Rafael Lazar (ESR06)

PhD student at University of Basel

Country of residence
Country of origin
Prof. Christian Cajochen
Dr. Manuel Spitschan
Starting date
December 2, 2020

“How does light as the primary Zeitgeber influence human physiology, mental health, behaviour and performance?” – More specifically, my interest lies in the spectral composition of light, how it can be manipulated and used to enhance health, well-being, and performance. Furthermore, I am curious about interindividual differences in (non-visual) light sensitivity, as well as the development of homeostatic and circadian sleep-wake regulation during puberty.

I am motivated to build an expertise on light, the circadian timing system and homeostatic sleep-wake regulation while being in a stimulating work environment at the Centre for Chronobiology in Basel. I cherish the opportunity to network internationally in the science and light industry communities and learn more about ways of applying and communicating chronobiological findings beyond academia. 

After a Semester abroad at James-Cook University in Townsville (AUS), I finalized my Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Psychology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, supervised by Dr. Manuel Spitschan (University of Oxford) and working at the intersection of vision and non-visual effects of light (“Regulation of pupil size in natural vision”). Previously, I completed my Bachelor of Psychology (B.Sc.) at the University of Giessen, working as a research assistant in Educational Psychology, mostly conducting research concerned with parents’ motivation strategies, test anxiety and self-esteem in teenagers.

Non-visual light sensitivity in teenagers: Inter-individual variability of light sensitivity

My LIGHTCAP project is concerned with non-image-forming responses to light in teenagers. We will investigate interindividual variability of light sensitivity and developmental changes during puberty in different circadian and homeostatic markers.


  • LIGHTCAP kick-off meeting, November 2020 (online)

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