MICCN researcher’s Heart Foundation Fellowship gives hope to sleep apnoea sufferers

Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN), and Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) Senior Research Fellow, Dr Bradley Edwards, has been awarded a Heart Foundation 2016 Future Leader Fellowship for his project, “Personalising the treatment of sleep apnoea”.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common disorder in which the airway repeatedly closes throughout the night and has serious consequences for cardiovascular health. While the gold standard treatment - to wear a mask connected to a machine that blows air into your airway to prevent airway collapse - is highly effective, it is poorly tolerated by many. Mandibular advancement devices and upper airway surgery are the most common alternative treatments, yet a significant number of patients do not respond to them. Furthermore, there are currently no proven additional therapies to offer to these patients.

Dr Edwards aims to investigate the effect of upper airway surgery and Mandibular advancement devices on the physiological processes underlying OSA. He also plans to determine if patients who fail to respond to these treatments can be effectively ‘rescued’ with the addition of oxygen therapy. He is hoping that his research will enable an individualised and effective mechanism-based therapy approach for the many patients whose OSA currently remains untreated, and who remain at great risk of serious cardiovascular complications. Importantly, the tools generated through his work will also be immediately translatable to clinical practice.

“I am truly honoured to receive such a prestigious award”, said Dr Edwards. “Not only is this a great recognition of my accomplishments to date, but it also provides the foundation on which I can now grow and expand my research program here at Monash, with the hope of benefitting those who currently suffer sleep apnoea.”

Dr Edwards’ Fellowship will commence on 1 January 2017.

MICCN congratulates Dr Edwards - and all other successful Monash recipients of Heart Foundation funding - on their success.

For more information on his sleep apnoea research, contact Dr Edwards on t: 03 9905 0187, e: bradley.edwards@monash.edu.

To view the complete list of Heart Foundation research funding recipients, visit the Heart Foundation website.

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Dr Bradley Edwards

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Dr Bradley Edwards