Leon Siriwardhana from the Infant and Child Health Research Group at Hudson Institute

Leon Siriwardhana


PhD student

Research Group:

Infant and Child Health

Research Centre:

The Ritchie Centre

Area of study:

Ventilatory control

Year of enrolment:


Why did you choose Hudson Institute and your research group?

I completed my honours year in 2018 with the Infant and Child Health Research group at Hudson Institute because I have a strong interest in paediatrics and have always found sleep to be a fascinating area of research. I thoroughly enjoyed my honours year with this group as I had the opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field and decided to continue my research into a PhD.

What is your research about and what do you hope to achieve?

Infants and children spend the majority of their time asleep. Common sleep disorders such as sleep disordered breathing, can negatively impact the developing brain and other body systems, and as such, requires timely detection and management. Currently, the management of this condition focuses only on improving the compromised upper airway anatomy. While this is effective, it does not always lead to a complete cure. My research explores other potential contributory mechanisms for sleep disordered breathing in children, particularly unstable ventilatory control. In addition, we are interested in gaining a better understanding of the early postnatal development of ventilatory control and how this might relate to unstable breathing patterns commonly seen in infants. Through this work, we are ultimately aiming to improve detection of potentially dangerous breathing patterns in infants and to develop more targeted, individualised treatment options for children with sleep disordered breathing.

What is it like being a student at Hudson Institute?

I have found my student experience and Hudson Institute and The Ritchie Centre to be incredibly positive. There are many opportunities to collaborate and learn from world-renowned researchers and clinician scientists. The strong focus on translational research means that you get to work closely with clinicians and get to see the real world applications of your research.