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Personal profile


Dr. Andrew Phillips is an Associate Professor within the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health in the School of Psychological Sciences. His research vision is to understand the physiology and functions of circadian rhythms and sleep, with three main areas of focus.

1) The importance of sleep regularity for human health.

2) The sensitivity of the human circadian system to light.

3) The development of physiological models for predicting circadian timing, sleep, and alertness.

He has developed mathematical models and health-based metrics that are widely used in the sleep and circadian fields, including the Sleep Regularity Index (SRI). He has also made fundamental discoveries about the circadian system, including interindividual differences in sensitivity to light. His work is closely integrated with experiments, so that model predictions can be tested and so that additional insights can be gleaned from data.

Dr. Phillips completed a PhD in physics at the University of Sydney in 2009. He then began a postdoc in neurology in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School.

His work has been funded almost continuously funded by lead-investigator grants since his PhD. From 2009-2012 he held a postdoctoral fellowship from the US National Space and Biomedical Research Institute, supporting his work studying and predicting effects of chronic sleep restriction and circadian misalignment on sleep and cognitive performance for improved scheduling for NASA astronauts and ground crew. In 2013, he was promoted to Instructor at Harvard Medical School, and in 2015 he was promoted to Assistant Professor. From 2013-2017, he held a prestigious 2 million USD K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), supporting development of more detailed physiological models to understand the neural circuits that regulate sleep and the causes of sleep fragmentation. He was also Co-Investigator and lead modeller on a 3 million USD 2013-2018 R01 project to study sleep behaviours in social networks. In 2017, he joined Monash University to lead modelling in circadian and sleep research. In 2018 he was awarded an Interdisciplinary Research Grant (co-led with Dr. Adam Walker). In 2019, he was awarded a Turner Strategic Research Grant and a Monash Network of Excellence (co-led with Prof. Shantha Rajaratnam). In 2020 and 2021, he was awarded ARC Discovery Projects as CIA. 

Dr. Phillips is the Director of Postgraduate Training (Research) for the School of Psychological Sciences. He was a finalist for the 2019 Monash Graduate Association Lecturer of the Year, based on his teaching into the PSY6161/6103 Research Methods unit.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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