Department of Medicine
Kristen Knutson is a biomedical anthropologist whose research focuses on the association between sleep and such cardiometabolic disease risks as hypertension, diabetes, or obesity. As a biomedical anthropologist, she considers human health to be more than simply a manifestation of underlying physiology. Her research focuses on how social factors, cultural practices, and complex behavior interact with sleep to impact cardiometabolic disease. In addition to examining the role sleep plays in disease risk, she is interested in identifying physiologic and/or social factors that predict impaired or insufficient sleep and in determining whether sleep may mediate health disparities.
She is widely published on the subject of sleep duration and quality, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including first prize in the 2007 Hospes Sueños Award (in collaboration with the Spanish Sleep Society), two Sleep Research Society Trainee Merit-Based Travel Awards (2004, 2006), the 2004 Human Biology Society E. E. Hunt Student Prize, and the Initiatives for Women Award, University at Albany, State University of New York, in 2000.
Knutson holds a PhD in biomedical anthropology from the University at Albany, SUNY (2004), and a BA in English literature from McGill University (1992).
Knutson joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2010.