Get to know your College: Alison Leviton


What is your role and what does your work focus on?  

I work as a Research Assistant in the Sleep Health (formerly Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, AISH). My work involves research into Obstructive Sleep Apnoea which is a common and frequent cause of morbidity in the Australian population. I am currently involved in an important and exciting study which aims to test a simplified approach to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) diagnosis and monitoring using technologies which measure nightly variations in the severity and impact of this condition. The current approach for diagnosing OSA involves a single night’s sleep study which may miss important information and potentially lead to misclassification and sub-optimal treatment recommendations. Our study provides a simple alternative diagnostic model which will capture the patterns of OSA over multiple nights. We are currently in the recruitment phase of the study whereby I am actively recruiting participants. During the course of the study, we will be collecting sleep and performance data as well as measures of wellbeing and quality of life.

Where did you work before joining CMPH?  

I have spent many years working in various areas of medical research in both laboratory environments in clinical studies and animal model investigations as well as with human participants. I have worked at SA Pathology for many years and within the private sector. However, the last few years I have been working in an administrative capacity and have learnt more about how to manage a large group of employees regarding training and compliance as well as the day to day running of a department. These skills have been highly transferrable to any role and have provided me with a good base in my current role.

What journey brought you to this point in your career?  

Although I have worked in various roles I have always been drawn back to research. I am fascinated by the research process and am particularly interested in how research aims to further understand the interrelation between mental and physical health. The practical application of research findings to conditions experienced by the general population is fundamental in this process. I am excited to be involved in this journey and hope to play my part in making a difference to the quality of life for people living with OSA.  While working as a Business Services Officer I also studied part time and completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science as a graduate entry student. I thoroughly enjoyed studying psychology and hoped to use some of the skills I developed during my studies. Throughout my career journey I have worked in many capacities and have discovered along the way that working in a clinical role is something I really enjoy. I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to work in Sleep Health (formerly Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, AISH) on a study which has personal relevance to me. Working in this environment with a passionate team has been something I have sought and am excited to be a part of the Sleep Health family.

What is something you love most about your work?  

I love working in the team here at AISH. I have been made to feel very welcome and already feel like an important part of the group. I am enjoying recruiting participants into the study and having the opportunity to make a difference to their quality of life.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?  

I would tell myself to never stop pursuing your dreams. There will always be setbacks and challenges in life and even if you cannot see a pathway through, keep going because everything you have been working towards will become a reality with hard work and perseverance.

If you had a super power what would it be?

If I had a superpower, I would like to be like Julieta in the movie Encanto who has the power to heal through the food she prepares for all those who need it.

How do you like to relax or spend your spare time? 

I love to spend time with my family and my pets who bring me much joy. I have a Maine Coon cat who is my beautiful gentle giant. I love spending time playing with him and enjoying his company. I also like to spend time in the garden enjoying the sounds of the birds and wildlife living in the local environment.

Who is the most famous person you are related to?

I have no famous relatives, but I am descended from the Monteith family who were once very famous in Scotland for their cotton mills.

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