Emerging Sleep Hero Award Finalists 2022

This year the Sleep Health Foundation was overwhelmed by the quality and variety of the submissions we received, making the judges’ decisions to identify the top five entrants extremely difficult.

Congratulations to Louise, Melissa, Samantha, Sinh and Williams for their impressive Stage 1 entries! We look forward to seeing your presentation on Thursday 29 September at 6pm AEST. 

Register to attend the live event to view their presentations on Thursday 29 September at 6pm AEST via this link: https://emergingsleepheroaward22.rsvpify.com

Meet the Finalists

Louise Pivac

Louise is a PhD candidate at Murdoch University, under the supervision of Associate Professor Stephanie Rainey-Smith. After graduating from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Science (Cognitive Neuroscience and Health Psychology), she gained valuable research experience at the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation as a research volunteer, before beginning her PhD studies in 2020. Her research employs state-of-the-art methodologies to investigate the effect of sleep on cognition and brain-based biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. She is part of a research team, led by A/Prof. Rainey-Smith, investigating whether individuals with improvement in sleep, following a sleep-specific cognitive behavioural therapy program, gain observable improvement in cognition and biomarkers of brain health.

Melissa Cleary

Melissa Cleary is a researcher from the Centre of Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute. Her interest in sleep research developed through watching her brother, who is on the autism spectrum, struggle with insomnia his whole life. Her PhD is looking at insomnia in adolescent on the autism spectrum, where she will be co-designing a new sleep app alongside adolescents on the autism spectrum, with insomnia.”

Samantha Bramich

Samantha Bramich has been a sleep scientist at the Launceston General hospital for the past 10 years and completed her Master of Science in Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney in 2019. She has a keen interest in the impact of sleep on health and is currently a PhD student with the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre at the University of Tasmania. Her research is focused on REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) and neurodegeneration, looking at the prevalence and profiles of RBD in older Tasmanian adults. 

Sinh Lu

Sinh Lu is a PhD candidate at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University. He has completed a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Psychology at Monash University. He is currently working on an Australian Research Council-funded research study investigating the natural change in the internal body clock of adolescents, and how the changes may affect sleep patterns, mood, thinking and academic performance, across early to mid-adolescence. He is particularly interested in social and behavioural predictors of sleep-wake timing and circadian rhythms.

William Saunders

Will recently completed an Honours degree in psychology, with a thesis investigating the impact of insomnia on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is particularly interested in how sleep interventions can be used to improve mental health and wellbeing. Will is currently undertaking a research internship at the Monash University Health Sleep Clinic and is also working as a research assistant. He is planning to pursue further training in sleep research and clinical psychology.