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As the popularity of light therapy continues to soar, it's no surprise that more people are becoming curious about the experts behind this transformative practice. 

In this article, we delve into the achievements and expertise of eight leading light therapy experts in the USA. Their groundbreaking work has revolutionized the way we understand and utilize light as a powerful healing tool. Through their research, clinical practice, and innovative approaches, they have significantly contributed to this field. So, let's explore the accomplishments of these experts.

8 Best Light Therapy Experts 

If you want to delve deeper into the world of light therapy and learn more about the best experts in the USA, you're in for a treat. 

Below, we will introduce you to eight exceptional professionals who have dedicated their careers to studying and implementing light therapy techniques. These experts possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field and have made significant contributions to advancing our understanding of the benefits and applications of light therapy.

Michael Terman

Expert in chronobiology 

With a focus on the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep disorders, and circadian rhythm disorders, he has amassed over three decades of expertise in these areas.

Michael Terman is a famous expert in the field of light therapy and chronobiology.

With a career spanning over three decades, he has made significant contributions to our understanding of the effects of light on human health and well-being. Terman's expertise lies in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep, and circadian rhythm diseases [1-3].

Dr. Michael Terman is affiliated with Columbia University, where he holds the position of Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry. He is also the Director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. 

One of Terman's notable contributions is his pioneering work on the development and application of light therapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of light therapy as a non-invasive and drug-free treatment for this condition [3]. 

Dr. Terman is highly regarded for his expertise and has authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters on the subject of light therapy and chronobiology. His research has not only advanced the field but has also had a significant impact on the development of practical applications for light therapy in clinical settings.

Beyond his academic pursuits, Michael Terman is dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the benefits of light therapy. He has conducted workshops, training programs, and lectures worldwide, sharing his knowledge and expertise with a broad audience.

Jose Diego Mier

Expert in dermatology and skincare

His experience lies in understanding how light affects the human body and utilizing light therapy techniques to address various skin challenges and improve the overall quality of life.

Jose Diego Mier is a highly accomplished expert in dermatology and skincare. With over 10 years of experience in the field, he is recognized for his significant contributions to the understanding and application of light-based therapies for various skin conditions.

Throughout his career, Dr. Mier has actively pursued research and clinical practice in light therapy. 

His primary focus is on utilizing light-based therapies, including laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, to effectively treat various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and skin aging. His findings have been published in leading dermatology and photomedicine journals, showcasing his contributions to the field.

Also, he is the founder of the Heliotherapy Research Institute, a private non-commercial institution committed to advancing the understanding and application of light therapy. The organization serves as a hub for research, education, and collaboration, bringing together experts from diverse fields to explore the multifaceted benefits of light in healing and wellness.

He regularly shares his insights and expertise through various platforms, including his own DoctorMier blog. The site serves as a valuable resource for individuals seeking information on light therapy, offering detailed explanations of this method, its benefits, and how it can be applied to address specific concerns. Mier also provides comprehensive guides on the proper usage of light therapy devices, ensuring safe and effective treatments.

Furthermore, Jose Diego Mier actively contributes to ongoing clinical trials as a Research Study Coordinator, further solidifying his expertise in light therapy and dermatology. He plays a crucial role in supporting studies that target prevalent skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, oncodermatology, and other inflammatory skin diseases. This hands-on experience allows him to stay at the forefront of advancements in light therapy and its application in medical settings.

Mariana G. Figueiro

Expert in circadian rhythms and sleep patterns

Her research and contributions have greatly advanced the understanding of how light exposure influences our biological clock and affects various populations, including those with Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder, and sleep disorders.

Mariana G. Figueiro is widely recognized for her research and contributions to understanding the effects of light on circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and overall health [4-7].

Dr. Figueiro currently serves as the Director of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York. The LRC is a renowned educational organization that focuses on lighting technology, design, and its applications in various fields.

One of the primary areas of Dr. Figueiro's research is the impact of light exposure on circadian rhythms. She investigates how lighting conditions, both natural and artificial, influence our biological clock and affect our sleep patterns and overall well-being. 

She has also conducted extensive research on the effects of light exposure on various populations, including individuals with Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder, and sleep disorders. Her studies have shown that tailored lighting interventions can have positive impacts on these populations, improving sleep quality, cognitive function, and quality of life [5, 6].

In recognition of her expertise and contributions, Dr. Figueiro has received numerous bonuses. In 2020, she was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further her research on light therapy and circadian health [8]. This funding enables her to continue pushing the frontiers of understanding in the field and developing innovative lighting solutions for healthcare settings.

