University of Michigan in 2018.

At the invitation of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Burgess assisted in formulating the latest clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. She has also made multiple invited presentations at the National Institutes of Health on the topic of sleep and circadian rhythms. Her current research focuses on the assessment and treatment of sleep and circadian disturbance in a variety of human clinical conditions including alcoholism, chronic pain conditions, diabetes, depression, HIV, and post-traumatic stress disorder.