Dr Nadine Gravett

Sleep researcher

Dr Nadine Gravett has always had a very inquisitive nature, making science the automatic choice for study when she matriculated.

“I was fascinated with electricity and the human body from a very young age,” she says. “However, my love affair with the brain started during my second year of university when I dissected my first human brain in anatomy. I was fascinated and mesmerized at this unassuming mass of tissue that controls everything we do and determines who we are. I knew then that I needed to know more and that this would become my life’s work and passion.”

Nadine’s area of focus is sleep and the brain, and she studies sleep in both animals and humans using novel techniques to answer questions about the factors that shape sleep architecture.

“Through my research I hope to contribute to the understanding of the evolution of sleep,” she says. “I also hope to develop novel alternative non-pharmaceutical therapies for the treatment and management of insomnia, and to create a national sleep hygiene awareness and education program.”

Nadine is currently a senior lecturer and the BHSc Medical Cell Biology Honours course coordinator at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Anatomical Sciences. She has received of a number of prestigious awards from the faculty of health sciences for her research and teaching, has been extensively involved in curriculum planning and development, and has supervised a number of postgraduate students at honours, master’s and PhD level.

She has published a substantial number of research articles in leading international scientific journals, is a member of the Golden Key Society and holds membership with various societies and organisations related to her research field. She has served as a reviewer for the National Research Foundation and has organised a number of international neuroscience schools for the International Brain Research Organisation.

Nadine ‘s home language is Afrikaans, a barrier she had to overcome when she started her studies, as she had to interpret and understand large volumes of new information that was presented in English.

She overcame that challenge through sheer hard work and commitment and by not accepting the status quo, always constructively challenging the system. By never giving up or backing down, she has been able to overcome many other challenges that she has faced in her career.

— Kerry Haggard

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ nadine-gravett-261bb372