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We have several ongoing projects investigating the chronobiology of mental health as below:


Our "FamilySleeps" project will investigate circadian rhythms in families. We will do this in the context of genetic, environmental, and social synchrony in families with neurodevelopmental conditions. This project has received funding from a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Investigator Grant awarded to Dr Lorna Lopez, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 950010).

We are building a team of scientific and clinical researchers, with public patient involvement experts, to work on the underlying biological basis of disrupted circadian rhythms in families. This understanding will help address sleep disruption and other poor outcomes in families with autism, as well as increasing our understanding of the role of circadian rhythms in neurodevelopment in a family context.

If you would like to know more about this project, please read the following Irish Times article Autism and sleep disruption – a family affair.

European research Council (ERC) logo, European Union flag and ERC website



This five year project is led by the University of Edinburgh and co-investigators Dr Lorna Lopez, Professor Andrew Coogan (Department of Psychology), and Dr Cathy Wyse in Maynooth University. It is funded by the Wellcome Trust (2023-2028). Ambient-BD will investigate the role of variability in long-term circadian rhythms in the trajectory of disease in people with bipolar disorder. The team will also work with Bipolar Scotland to co-produce an innovative programme of knowledge exchange on the theme of ‘Sleep, circadian rhythms and bipolar disorder'. For more information please visit the Ambient-BD website here


This project is led by the University of Edinburgh (2023-2025). It is funded by The Medical Research Council (MRC). The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of applying an innovative passive device for assessing sleep in a sample of UK adolescents. A young persons advisory group (YPAG) will be used to inform research practice and co-produce research materials. The long term aim is to develop protocols and analytical approaches that facilitate the use of non-invasive sleep data collection methods in future longitudinal adolescent cohort studies. 


Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health Concept Funding for Challenge-Based Research


In 2023 we were delighted to receive funding for our project “Rhythms of Life: Exploring the Time Dimensions of Human Health and Wellbeing”. The objective of this project is to bring together a transdisciplinary team with expertise in biology, behavioural neurobiology, artificial intelligence and data science. We want to build a research team with a data-driven focus on the timing mechanisms that synchronise human physiology to the environment, how they relate to health and wellbeing, and to the non-communicable diseases of urbanisation. 

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Circadian Mental Health Network


We are members of the Circadian Mental Health Network, based at the University of Edinburgh. This is a collaboration between researchers, clinicians, patients and the public which is focused on driving discovery and innovation at the interface of sleep, circadian rhythms and mental health. To find out more, please visit their website here

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