Researcher biography

Dr Cassandra Pattinson has strong research interests in exploring the effects of sleep and circadian rhythms on health, wellbeing, and recovery across the lifespan. Dr Pattinson completed her PhD through Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Health in 2017. Her thesis explored the effects of sleep and light exposure on child health, specifically childhood obesity, in preschool children, aged 3 to 5 years. Prior to joining UQ's Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), Dr Pattinson worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. In this role Dr Pattinson examined the effect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on health, including the effects of TBI on protein and gene expression, as well as exploring the role of sleep on TBI-related symptom perturbation, maintenance, and recovery.

Her research has involved a range of populations from children and adolescents, through to military personnel and athletes. Dr Pattinson's research spans a range of study designs and methodologies, including longitudinal studies tracking large child cohorts (>2000 children), standard observation techniques, survey and individualised standard child assessment, as well as studies employing physiological (actigraphy, heart rate variability) and biological (hormones, proteomic, genomic) designs. Dr Pattinson also has a strong track record in research translation, these have included manuscripts in top scientific journals, reports for government and non-government organisations, development of professional development programs, as well as designing and presenting vodcasts and resources (e.g. fact sheets, workshops) to parent groups, young adults, government departments and the early childhood sector.

Dr Pattinson also prioritises research mentorship and leadership. When mentoring, she aims to create an engaging learning environment which promotes critical analysis and reflection. She has co-supervised, two PhD students (NIH). eight Masters of Developmental and Education Psychology Students (QUT), and four NIH Postbaccalaureate students (equivalent of honours) to completion. She currently supervisors two honours of Psychology students, one honours of Biomedical Science student and one PhD candidate.