Program Leaders

 

Alertness measurement, prediction and  testing - Shantha Rajaratnam

Professor Shantha Rajaratnam is Deputy Head of the Monash School of Psychological Sciences, Leader of the Sleep and Circadian Medicine Laboratory at Monash and Chair of the Monash Sleep Network, which combines scientific and clinical expertise in sleep research within Monash University and its affiliated hospitals. He is dual trained in Psychology and Law.  He has more than 20 years of experience in studying circadian biology and medicine, in particular the circadian regulation of sleep-wakefulness. His postdoctoral training was from the Centre for Chronobiology at the University of Surrey, UK and Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA. He is a registered psychologist, Chartered Psychologist in the UK and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He is Immediate Past President of Australasian Sleep Association and is a member of the Harvard Work Hours, Health and Safety Group.

His research interests include the influence of the circadian timing system on sleep and health; effects of melatonin and melatonin agonists on sleep and circadian rhythms; effects of light on the human circadian system; development of evidence-based alertness management programs for shift workers; health and neurocognitive consequences of sleep loss and sleep disruption; and legal issues relating to sleep loss and impaired alertness. He has over 70 publications including original reports in leading medical journals such as Lancet and JAMA.

 

Safety and Productivity Improvements - Steven Lockley

Dr. Lockley is a Neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA. He is also a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University. Dr. Lockley has 20 years' experience in sleep and circadian rhythm research, and is a specialist in the effects of light on the circadian pacemaker and other ‘non-visual’ responses to light in sighted and blind individuals. He is a leading expert on the effects of blindness on sleep, circadian rhythm and alertness.  He has  led studies confirming the efficacy of treatment with melatonin, and later with a melatonin agonist, to reset the circadian clock, the data from which led to the first approved treatment for non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder in the blind. Read more

In sighted subjects, he has studied the role of light timing, duration, intensity, and history and most notably to date, the wavelength sensitivity of the circadian photoreception system, helping to confirm the remarkable earlier discovery of a novel non-rod, non-cone short-wavelength sensitive photoreceptor in ganglion cell layer of the human eye. These studies have led to real-world applications for light as a circadian and fatigue countermeasure in a range of occupational and clinical settings, and he is currently performing final functional ground tests on new solid-state lighting for the International Space Station among other light applications.

Dr Lockley has also conducted extensive field work on assessing and mitigating sleepiness and sleep problems, and the impact of extended work hours on health and safety of workers and the public. With the Harvard Work Hours Health and Safety Group, he has developed interventions that reduce extended duration work hours, fatigue and medical errors in hospital residents, and has implemented large-scale occupational fatigue management and sleep disorders screening programs in several police and firefighter departments nationwide. He is also a consultant to NASA on managing sleep and fatigue of astronauts and mission control. He co-authored 'Sleep: A Very Short Introduction' from Oxford University Press.

 

Sleep Health - Ron Grunstein

Ron Grunstein is Professor of Sleep Medicine, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney and senior staff physician in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. He heads the NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence (NHMRC CRE) for Translational Research in Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology (‘NeuroSleep”) and NHMRC supported Australasian Sleep Trials Network. He has been a Practitioner Fellow of the NHMRC since 2002. He leads the Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and has been lead investigator for three successive NHMRC CREs since 2004. He has also served on advisory boards of a range of health care companies and has received funding from AusIndustry to develop new modalities of sleep apnea diagnosis and therapy. His current main research interests involve in neurobiological and metabolic effects of sleep loss. As well he leads research in the simplification of sleep apnea diagnosis and new treatment interventions in sleep disorders. Dr Grunstein has been a visiting scientist at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and other overseas universities. He was awarded the Nathaniel Kleitman Award of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2011 and the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Australasian Sleep Association in 2010. In 2012, he was awarded the RPA Foundation Research medal and in 2014 Distinguished Professor of Sydney Medical School.

He has a long standing interest in health communication through the media and in 2008 was appointed a Public Member of the Australian Press Council in 2008. Dr Grunstein also serves as chief medical advisor to Sleep Disorders Australia, an advocacy body for patients with sleep disorders. He has also advised Australian, British and EU road regulatory bodies on sleep issues and has served as Associate Editor of the journal Sleep and has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Sleep Research, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Sleep Medicine and Respiratory Research. He has Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degrees and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Sydney and a PhD from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Professor Grunstein was the President of the World Sleep Federation (2007-11) which represents over 12,000 researchers and sleep clinicians globally and was President of the Australasian Sleep Association 1994-1997. He has served on a number of NHMRC committees including the reference group investigating health effects of wind turbines. Prof. Grunstein has a strong interest in translational clinical research in sleep health and was involved in the early commercialisation of nasal CPAP and non-invasive ventilatory support for sleep-breathing disorders