Educated at Harvard College, P&S, the US Air Force 6571st Aeromedical Research Lab and an Albert Einstein residency, Dr. Kripke has spent over 30 years at UCSD. He developed the first sleep clinic in the region and new technologies for home sleep monitoring and wrist actigraphy. He did the first controlled trial of bright light treatment at the San Diego VA Medical Center in 1981. He has been concerned with the community prevalence of sleep apnea, particularly with aging, and the excess mortality associated with sleep >= 8 hours and with sleeping pills. With development of the Circadian Pacemaker Laboratory in the Sam and Rose Stein Clinical Research Building, they have been doing studies in basic and applied human chronobiology with a view towards understanding affective disorders.
Current studies focus on bright light treatment of depression, the clinical efficacy and the underlying mechanisms. They are also interested in the circadian phase-response to bright light and exercise stimuli and the consequences for melatonin regulation. Light’s roll in photoperiodic regulation in humans is a long-term theme. Preliminary studies are examining how genetic variations in circadian clocks may influence clinical pathology.