Manuel Spitschan

Short CV

Prof. Dr. Manuel Spitschan's research focuses on the effects of light on human physiology and behaviour, in particular with respect to the biological clock, circadian rhythms and sleep. In his research, he combines chronobiological assessments with cutting-edge methods for measuring, characterising and generating light stimuli, both in laboratory and field.

Prof. Dr. Spitschan studied psychology at the University of St Andrews and received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. From 2016 to 2017 he was post-doc at Stanford University and from 2017 until 2021, he was a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow and was promoted to University Research Lecturer (2020–2021).
In January 2022, Prof. Dr. Spitschan was appointed to the Rudolf Mößbauer Tenure Track Assistant Professorship "Chronobiology & Health" at TUM and as Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.

Selected Awards

  • 2023, AVA David Marr Medal, Applied Vision Association
  • 2020, Lead, NETIAS CAT Group "Light and Health" 
  • 2021, Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Human Circadian Daylight Platform

Research Interests

Circadian Rhythms, sleep, physiology, light exposure, behavioural science, digital medicine

Selected Publications

Spitschan, M., & Santhi, N. (2022). Individual differences and diversity in human physiological responses to light. EBioMedicine, 75, 103640.

Spitschan, M., Garbazza, C., Kohl, S., & Cajochen, C. (2021). Sleep and circadian phenotype in people without cone-mediated vision: a case series of five CNGB3 and two CNGA3 patients. Brain Commun, 3(3), fcab159.

Spitschan, M., Lazar, R., Yetik, E., & Cajochen, C. (2019). No evidence for an S cone contribution to acute neuroendocrine and alerting responses to light. Curr Biol, 29(24), R1297-R1298.

Spitschan, M., Bock, A. S., Ryan, J., Frazzetta, G., Brainard, D. H., & Aguirre, G. K. (2017). The human visual cortex response to melanopsin-directed stimulation is accompanied by a distinct perceptual experience. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114(46), 12291-12296.

Spitschan, M., Jain, S., Brainard, D. H., & Aguirre, G. K. (2014). Opponent melanopsin and S-cone signals in the human pupillary light response. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(43), 15568-15572.