Dr Stacey Bissell BSc, MRes, PhD

Dr Stacey Bissell

School of Psychology
Assistant Professor

Dr Stacey Bissell conducts sleep-focused and behavioural research with children diagnosed with rare genetic syndromes associated with autism, epilepsy and intellectual disability. She has specific research expertise working with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), Smith-Magenis syndrome, Potocki-Lupski syndrome, SATB2-associated syndrome and Kleefstra syndrome. Her current work: i) profiles sleep and behaviour in children with TSC using actigraphy and mobile app technology, ii) profiles sleep in same-household siblings of children who have complex nocturnal health needs, and iii) utilises qualitative methodologies with TSC families to capture lived experiences and priorities for sleep management service provision and support.


2014 – 2018                        PhD Psychology University of Birmingham
2013 – 2014                        MRes Clinical Psychology University of Birmingham
2010 – 2013                        BSc Psychology with Honours, Class I University of Birmingham


Dr Bissell graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the University of Birmingham in 2013 and completed her Master’s studies investigating the behavioural phenotype of Potocki-Lupski syndrome in 2014 under the supervision of Prof Chris Oliver and Dr Lucy Wilde at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. From 2014-2018, she was co-funded by Cerebra and the Tuberous Sclerosis Association to explore the early developmental profile of behaviours (e.g. self-injury, aggression, impulsivity) in young children with TSC. From 2018-2022, Dr Bissell completed two postdoctoral research posts at the Richards Lab and Cerebra Network (University of Birmingham), alongside Teaching Fellow posts within the School of Psychology.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Bissell currently supervises MSc students on both quantitative and qualitative research projects and supports MRes Clinical Psychology students as the Research Lead for this programme. Dr Bissell co-supervises PhD students and ClinPsyD students who work within the Cerebra Network with Dr Caroline Richards.


Research interests include:

  1. Using direct observational sleep methodology to characterise putative associations between poor sleep, pain, mental health, social cognition and behaviour in rare genetic syndrome groups and wider implications to family well-being (same-household siblings).
  2. Exploring early developmental profiles in young children with neurodevelopmental disorders and the association between sleep disorders, epilepsy severity and autism characteristics on the presentation of daytime behaviours (e.g. self-injury, aggression, emotional outbursts).
  3. Profiling the behavioural phenotype of rare genetic syndromes via cross-syndrome behavioural comparisons with matched groups.
  4. Conducting qualitative interviews to capture the lived experiences of caregivers providing overnight care to children with complex health needs associated with a rare genetic syndrome diagnosis (e.g. Smith-Magenis syndrome, TSC).

Other activities

  • Research Lead (Eat/Sleep cluster) and co-Lead (Overactive/Impulsive cluster) as part of the TANDem project for the TAND consortium (https://tandconsortium.org)
  • Working group co-Lead for the Kleefstra syndrome consensus guidelines consortium
  • Member of the Midlands Sleep Group (https://www.midlandssleepgroup.org/
  • Committee member of the Smith-Magenis syndrome Foundation UK Scientific and Clinical Advisory Group
  • Member of the Cerebra Network (https://www.cerebranetwork.com/home)


Highlight publications

Bozhilova, N, Welham, A, Adams, D, Bissell, S, Bruining, H, Crawford, H, Eden, K, Nelson, L, Oliver, C, Powis, L, Richards, C, Waite, J, Watson, P, Rhys, H, Wilde, L, Woodcock, K & Moss, J 2023, 'Profiles of autism characteristics in thirteen genetic syndromes: a machine learning approach', Molecular Autism, vol. 14, no. 1, 3. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-022-00530-5

Vanclooster, S, Bissell, S, van Eeghen, A, Chambers, N, De Waele, L, Byars, A, Capal, J, Cukier, S, Davis, P, Flinn, J, Gardner-Lubbe, S, Gipson, T, Heunis, T-M, Hook, D, Kingswood, JC, Krueger, D, Kumm, A, Sahin, M, Schoeters, E, Smith, C, Srivastava, S, Takei, M, Waltereit, R, Jansen, A & de Vries, P 2022, 'The research landscape of tuberous sclerosis complex-associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND)-a comprehensive scoping review', Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, vol. 14, no. 1, 13 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-022-09423-3