Dr. Figueiro is an active speaker and has presented her research findings at various conferences and events. She has also given a TEDMED talk, where she discussed the importance of light in maintaining healthy circadian rhythms and its potential applications in healthcare and architectural design [9].

Praveen Arany

Expert in pain management and oral surgery

Dr. Arany has conducted extensive research in the field of dentistry, exploring the therapeutic effects of lasers in areas such as periodontal disease treatment and oral surgery.

Dr. Praveen Arany is a researcher in the field of phototherapy, particularly in the use of lasers and red light therapy for various medical applications. 

With a strong background in dentistry and a passion for innovative medical technologies, Dr. Arany has made significant contributions to the field and has garnered widespread recognition for his expertise [10, 11].

Arany's work in light therapy has focused on leveraging the unique properties of light to promote healing and improve patient outcomes. He has conducted extensive research on the therapeutic effects of lasers in dentistry, exploring their potential to accelerate wound healing, reduce pain, and enhance tissue regeneration. His studies have demonstrated the remarkable benefits of laser therapy in dental applications, such as periodontal disease treatment and oral surgery [10].

As an assistant professor in the Department of Oral Biology at the University at Buffalo, Dr. Arany is involved in teaching and mentoring students, fostering a new generation of researchers and clinicians with an understanding of the potential of light therapy in healthcare. He is dedicated to translating his findings into practical applications that can benefit patients, and his work has the potential to shape the future of medical treatments.

Michael Hamblin

Expert in orthopedic practice

Dr. Hamblin's profound impact on the field of healthcare stems from his pioneering efforts and in-depth investigations, which have unveiled the extraordinary capabilities of low-level light therapy (LLLT).

Michael Hamblin stands as a leading figure in the light therapy field, earning widespread recognition and respect for his groundbreaking contributions. Through his extensive research, Dr. Hamblin has discovered the remarkable potential of low-level light therapy (LLLT) in revolutionizing healthcare [12-14].

With a commitment to advancing the field, Dr. Hamblin has authored numerous publications that have become invaluable resources for researchers, clinicians, and individuals seeking to delve into the realm of light therapy. His book, “Low-Level Light Therapy: Photobiomodulation,” serves as a comprehensive and authoritative guide, offering a deep understanding of the science, principles, and practical applications of this therapeutic modality. 

In addition to his research and publications, Dr. Hamblin's affiliation with Better Orthopedics further exemplifies his impact on the medical community. By being a part of their esteemed team, he contributes his expertise to an orthopedic practice that recognizes the transformative potential of light therapy in optimizing patient care.

Allen Sapadin

Expert in dermatology and skincare

With his profound expertise, he focuses on effectively managing a wide range of skin issues, such as acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging. 

Dr. Allen N. Sapadin is a highly esteemed skincare expert who has revolutionized the field of light therapy. With his extensive knowledge, innovative approach, and unwavering dedication, he has emerged as a leading authority in skincare, helping countless individuals achieve radiant, healthy skin.

Dr. Sapadin's impressive credentials and accomplishments speak to his expertise. He earned his medical degree from the renowned Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and subsequently completed his residency at the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. 

As a board-certified dermatologist, he is committed to delivering the highest standard of care to his patients. By carefully customizing treatment plans, Dr. Sapadin helps combat acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging, leaving them with rejuvenated and revitalized skin. Furthermore, he has explored the use of light therapy for different skin concerns, including vitiligo and psoriasis. By understanding the interaction between excimer laser and the skin, he has devised specialized protocols to address these conditions effectively [15]. 

Sapadin's commitment to excellence extends beyond the treatment room. He actively engages in ongoing education, remaining at the forefront of dermatology advancements and techniques. By staying involved in professional organizations such as the American Academy of Dermatology, he fosters collaborations and exchanges knowledge with fellow experts, enabling him to provide the most up-to-date and effective treatments.

Henry J. Lee

Expert in cosmetic dermatology

Dr. Lee is at the forefront of aesthetic dermatology, constantly incorporating innovative techniques into his practice. He offers advanced treatments like laser therapy and Botox, catering to the diverse needs of his patients and helping them achieve their desired aesthetic goals.

Dr. Henry J. Lee is a widely recognized dermatologist and leading authority in the field of light therapy. With a passion for advancing the understanding and application of phototherapy, he has devoted his career to improving the lives of patients suffering from various skin conditions.

