Dr Lisa Walter

Dr Lisa Walter is a post-doctoral researcher in the paediatric sleep research group of The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, a position she has held since completing her PhD in 2008. Dr Walter’s research is focused on paediatric sleep medicine.

Dr Walter has co-ordinated the recruitment of participants and conducted sleep studies and data analysis for four NHMRC projects. Her area of research has more recently been expanded to include sleep in children with cancer. Dr Walter has produced 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts (35 original research papers; four reviews) and one book chapter, 26 of these as either first or co-senior author.

Dr Walter’s research findings have been directly translated into clinical practice and these findings have significantly contributed to the knowledge that sleep disordered breathing, particularly snoring in childhood, is not benign. She has developed expertise in novel assessments of cardiovascular control. Dr Walter has used these assessments to investigate the effects of sleep disordered breathing, a condition affecting up to 35 per cent of primary- and preschool-aged children, on sleep, respiratory function, and autonomic control.

Dr Walter has developed expertise in the assessment of all aspects of sleep physiology, polysomnographic data and cardiovascular control in studies investigating the effect of treatment on preschool-aged children, and cerebral oxygenation in children with sleep disordered breathing.

Dr Walter’s research has helped to inform clinical practice through increased awareness of the need for and benefits of intervention in childhood sleep disorders. As part of a research group, she identified that primary school-aged children with sleep disordered breathing have elevated blood pressure. The team also discovered that children with the more severe obstructive sleep apnoea have dysfunctional autonomic control of their blood pressure and heart rate, both of which can be mitigated following an improvement in the severity of the condition.

Selected publications

  • Lisa M Walter, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, Peter A Downie, Rosemary SC Horne.(2015) Sleep and Fatigue in Pediatric Oncology: A review of the literature. Sleep Medicine Reviews.

  • Lauren C Nisbet, Stephanie R Yiallourou, Sarah N Biggs, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, John A Trinder, Lisa M Walter*, Rosemary SC Horne* (2013) Preschool children with obstructive sleep apnea: the beginnings of elevated blood pressure? Sleep. 36(8):1219-26. *co-senior authors

  • Lisa M Walter, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, Denise O’Driscoll, John Trinder, Rosemary SC Horne. (2011) Sleep disturbance in preschool children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep Medicine, 12 880-886.

  • Lauren C Nisbet, Stephanie R Yiallourou, Sarah N Biggs, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, John A Trinder, Lisa M Walter*, Rosemary SC Horne* (2013) Nocturnal Autonomic Function in Preschool Children With Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep Medicine. 14(12):1310-6. *co-senior authors

  • Lisa M Walter, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, Vicki Anderson, Adrian M Walker, Rosemary SC Horne. (2012) Autonomic dysfunction in children with sleep disordered breathing. Sleep and Breathing. 17(2):605-13.

  • Lauren C Nisbet, Stephanie R Yiallourou, Sarah N Biggs, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, John A Trinder, Lisa M Walter*, Rosemary SC Horne* (2013) Characterization of the acute pulse transit time response to obstructive apneas and hypopneas in preschool children with sleep disordered breathing. Sleep Medicine. 14(11):1123-31. * co-senior authors

  • Lisa M Walter, Stephanie Yiallourou, Scott Sands, Anna Vlahandonis, Candice Johnson, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, Adrian M Walker, John Trinder, Rosemary SC Horne. (2013) Impaired blood pressure control in school-aged children. Sleep Medicine. 14:858-66.

  • Anna Vlahandonis, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, Lisa M Walter*, Rosemary SC Horne* (2013) A four year follow-up of sleep and respiratory measures in elementary school-aged children with sleep disordered breathing. Sleep Medicine. 14(5):440-8. * co-senior authors

  • Anna Vlahandonis, Gillian M Nixon, Margot J Davey, Lisa M Walter*, Rosemary SC Horne* (2014) Long-term changes in blood pressure control in elementary school-aged children with sleep disordered breathing. Sleep Medicine. 15(1):83-90. * co-senior authors

  • Rosemary SC Horne, Joel SC Yang, Lisa M Walter, Heidi L Richardson, Denise M O’Driscoll, Alison M Foster, Shi Wong, Michelle L Ng, Farhat Bashir, Ruth Patterson, Gillian M Nixon, Damien Jolley, Adrian M Walker, Vicki Anderson, John Trinder, Margot J Davey. (2011) Elevated blood pressure during sleep and wake in elementary school children with sleep disordered breathing. Pediatrics, 128 e85-e92.