Last week's virtual Sleep DownUnder 2021 focussed the attention of the sleep community in Australia and New Zealand on our home-grown talent. Plenary and symposium sessions highlighted key themes in current research and practice, while abstract sessions featured the biggest news in research from the last year.
"With more than 200 abstracts submitted and well over 700 participants, it's great to see that sleep research is still going strong after the difficulties of the last 18 months," said Conference Chair, Dr Andrew Gikas.
"There was a high level of enthusiastic engagement with all the sessions from delegates, along with excellent support from our digital sponsors and supporters."
The Poster Gallery featured 148 high quality research reports, many of them presented in recordings by the first author.
"Delegates can now access all the recordings of the sessions, and catch up on any posters you missed during the conference," said ASA CEO, Marcia Balzer.
"Just log in with the details you were sent to access the live sessions, and view the recordings in the same virtual platform. Don't miss the annual Sleep Health Foundation Great Debate: That COVID-19 has been good for sleep!"
If you didn't register for Sleep DownUnder, you will be able to access all the sessions via the ASA's soon-to-arrive Learning Centre in around four weeks' time. Each session and short course will be available to purchase individually.
And the winner is....
Sleep DownUnder was the opportunity to present our annual grants and awards to seven very worthy recipients. Congratulations to all the winners!
- The Distinguished Achievement Award was presented to Emeritus Professor Dorothy Bruck who been researching sleep and its disorders for over three decades. She has been involved in research on different aspects of sleep with colleagues in Germany, Britain and Canada and has over 100 publications in the areas of narcolepsy, insomnia, sleep inertia, sleep in older adults, chronic fatigue syndrome and arousal thresholds to emergency signals. Dot has made a significant contribution to the field of sleep medicine and patient advocacy, and was a foundation member of the ASA and the Sleep Health Foundation.
- The President's Award was presented to Yu Sun Bin for her tireless contribution to our committees and working groups in organising webinars, participating in education sub-committees, supporting our advocacy efforts, and being a creative and hardworking contributor to our ASA community.
- The hotly-contested Philips Sleep Research Grant of $40,000 was awarded to Bei Bei from Monash University to support her research project titled Sleep and Thrive in Adolescence (STA): Pilot testing a scalable program to improve sleep in adolescents.
- The winner of the Helen Bearpark Travel Scholarship of $7500 was Julia Stone from Monash University. Julia will be travelling to the NASA Ames Research Center in the US to study Individualised models of sleep, cognitive performance, and alertness in airline pilots.
- The Rob Pierce Grant in Aid of $10,000 was awarded to Marnie Graco from the Institute for Breathing and Sleep in Melbourne. Marnie will be using the grant to help fund a project called: Implementing a rehabilitation-led model of managing sleep disordered breathing in spinal cord injury: a pilot safety and feasibility study.
- The Nick Antic Career Development Award of $1500 was presented to Amy Reynolds from Flinders University. Amy will be using this award to support the PhD students she works with to support their development and engagement with sleep health.
- The prestigious New Investigator Award of $1000 was awarded to Alice Baker for her presentation titled "Medical therapy for sleep disordered breathing in children: a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial".
Over on Twitter, the #SDU2021 hashtag saw lots of keen activity from sleep researchers and academics, even expanding to encompass the non-human participants with the #petsofSDU hashtag! Check the column to the right or below for a sample of contributions to the SDU twitter stream.
The ASA's Annual General Meeting saw us say a virtual thank you to our virtual President, Alan Young, as he steps into the Past President role and Sutapa Mukherjee takes on the top job. As we couldn't get together in person, members from across Australia and New Zealand helped create a special video to mark the occasion.