Sleep centre welcomes new experts

Professor Danny Eckert has joined Flinders University as a Matthew Flinders Fellow and Director of the new Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health (AISH), where he will lead the world-class sleep team that includes new Medical Director, Professor of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Robert Adams.

Shaped by AISH’s celebrated expertise himself, Professor Eckert trained at the centre between 2000 and 2006 where he researched sleep and respiratory physiology. During this time he worked with Professor Doug McEvoy and Professor Peter Catcheside, and also the late Professor Nick Antic, who was a past AISH Clinical Director, internationally renowned for his contributions to sleep research and now honoured through the naming of the new Nick Antic Laboratories at the revamped AISH.

Professor Eckert’s work took him to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, where he was Assistant Professor in the Division of Sleep Medicine. He then returned to Australia in 2011 to establish the clinical and sleep research programs at Neuroscience Research Australia in Sydney, where he was the Director and Principal Research Scientist, and Professor at the University of New South Wales.

Professor Eckert’s research focuses on better understanding obstructive sleep apnoea and respiratory disease, identifying novel therapeutic targets, and developing new-targeted therapies.

He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in sleep and respiratory medicine, has been awarded more than $2m in competitive research funding and has received multiple awards. Most recently, he received the 2019 Pierre Robin Award, the most prestigious award offered by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine for exceptional initiative and progress in the areas of education and academic research with original contributions to dental sleep medicine.

His multidisciplinary research team at the newly launched AISH focuses on identifying the physiological causes of sleep apnoea and related breathing disorders, and developing new tailored therapies using novel upper airway physiology and phenotyping techniques.

New AISH Medical Director, Professor Robert Adams, is a specialist respiratory and general physician experienced in public health, clinical epidemiology and health services research. He has a key interest in sleep health, particularly obstructive sleep apnoea.

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Professor Adams has designed and implemented clinical trials in a number of areas including asthma and health service improvement and authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications.

He led the TeamSTEPPS training program at SA Health and is on the board of the Australian Patient Safety Foundation. He was inaugural Chair of the SA Health Literacy Alliance and is a founding member of, a multidisciplinary group of experts focused on applying their clinical, mathematical, digital and statistical skills to reform healthcare.

AISH immediate past Director, Professor Doug McEvoy, is continuing at the centre as an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow.

The new AISH, upgraded and relocated at brand new premises in the Sir Mark Oliphant Building off South Road, was launched on Friday 15 February 2019.

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