His practice encompasses a wide range of medical, surgical, and cosmetic services. While he maintains a strong foundation in medical dermatology, he has cultivated specialized expertise in autoimmune cutaneous disorders and vascular problems. In addition, Dr. Lee is actively involved in aesthetic dermatology, providing innovative treatments like laser therapy and Botox. Through his meticulous approach and commitment to patient-centered care, Dr. Lee has helped countless individuals achieve remarkable improvements in their skin health and quality of life.

His passion for dermatology extended beyond the clinical realm, as evidenced by his publications of research papers and a book chapter specifically focusing on autoimmune cutaneous disorders [16, 17]. Through his contributions to the medical literature, Dr. Lee has actively promoted the advancement of knowledge in the field, benefiting both his colleagues and patients.

Joel M. Gelfand

Expert in dermatology 

His groundbreaking advancements have helped revolutionize the management of psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions, providing patients with more effective and targeted therapeutic options.

Joel M. Gelfand is a prominent figure in the field of dermatology and clinical investigation, with a specialization in psoriasis. He currently holds the position of Professor in Clinical Investigation at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Gelfand is widely recognized for his expertise in studying the epidemiology, genetics, and treatment of psoriasis, as well as the impact of this disease on patients' overall health.

Dr. Gelfand's research focuses on investigating the link between psoriasis and other systemic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and depression. He has conducted extensive studies to understand the underlying mechanisms and risk factors associated with these comorbidities in psoriasis patients. His work has shed light on the importance of considering psoriasis as a systemic disease rather than merely a skin disorder.

Dr. Gelfand as a respected authority in the field of light therapy, has made substantial advancements in the application of phototherapy for psoriasis. Through extensive research, he has investigated the effectiveness and safety of various light therapy techniques, including narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) and excimer laser therapy, for the treatment of psoriasis. His studies have yielded invaluable knowledge regarding the optimal utilization of this method, leading to enhanced results [18].

The Verdict

The United States has emerged as a leading hub of expertise in light therapy, with remarkable individuals such as Jose Diego Mier, Michael Terman, and Mariana Figueiro at the forefront of advancing our understanding and application of this powerful therapeutic approach. Through their relentless dedication, innovative methods, and substantial achievements, they have established themselves as highly esteemed authorities in light therapy.

With their combined efforts and collaboration with other exceptional professionals, they collectively drive the progress of light therapy, pushing the boundaries of research, development, and application in the field. Their contributions have paved the way for groundbreaking discoveries, improved treatment protocols, and enhanced devices that harness the potential of light as a therapeutic tool.


💡 What is light therapy?

Light therapy is a form of treatment that uses specific wavelengths of light to treat various conditions. It involves exposing the body or specific areas to artificial light sources that mimic natural sunlight.

👀 What conditions can be treated with light therapy?

Light therapy can be used to treat various conditions including SAD, sleep disorders, pain, wound healing, acne, psoriasis, as well as other skin conditions. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper guidance and treatment parameters.

😎 Who are the best light therapy experts in the USA?

While there are numerous experts in the field of light therapy, here are some notable professionals in the USA who are highly regarded for their expertise:

  • Jose Diego Mier: an esteemed expert with extensive experience in light therapy for skin conditions and rejuvenation.
  • Joel M. Gelfand: a specialist known for his expertise in using light therapy to treat psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions.
  • Michael Terman: a leading expert in the field of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and its treatment through light therapy.

👂 Can light therapy be performed at home without an expert?

Yes, certain light therapy treatments can be done at home without an expert's supervision. However, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or light therapy expert before starting any at-home treatment to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific condition.


