Dr. Anna Wirz-Justice
Board of Directors
Anna Wirz-Justice, PhD, is a neurobiologist and Professor emerita at the Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Basel. The Basel clinic was one of the first to extensively study the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation in the early 70’s. At the NIMH with Thomas Wehr, MD, she carried out the first sleep phase advance experiment in a bipolar patient (they received an Anna-Monika-Prize for their seminal work in the chronobiology of depressive illness). Anna introduced light therapy to Europe, and studied not only Seasonal Affective Disorder but also depression during pregnancy, borderline personality disorder, dementia. The field’s first treatment manual for clinicians, Chronotherapeutics for Affective Disorders was published together with Francesco Benedetti and Michael Terman. Anna is a former president of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms and the Swiss Society for Sleep Research, Sleep Medicine, and Chronobiology, and served on the Board of the Daylight Academy. She has collaborated with artists, and with architects and lighting planners to apply circadian principles in design.
Dr. Wirz-Justice was granted the 2022 Daylight Award for Daylight Research. The Daylight Award honors and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture. It acknowledges and encourages scientific knowledge and practical application of daylight, which interlink disciplines that are usually addressed in separated, monocultural spheres, professional circles or practices.