Katharina Wulff

Katharina Wulff

Umeå University, Sweden

Katharina Wulff


Katharina Wulff is an associate professor at Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (Sweden). In 2001, she completed her PhD at the Charite, Humboldt University Berlin in the field of human behavior, chronobiology and sleep. She then went on to become a University Research Lecturer in chronobiology and sleep at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford (UK). Her research concerns the study of how the human brain uses environmental information to adapt the body to daily changes. 

The KatLab studies the physiological mechanisms of mammalian and human timing behavior from infancy to adulthood, and how biological clocks and the endocrine systems exploit daylight and other environmental cues to adjust to daily, seasonal and annual rhythms. The lab spans across several faculties and forms a holistic expertise center of Eco-Chronobiology and Sleep Research at the Departments of Molecular Biology and Radiation Sciences.  

Not only does the research take place in strictly academic settings, but it also has its own designated Photon Space where individuals are studied during long twilight, weeks without darkness and periods with a fast rate of change in day length. The tools utilized in such research range from indoor climate, daylight and electrical light to actigraphy, EEG, ESM, microdialysis and eye tracking. 

Interestingly, prof. Wulff has a longstanding interest in science outreach and communication. Her projects include a variety of in-person and television talks and workshops on the topics of chronobiology and sleep as well as museum exhibitions. 

Selected Publications

Wulff, K., Gatti, S., Wettstein, J. et al. Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease. Nat Rev Neurosci 11, 589–599 (2010).

Wulff, K., Dijk, D.-J., Middleton, B., Foster, R. G., & Joyce, E. M. (2012). Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry200(4), 308–316. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.096321

Zaidi, F. H., Hull, J. T., Peirson, S. N., Wulff, K., Aeschbach, D., Gooley, J. J., Brainard, G. C., Gregory-Evans, K., Rizzo, J. F., 3rd, Czeisler, C. A., Foster, R. G., Moseley, M. J., & Lockley, S. W. (2007). Short-wavelength light sensitivity of circadian, pupillary, and visual awareness in humans lacking an outer retina. Current biology : CB17(24), 2122–2128.

Riemann, D., Krone, L.B., Wulff, K. et al. Sleep, insomnia, and depression. Neuropsychopharmacol. 45, 74–89 (2020).

More information

Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine

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