  1. Dorothy K Sit, James McGowan, Christopher Wiltrout, Rasim Somer Diler, John Jesse Dills, James Luther, Amy Yang, Jody D Ciolino, Howard Seltman, Stephen R Wisniewski, Michael Terman, Katherine L Wisner. Adjunctive Bright Light Therapy for Bipolar Depression: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. — Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Feb 1;175(2):131-139. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16101200. Epub 2017 Oct 3.
  2. Vivien Bromundt, Anna Wirz-Justice, Marc Boutellier, Seraina Winter, Markus Haberstroh, Michael Terman, Mirjam Münch. Effects of a dawn-dusk simulation on circadian rest-activity cycles, sleep, mood and well-being in dementia patients. — Exp Gerontol. 2019 Sep;124:110641. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2019.110641. Epub 2019 Jun 25.
  3. Michael Terman, Jiuan Su Terman. Light therapy for seasonal and nonseasonal depression: efficacy, protocol, safety, and side effects. — CNS Spectr. 2005 Aug;10(8):647-63; quiz 672. doi: 10.1017/s1092852900019611.
  4. Rohan Nagare, Piers MacNaughton, Brandon Tinianov and Mariana Figueiro. Access to Daylight at Home Improves Circadian Alignment, Sleep, and Mental Health in Healthy Adults: A Crossover Study. — Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 9980; doi: 10.3390/ijerph18199980
  5. MG Figueiro;HC Kales; (2021). Lighting and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias: Spotlight on sleep and depression. Lighting Research & Technology. doi:10.1177/14771535211005835
  6. Figueiro, Mariana G.; Sloane, Philip D.; Ward, Kimberly; Reed, David; Zimmerman, Sheryl; Preisser, John S.; Garg, Seema; Wretman, Christopher J. (2018). Impact of an Individually Tailored Light Mask on Sleep Parameters in Older Adults With Advanced Phase Sleep Disorder. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 1–15. doi:10.1080/15402002.2018.1557189.
  7. Nagare Rohan; Possidente, Bernard; Lagalwar Sarita Figueiro, Mariana G. (2020). Robust light-dark patterns and reduced amyloid load in an Alzheimer's disease transgenic mouse model. Scientific Reports 10(1) 11436 – doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-68199-5.
  8. With $3 Million NIH Grant Renewal, Mariana Figueiro Pushes the Frontiers of Light Therapy // RENSSELAER NEWS 
  9. Mariana Figueiro Why an enlightened design integrates illumination // TEDMED
  10. Felipe Martins Silveira; Tuany Rafaeli Schmidt; Bruna Neumann; Clévia Rosset; Virgilio Gonzales Zanella; Gerson Schulz Maahs; Marco Antonio Trevizani Martins; Praveen Arany; Vivian Petersen Wagner; Márcio Ajudarte Lopes; Alan Roger Santos‐Silva; Manoela Domingues Martins; (2021). Impact of photobiomodulation in a patient‐derived xenograft model of oral squamous cell carcinoma. doi:10.1111/odi.13967
  11. Praveen R. Arany. Photobiomodulation-Activated Latent Transforming Growth Factor-β1: A Critical Clinical Therapeutic Pathway and an Endogenous Optogenetic Tool for Discovery. — Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser SurgeryVol. 40, No. 2 Advances in Photobiomodulation Mechanisms.
  12. Michael R. Hamblin and Tatiana N Demidova "Mechanisms of low level light therapy", Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy, 614001 (10 February 2006);
  13. Hamblin MR. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophys. 2017;4(3):337-361. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337. Epub 2017 May 19. PMID: 28748217; PMCID: PMC5523874.
  14. Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, Vecchio D, Pam Z, Pam N, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar;32(1):41-52. PMID: 24049929; PMCID: PMC4126803.
  15. Lebwohl M, Hecker D, Martinez J, Sapadin A, Patel B. Interactions between calcipotriene and ultraviolet light. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Jul;37(1):93-5. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(97)70217-2. PMID: 9216529.
  16. Sim JH, Ambler WG, Sollohub IF, Howlader MJ, Li TM, Lee HJ, Lu TT. Immune Cell-Stromal Circuitry in Lupus Photosensitivity. J Immunol. 2021 Jan 15;206(2):302-309. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000905. PMID: 33397744; PMCID: PMC7977625.
  17. Lee HJ, Sinha AA. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus: understanding of clinical features, genetic basis, and pathobiology of disease guides therapeutic strategies. Autoimmunity. 2006 Sep;39(6):433-44. doi: 10.1080/08916930600886851. PMID: 17060022.
  18. Elmets CA, Lim HW, Stoff B, Connor C, Cordoro KM, Lebwohl M, Armstrong AW, Davis DMR, Elewski BE, Gelfand JM, Gordon KB, Gottlieb AB, Kaplan DH, Kavanaugh A, Kiselica M, Kivelevitch D, Korman NJ, Kroshinsky D, Leonardi CL, Lichten J, Mehta NN, Paller AS, Parra SL, Pathy AL, Farley Prater EA, Rupani RN, Siegel M, Strober BE, Wong EB, Wu JJ, Hariharan V, Menter A. Joint American Academy of Dermatology-National Psoriasis Foundation guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with phototherapy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Sep;81(3):775-804. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.04.042. Epub 2019 Jul 25. Erratum in: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 Mar;82(3):780. PMID: 31351884.
July 30, 2023
July 30, 2023

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