Farewell to sleep pioneer John Trinder

31 August 2021 

One of the elders of the Australian sleep community, John Trinder, passed away earlier this week. We express our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues for their sad loss. His significant and important contributions to sleep medicine and sleep research will be remembered.

John Trinder was a founding member of what was originally called the “Australasian Sleep Research Association” and was initially elected as Vice President (with Colin Sullivan as President). He arranged and hosted the second annual scientific meeting of the association at the University of Melbourne. John then became President from 1989-1992 and oversaw the changing of the name to the Australasian Sleep Association.

He established the Sleep Laboratory at the University of Melbourne in 1987 and directed it until his retirement in 2015. In the last week, the laboratory has been officially renamed in his honour. John’s achievements include publishing more than 200 scholarly articles, training more than 40 doctoral and masters students and over 100 honours students. He contributed to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at the University of Melbourne for more than 25 years and served as Head of the School of Psychological Sciences (1999-2002). He had continuous funding from the NHMRC and ARC for the 20 years prior to his retirement.

Emeritus Professor Trinder’s research work has dramatically advanced the field of sleep medicine. by increasing our understanding of numerous aspects of sleep. These include the function of sleep, the role of sleep and awakening in sudden infant death syndrome, the causes of obstructive sleep apnoea and consequences of obstructive sleep apnoea in pre-schoolers, and the basic understanding of cardio-respiratory changes that accompany sleep. In 2012 he was awarded the Australasian Sleep Associations Distinguished Achievement Award for his exceptional achievements in the fields of sleep health and sleep science. He was also Editor in Chief of the two most prestigious sleep journals Sleep and Journal of Sleep Research.

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