Sarosh Motivala, Ph.D.

Work Titles
UCLA Assistant Professor In-Residence, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Assistant Professor In-Residence, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1991
Ph.D., University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, 2001
M.S., University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, 1997

Contact Information:

Work Email Address:


Home Page

Work Phone Number:

(310) 206-7492

Mailing Address:

300 UCLA Medical Plaza
Suite 3108
Mail Code 707624
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Detailed Biography:

Dr. Motivala’s work focuses on sleep disturbance, stress and health outcomes and the underlying physiological pathways that link these phenomena together. Poor sleep impacts the immune system in ways that are just beginning to be identified. Immune processes, specifically the expression of signaling molecules called cytokines, can impact sleep. This bidirectional relationship is important for overall health because the very same cytokines involved in sleep regulation, including interleukins 1 and 6 and tumor necrosis factor also play a role in chronic low grade inflammatory processes and a number of autoimmune disorders. Dr. Motivala was recently awarded a five-year clinical scientist grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of behavioral treatment of chronic insomnia on markers of energy balance and metabolism in older adults. There is growing evidence that sleep disturbance is associated with changes energy balance that promote weight gain and this will be the first study to examine sleep and energy balance in older adults with chronic insomnia.


Motivala Sarosh J, Tomiyama A Janet, Ziegler Michael, Khandrika Srikrishna, Irwin Michael R   Nocturnal levels of ghrelin and leptin and sleep in chronic insomnia Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2009; 34(4): 540-5.
Irwin Michael R, Olmstead Richard, Motivala Sarosh J   Improving sleep quality in older adults with moderate sleep complaints: A randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi Chih Sleep, 2008; 31(7): 1001-8.
Valladares Edwin M, Eljammal Sam M, Motivala Sarosh, Ehlers Cindy L, Irwin Michael R   Sex differences in cardiac sympathovagal balance and vagal tone during nocturnal sleep Sleep medicine, 2008; 9(3): 310-6.
Motivala Sarosh J, Khanna Dinesh, FitzGerald John, Irwin Michael R   Stress activation of cellular markers of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis: protective effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists Arthritis and rheumatism, 2008; 58(2): 376-83.
Davis Mary C, Zautra Alex J, Younger Jarred, Motivala Sarosh J, Attrep Jeanne, Irwin Michael R   Chronic stress and regulation of cellular markers of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis: implications for fatigue Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2008; 22(1): 24-32.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Motivala Sarosh J, Valladares Edwin M, Olmstead Richard, Irwin Michael R   Sex differences in monocyte expression of IL-6: role of autonomic mechanisms American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 2007; 293(1): R145-51.
Irwin Michael R, Olmos Luis, Wang Minge, Valladares Edwin M, Motivala Sarosh J, Fong Tim, Newton Tom, Butch Anthony, Olmstead Richard, Cole Steve W   Cocaine dependence and acute cocaine induce decreases of monocyte proinflammatory cytokine expression across the diurnal period: autonomic mechanisms The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, 2007; 320(2): 507-15.
Motivala Sarosh J, Sollers John, Thayer Julian, Irwin Michael R   Tai Chi Chih acutely decreases sympathetic nervous system activity in older adults The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 2006; 61(11): 1177-80.
Irwin Michael R, Valladares Edwin M, Motivala Sarosh, Thayer Julian F, Ehlers Cindy L   Association between nocturnal vagal tone and sleep depth, sleep quality, and fatigue in alcohol dependence Psychosomatic medicine, 2006; 68(1): 159-66.
Motivala Sarosh J, Levin Myron J, Oxman Michael N, Irwin Michael R   Impairments in health functioning and sleep quality in older adults with a history of depression Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2006; 54(8): 1184-91.
Motivala Sarosh J, Sarfatti Avishay, Olmos Luis, Irwin Michael R   Inflammatory markers and sleep disturbance in major depression Psychosomatic medicine, 2005; 67(2): 187-94.
Cole Jason C, Motivala Sarosh J, Khanna Dinesh, Lee Jessica Y, Paulus Harold E, Irwin Michael R   Validation of single-factor structure and scoring protocol for the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index Arthritis and rheumatism, 2005; 53(4): 536-42.
Irwin Michael, Rinetti Gina, Redwine Laura, Motivala Sarosh, Dang Jeff, Ehlers Cindy   Nocturnal proinflammatory cytokine-associated sleep disturbances in abstinent African American alcoholics Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2004; 18(4): 349-60.
Motivala Sarosh J, Dang Jeff, Obradovic Tanja, Meadows Gary G, Butch Anthony W, Irwin Michael R   Leptin and cellular and innate immunity in abstinent alcoholics and controls Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, 2003; 27(11): 1819-24.
Motivala Sarosh J, Hurwitz Barry E, Llabre Maria M, Klimas Nancy G, Fletcher Mary Ann, Antoni Michael H, LeBlanc William G, Schneiderman Neil   Psychological distress is associated with decreased memory helper T-cell and B-cell counts in pre-AIDS HIV seropositive men and women but only in those with low viral load Psychosomatic medicine, 2003; 65(4): 627-35.

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