Alfred J. Lewy, MD, PhD - Psychiatry

Dr. Alfred J. Lewy reviews medical content for Healthwise, a nonprofit organization with a mission to help people make better health decisions. Dr. Lewy is the Richard H. Phillips Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He is also a professor of ophthalmology and physiology/pharmacology. He serves as senior vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and is the director of the Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory at OHSU.

Dr. Lewy is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of human chronobiology. He has made major contributions to the field of melatonin physiology and light as they relate to depression, seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, and sleep disorders. He is currently researching the effects of melatonin levels on the sleep and wake patterns of blind people.

Board Certifications

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Healthwise Knowledgebase Topics Reviewed

Seasonal Affective Disorder


MD: University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 1973
PhD (Pharmacology): University of Chicago, 1973
Internship and Psychiatric Residency: Mt. Zion Hospital, San Francisco 1973–1975
Residency in Psychiatry and Clinical Associate: Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, 1975–1977

Academic Appointments

Professor of Biological Psychiatry, OHSU School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, 2004–present
Senior Vice Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, OHSU School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, 2003–present
Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Pharmacology, Ophthalmology, and Physiology/Pharmacology, OHSU School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, 1981–present
Director, Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory, OHSU School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, 1981–present

Hospital Affiliations

Oregon Health Science University

Professional Affiliations

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
American Psychiatric Association
European Pineal Study Biological Rhythms Society
International Society for Chronobiology
Sigma Xi
Sleep Research Society
Society for Research in Biological Rhythms
Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms
Society of Biological Psychiatry
West Coast College of Biological Psychiatry

Selected Publications

  1. Lewy AJ, et al. (2006). The circadian basis of winter depression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 103(19): 7414–7419.
  2. Lewy AJ, et al. (2006). Circadian uses of melatonin in humans. Chronobiology International, 23(1-2): 403–412.
  3. Lewy AJ, et al. (2005). Melatonin entrains free-running blind people according to a physiological dose-response curve. Chronobiology International, 22(6): 1093–1106.
  4. Lewy AJ, et al. (2004). Eventual entrainment of the human circadian pacemaker by melatonin is independent of the circadian phase of treatment initiation: Clinical implications. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 19(1): 68–75.
  5. Lewy AJ (2003). Clinical applications of melatonin in circadian disorders. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 5(4): 399–413.
  6. Lewy AJ, et al. (2003). Plasma DLMO10 zeitgeber time 14: The therapeutic window for phase-delayed winter depressives treated with melatonin. Chronobiology International, 20(6): 1215–1217.
  7. Sack RL, Lewy AJ, et al. (2003). Chronobiology and melatonin. In OM Wolkowitz, AJ Rothschild, eds., Psychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice, pp. 83–105. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Financial Disclosure

Dr. Lewy is co-inventor on several melatonin-use patents currently not licensed to any company.

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