Research Fellow, BSc, MRes, PhD
Dr Stacey Bissell
University of Birmingham, UK
Dr Stacey Bissell is a Cerebra-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Richards Lab and Cerebra Network for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on early developmental profiles in young children with neurodevelopmental disorders and the impact of sleep disorders, epilepsy severity and autism characteristics on the presentation of behaviours associated with rare genetic syndromes and intellectual disability (e.g. self-injury, aggression, impulsivity).
Dr Bissell graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2013 with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology (MRes) from the University of Birmingham. Her MRes research project investigated the behavioural phenotype of Potocki-Lupski syndrome under the supervision of Prof Chris Oliver and Dr Lucy Wilde at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. From 2014 – 2018, Dr Bissell was co-funded by Cerebra and the Tuberous Sclerosis Association to explore behaviours in children with TSC at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, specifically investigating the profile of behaviours in children with TSC across specific developmental stages (e.g. early childhood, adolescence) and also compared to typical development. This research elucidated a clear distinction between ‘lower-order’ and ‘higher-order’ repetitive behaviours according to level of ability/adaptive functioning, and a particular emphasis on executive functioning deficits in relation to externalising behaviours (e.g. self-injury) and autism/ADHD characteristics (e.g. insistence on sameness, impulsivity).
At present, Dr Bissell’s current work explores the profile of sleep and behaviour in school-age children with TSC. The rationale of the eSNORE study (Exploring Sleep in Neurodevelopmental disorders through Online and Remote Evaluation) is to explore multiple sleep parameters that capture night-night variability in TSC and explore potential associations between sleep quality and day-time characteristics (e.g. aggression, impulsivity, behavioural indicators of pain, day-time sleepiness and seizure severity). She is also an affiliate member of a number of research groups and parent-led charity organisations, including the Midlands Sleep Group (Midlands sleep research network) and the Smith-Magenis syndrome Foundation UK Scientific and Clinical Advisory Group. Within the TANDem project, Dr Bissell is the Cluster Lead for Sleep and Eating Behaviour