New sleep research scholarship
Nicole Grivell and Bastien Lechat never had the honour of working alongside leading sleep researcher Professor Nick Antic. But they say his work, legacy and reputation surrounds them every day.
The pair, from Flinders University’s Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, are the inaugural recipients of the new Nick Antic Sleep Research PhD Scholarship established in memory of the dearly loved sleep expert, who passed away in 2016.
Nicole, an experienced primary care nurse, will use the scholarship to explore how primary care nurses can increase their involvement in the management of sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia, outside of the hospital setting.
“There are long waiting lists for hospital care for sleep disorders, so we’re focusing on how we can increase the amount of sleep health care provided outside of the hospital setting and by GP practices,” Nicole says.
“Sleep health care is quite new in terms of nursing, and general practice nurses have indicated that whilst they don’t currently have the knowledge or training in sleep health care, they’re very keen to be able to do more…so my research is really looking at exploring the impact they can have on sleep disorders.
“It’s so important because sleep is one of the pillars of good health. It affects us all from birth to death, and without good sleep we can’t function at our best.”
For Nicole it’s a fitting topic, with strong links to some of Professor Antic’s previous research.
“My research builds on some of Nick’s work as he was very much an advocate for nurses being more involved in sleep health care,” Nicole says.
“It’s very nice to honour him in this way as I know how much of an inspiration he was to the researchers here and how much they loved working with him.”
Meanwhile French trained engineer Bastien will use his scholarship to bring an engineering perspective to sleep studies by developing automatic methods to more accurately measure sleep quality and enable better diagnosis.
“At present ‘sleep quality’ is defined quite loosely and sleep test signals are scored manually, so we haven’t yet found a way to describe and measure sleep quality properly and efficiently,” Bastien explains.
“Manual scoring of sleep signals is labour intensive and imprecise, creating an important loss of potentially crucial information. My research focuses on applying algorithms, especially on brainwaves, that can be used to more objectively define sleep quality in sleep research.
“Sleep research is complex, but I think a lot of work can be done by engineers to help doctors to better diagnose sleep disorders.”
It’s estimated that 1.5 million Australians have a sleep disorder, whilst about 40 per cent have inadequate sleep.
Like Nicole, Bastien says it’s an honour to receive a scholarship in Professor Antic’s name.
“Unfortunately, I never met Nick but I’ve heard so much about him, and even today, colleagues will be sitting around discussing our research and they’ll say, ‘we did that with Nick’…his work is often spoken of,” Bastien says.
The sleep research scholarship is supported by Flinders Foundation through generous support from the community, including the generosity of Professor Antic’s family, friends and colleagues.
Introducing Brett Stringer – Brain Cancer Research Fellowship
Dr Brett Stringer has been appointed to a new three-year Brain Cancer Research Fellowship at Flinders University, funded by Flinders Foundation.
Thyroid research under the microscope
Flinders University medical student Lauren Rask-Nielsen has received a research scholarship to take a closer look at the diagnosis of thyroid nodules which can, in some instances, be cancerous.
Flinders’ COVID-19 patients key to beating virus
As the world waits with bated breath for a vaccine to fight COVID-19, 30 former COVID-19 positive patients have gifted their blood to Flinders researchers in a bid to find ‘super-antibodies’ to use as a weapon to beat the virus.
Help for critically ill patients
Critically ill patients and those recovering from major surgeries have been helped in their recovery with the arrival of new chairs and stand aids to get them out of bed sooner.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were overwhelmed with generous calls, donations and offers of support for the amazing healthcare workers and researchers at Flinders and the wider Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.
Thank you for helping staff care for critically ill children
When doctors and nurses are fighting to save a child’s life, and the clock is ticking, they will now have a little extra help…thanks to you.
Antibiotics and improving outcomes for critically ill COVID-19 patients
Flinders University researchers are exploring precision antibiotic strategies to tackle the two areas of greatest concern in the fight against COVID-19
Help for those with chronic pain
Two new research projects are seeking to improve care and treatment for people suffering with chronic pain.
COVID-19 Research: Face mask trial to keep health care workers safe
A trial will soon begin at Flinders Medical Centre to test 3D printed face mask seals
COVID-19: New protective gown testing facility
COVID-19: New protective gown testing facility a boost for healthcare worker safety