Sydney Sleep Biobank

Understanding the influence of sleep disorders on health and wellbeing
A multi-institute research study aimed at promoting personalised approached to the diagnosis and management of common sleep disorders.

Sleep is a fundamental biological function that is vital for health and wellbeing. Poor sleep behaviours and sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia are a hidden epidemic in our society and have a profound impact across the entire lifespan. Poor sleep has been identified as an upstream cause of major chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, cancer, poor mental health, accidents and injury. Individual pathways from poor sleep to specific diseases have only begun to be mapped out and the ultimate goal is to develop a personalised approach to diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Our vision is to build a world-class research infrastructure to enable identification of individual sleep features in terms of disease subtypes, disease progression, susceptibility to chronic diseases and treatment outcomes in order to personalise care for better patient outcomes to ultimately improve the health of our society.

The Sydney Sleep Biobank (SSB) is an initiative of the Precision Sleep Medicine (PRISM) research node of the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney. The project forms part of a collaborative effort across major NSW teaching hospitals, Royal North Shore, Royal Prince Alfred, and Westmead Hospitals and key research institutes, such as The Westmead Institute for Medical Research). Led by Professor Peter Cistulli the SSB brings together a multidisciplinary team with expertise spanning clinical sleep medicine, cardiovascular health, sleep biology, psychology and psychiatry, cell biology, neurobiology, oral health, protein omics, metabolomics, immunology, engineering, physical activity, public health, complex systems and informatics.

The SSB aims to combine this diverse expertise with comprehensive individual data to redefine links between sleep and health and current models of clinical care. Current clinical care models take a ‘one size fits all’ approach, making them ineffective for optimising individual patient outcomes.  Our strategy is to apply Precision Medicine approaches to allow prediction, personalisation, prevention, and participation (P4 Medicine) in clinical sleep care, with the ultimate goal of translation into real world solutions for good sleep and health.

The SSB is uniquely positioned to advance precision sleep medicine by capturing clinical, physiological and research data to drive scientific discoveries and clinical innovations. The SSB therefore has potential as a global leader in sleep biobanking and to drive research with worldwide impact in the sleep field. In conjunction with our researchers, this world-class biobank provides a mechanism to revolutionise understanding of sleep health and disorders for the benefit of individuals, the healthcare system and society.

  • Biobank certification: The Sydney Sleep Biobank is Australia's first certified sleep biobank.
  • Certification has been endorsed by the University of British Columbia and NSW Health Pathology.  The SSB is complying with international and national biobanking standards to create a world-class biobank with high quality collections across all participating sites.
  • Cognitive phenotyping: in-kind support has been secured from Cogstate Ltd, for deployment of computerized cognitive testing to be collected from biobank participants. This will allow findings to be linked to objective neurocognitive measures, a key consequence in some sleep disorder patients.
  • State of the art collection and processing of biological samples: The SSB has been awarded the Biospecimen Collection Grant from the Ministry of Health. This grant supports the development of collections of high quality biospecimens and associated data with the aim to build a research asset of biospecimens for the NSW state and beyond to facilitate research on priority health issues affecting the NSW population. The biospecimens will be collected via the statewide NSW Health Pathology network and processed and stored in the state-of-the-art  NSW Health Statewide Biobank.
  • Linkage to health data: SSB data  will be linked to NSW Health data collections by the Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL), a dedicated data linkage centre within NSW Health. 

The Sydey Sleep Biobank is governed by an Executive Committee made up of representatives from each of the participating sites.

  • Royal North Shore Hospital, Sleep Laboratory (02) 9463 2928
  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sleep Laboratory (02) 9515 4964
  • Westmead Hospital, Sleep Laboratory (02) 8890 7785
  • The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (02) 8627 3334