Dr Manuel Spitschan completed his undergraduate studies at the University of St Andrews (M.A. (Hons); 2012) and his doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD; 2016). After a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford, he joined the University of Oxford in 2017 funded by a prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship. In 2020, he was awarded the title University Research Lecturer.

Dr Spitschan serves as member on Technical Committee 1-98 of the International Commission on Illumination (CIE TC 1-98), the OSA Color Technical Group executive committee, and as Daylight Academy member.

Education and positions held

  • 2020-2021:
    • University of Oxford, University Research Lecturer
  • 2017-2020:
    • University of Oxford, Research Fellow
  • 2016-2017:
    • Stanford University, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2012-2016:
    • University of Pennsylvania, Doctoral training (PhD)
  • 2009-2012:
    • University of St Andrews, Undergraduate training (M.A. Honours)

Research Summary

Light exerts a profound influence on human physiology and behavior, and at the wrong time can disrupt the circadian system. My research focuses on the impact of light on visual and non-visual physiology, with a specific emphasis on developing our understanding of the retinal mechanisms underlying the non-visual effects of light and translation of these findings into real-world settings.

Key publications

  • Spitschan, M., Mead, J., Roos, C., Lowis, C, Griffiths, B., Mucur, P., Herf, M. (2021) luox: novel open-access and open-source web platform for calculating and sharing physiologically relevant quantities for light and lighting [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. Wellcome Open Research. doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16595.1
  • Spitschan, M. (2019). Melanopsin contributions to non-visual and visual function. Curr Opin Behav Sci, 30, 67-72. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.06.004
  • 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. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.031
  • 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. doi:10.1073/pnas.1711522114
  • 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. doi:10.1073/pnas.1400942111