Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

The Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology

Chief's Message

Welcome to the Sleep Medicine Division. Our division is committed to education, research, advocacy, and patient care related to disorders of circadian rhythms and sleep. Our growing division is focused on multidisciplinary, collaborative research in the fields of circadian and sleep medicine, the education of future physicians and scientists, treatment of circadian and sleep disorders through Feinberg-affiliated clinical sites, and the advancement of circadian and sleep based interventions for a broad spectrum of human disease.

The nature of our work is collaborative because sleep has such a broad impact on health. Sleep and the body’s internal time keeping system, circadian rhythms, play a role on par with exercise and nutrition in maintaining health. Over the past several decades, an increasing amount of evidence has accumulated that demonstrates disturbed or inadequate sleep independently or coupled with disturbed circadian timing have been linked to increased prevalence of disease and disorders including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental illness.

We work with multiple Northwestern Medicine specialists to understand the unique issues within those medical specialties – and build on the many breakthroughs in basic circadian rhythms research here at Northwestern – to pioneer new treatments for diseases and disorders that can be traced to disruption of the body’s internal clock and to improve current treatments by using the body’s internal clock to maximize efficacy. 

My colleagues and I look forward to collaborating with you to advance our field of study.


Phyllis C Zee, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of Sleep Medicine
Benjamin and Virginia T. Boshes Professor of Neurology
Professor of Neurology (Sleep Medicine)