Agar, G, Bissell, S, Wilde, L, Over, N, Williams, C, Richards, C & Oliver, C 2022, 'Caregivers’ experience of sleep management in Smith–Magenis syndrome: a mixed-methods study', Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, vol. 17, no. 1, 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-021-02159-8

Bissell, S, Oliver, C, Moss, J, Heald, M, Waite, J, Crawford, H, Kothari, V, Rumbellow, L, Walters, G & Richards, C 2022, 'The behavioural phenotype of SATB2-associated syndrome: a within-group and cross-syndrome analysis', Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, vol. 14, no. 1, 25. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-022-09426-0

Bissell, S, Wilde, L, Richards, C, Moss, J & Oliver, C 2018, 'The behavioural phenotype of Potocki-Lupski syndrome: a cross-syndrome comparison', Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, vol. 10, no. 1, 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-017-9221-x

Recent publications


O’Sullivan, R, Bissell, S, Agar, G, Spiller, J, Surtees, A, Heald, M, Clarkson, E, Khan, A, Oliver, C, Bagshaw, AP & Richards, C 2024, 'Exploring an objective measure of overactivity in children with rare genetic syndromes', Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, vol. 16, no. 1, 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-024-09535-y

Shelley, L, Waite, J, Tarver, J, Oliver, C, Crawford, H, Richards, C & Bissell, S 2023, 'Behaviours that Challenge in SATB2-associated Syndrome: Correlates of Self-injury, Aggression and Property Destruction', Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-023-06123-2

O'Sullivan, R, Bissell, S, Hamilton, A, Bagshaw, A & Richards, C 2023, 'Concordance of objective and subjective measures of sleep in children with neurodevelopmental conditions: A systematic review and metaanalysis', Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 71, 101814. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2023.101814

Heunis, T-M, Chambers, N, Vanclooster, S, Bissell, S, Byars, AW, Capal, JK, Cukier, S, Davis, PE, de Vries, MC, De Waele, L, Flinn, J, Gardner-Lubbe, S, Gipson, T, Kingswood, JC, Krueger, DA, Kumm, AJ, Sahin, M, Schoeters, E, Smith, C, Srivastava, S, Takei, M, van Eeghen, AM, Waltereit, R, Jansen, AC & de Vries, PJ 2023, 'Development and feasibility of the self-report quantified TSC-Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders Checklist (TAND-SQ) (120 characters of 120 max)', Pediatric Neurology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2023.07.001

de Vries, PJ, Heunis, T-M, Vanclooster, S, Chambers, N, Bissell, S, Byars, AW, Flinn, J, Gipson, TT, van Eeghen, AM, Waltereit, R, Capal, JK, Cukier, S, Davis, PE, Smith, C, Kingswood, JC, Schoeters, E, Srivastava, S, Takei, M, Gardner-Lubbe, S, Kumm, AJ, Krueger, DA, Sahin, M, De Waele, L & Jansen, AC 2023, 'International consensus recommendations for the identification and treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex-associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND)', Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, vol. 15, no. 1, 32. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-023-09500-1

Watkins, A, Bissell, S, Moss, J, Oliver, C, Clayton-Smith, J, Haye, L, Heald, M & Welham, A 2019, 'Behavioural and psychological characteristics in Pitt-Hopkins syndrome: a comparison with Angelman and Cornelia de Lange syndromes', Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, vol. 11, no. 1, 24. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11689-019-9282-0


Oliver, C, Ellis, K, Agar, G, Bissell, S, Chung, JCY, Crawford, H, Pearson, E, Wade, K, Waite, J, Allen, D, Deeprose, L, Edwards, G, Jenner, L, Kearney, B, Shelley, L, Smith, K, Trower, H, Adams, D, Daniel, L, Groves, L, Heald, M, Moss, J, Richards, C, Royston, R, Tarver, J, Welham, A, Wilde, L & Woodcock, K 2022, Distress and challenging behavior in people with profound or severe intellectual disability and complex needs: Assessment of causes and evaluation of intervention outcomes. in AJ Esbensen & EK Schworer (eds), Contemporary Issues in Evaluating Treatment Outcomes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 62, Academic Press Inc., pp. 109-189. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.irrdd.2022.05.004

Review article

Winsor, A, Richards, C, Bissell, S, Seri, S, Liew, A & Bagshaw, A 2021, 'Sleep disruption in children and adolescents with epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis', Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 57, 101416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101416

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