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About

I am a sleep scientist working at the Centre for Chronobiology in Basel, Switzerland. My research interests center around circadian rhythms and cognitive processing during healthy sleep and in patients with disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury. Currently, my main focus is the effects of artificial light on sleep, where I am specifically interested in its effects on brain processes during sleep (for more details see here).

Besides doing research, I also like talking and educating about it. I love doing science communication in German and English and am available as a speaker for events, workshops, or webinars. If you would like to chat with me, please just drop me a line.

For more information, please find my CV here.

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News

2020

October

I am beyond delighted that I have been awarded the Nachwuchsförderpreis Schlafforschung by the German Sleep Society DGSM for our work on sleep and sleep-wake patterns during the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’.

In a short documentary for ‘Kabel 1 – Abenteuer Leben am Sonntag‘, I explain, what everyone can do to sleep better.

September

I have been elected as a new member of the Early Career Researcher Network of the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS). I am very much looking forward to contributing to the activities of the ECRN.

July

A lay summary of our publication on the effects of the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ on sleep has been published in TheScienceBreaker.

June

Our publication “Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on human sleep and rest-activity rhythms” has been published in Current Biology. The associated press release gives a summary of our findings.

April

My blog post ‘Five Tips for Healthy Sleep during COVID-19’ for ‘SciFive’, the science Blog of the University of Basel, has been published.

Moreover, our “COVID-19 & Sleep” project was featured in the University of Basel News this week.

March

We have launched a study on the effects of COVID-19 and the measures to contain the pandemic on sleep. Please participate here.

Earlier in March, our manuscript “Actigraphy in brain-injured patients—A valid measurement for assessing circadian rhythms?” has been accepted for publication in BMC Medicine. Brilliant first publication by my colleague Monika Angerer.

January

On 26th January, I was the guest in “Dein Sonntag”, a weekly programme on “Deutschlandfunk Nova”. Talking to Sebastian Sonntag about sleep was great fun indeed. You can find and listen to the result here.

2019

December

Just before Christmas, we have received the great news that our research was granted another CHF 55.111 from the Novartis Foundation for Biological-Medical Research.

October

On 26th October I was a guest at “Talk am See” and talked about sleep with Gaby Hauptmann. Check out the media page for more information.

In the beginning of October, I have attended a 3-day training course on Cognitive Behavioural Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I) at the University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany. The more clinical perspective was truly stimulating and I hope to apply it more in the future.

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Research & Publications

In my research I study cognitive processing during sleep as well as how circadian rhythms brought about by the internal biological clock interact with higher cognitive functions including consciousness. For a short summary of these topics see below.

All publications are open access. If you nevertheless cannot find it or are just too lazy to search for it, just drop me a line and I will be happy to send you the PDF.

Selected Publications

Blume, C., Schmidt, M.H., & Cajochen, C. (2020). Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on human sleep and rest-activity rhythms. Current Biology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.021

Angerer M., Schabus M., Raml M., Pichler G., Kunz A.B., Scarpatetti M., Trinka E., & Blume C. (2020). Actigraphy in brain-injured patients – A valid measurement for assessing circadian rhythms? BMC Medicine. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/839472

Blume, C., Garbazza, C., Spitschan, M. (2019). Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep, and mood. Somnologie. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11818-019-00215-x

Blume, C., Angerer, M., Raml, M., del Giudice, R., Santhi, N., Pichler, G., Scarpatetti, M., Kunz, A. B., Trinka, E., & Schabus, M. (2019). Healthier Rhythm, Healthier Brain? Integrity of Circadian Melatonin and Temperature Rhythms Relates to the Clinical State of Brain-Injured Patients. European Journal of Neurology.

Blume, C., del Giudice, R., Wislowska, M., Heib, D. P. J., & Schabus, M. (2018). Standing Sentinel during Sleep: Continued Evaluation of Environmental Stimuli in the Absence of Consciousness. NeuroImage.

Blume, C., Lechinger, J., Santhi, N., Giudice, R. d., Gnjezda, M.-T., Pichler, G., Scarpatetti, M., Donis, J., Michitsch, G., & Schabus, M. (2017). Significance of circadian rhythms in severely brain-injured patients: A clue to consciousness? Neurology.

Blume, C., del Giudice, R., Lechinger, J., Wislowska, M., Heib, D. P. J., Hoedlmoser, K., & Schabus, M. (2016). Preferential processing of emotionally and self-relevant stimuli persists in unconscious N2 sleep. Brain and Language.

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Awards & Grants

October 2020 Nachwuchsförderpreis Schlafforschung for our work on COVID-19 and Sleep by the German Sleep Society DGSM.
December 2019 Grant from the Novartis Foundation for Biological-Medical Research for the LIGHT.Sleep project at the Centre for Chronobiology in Basel (CHF 55.111,00)
June 2019 Grant from the Forschungsförderungsfonds of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel for the LIGHT.Sleep project at the Centre for Chronobiology in Basel (CHF 31.500,00)
May 2019 Grant from the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft (FAG) Basel for the LIGHT.Sleep project at the Centre for Chronobiology in Basel (CHF 20.000,00)
January 2019  – present
3-year Schrödinger Fellowship from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; € 177.805,00)
March 2019 – present
Doctoral College “Imaging the Mind” at the University of Salzburg (Speaker: Prof. M. Schabus, Deputy-Speaker: Prof. J. Perner, co-author: C. Blume): 3rd funding period (3/2019-3/2022, € 2.979.007,00).
September 2018 Giselher-Guttmann Price 2018 of the Austrian Society for Neuropsychology (GNPÖ) for our work on circadian rhythms in patients with severe brain injury (€ 500)
Poster Prize of the Young Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA) at the “Salzburg Neuroscience Day”
May 2017    Young Investigators Award of the University of Salzburg
January 2014 – December 2016 PhD Scholarship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (≈ € 49.000)
October 2009 – June 2010 One-year grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (≈ € 14.000)
December 2007 – November 2012 Scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes e.V./ German Academic Scholarship Foundation (≈ € 6.200)