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Disability and rehabilitation

This broad area covers health sciences’ core lines, including inpatients and burns, musculoskeletal and back pain, neurological conditions causing disability, cardiovascular systems and rheumatology.

This broad area covers health sciences' core lines.
This broad area covers health sciences' core lines.

Musculoskeletal and back pain

This sub-area spans lab-based mechanistic studies, epidemiological population-level studies and translational research.

Our researchers are leading national studies such as painHEALTH, assisting those living with pain, and The Raine Study, a long-term investigation into pregnancy and its effects. Recent successes include NHMRC funding for research conducted by Anne Smith and Peter O’Sullivan.

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School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

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Dr Darren Beales
Darren’s research interests include improving understanding of the biopsychosocial nature of pain disorders from a lifespan perspective and integrating this knowledge into clinical practice and public policy.

Associate Professor Andrew Briggs
Andrew’s work focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of models of care for musculoskeletal conditions and pain, with particular attention to workforce capacity building, e-health and health policy.

Dr Amity Campbell
Amity carries out inter-disciplinary research in biomechanics, injury prevention and performance optimisation.

Associate Professor Peter Kent
Peter’s main research interests are musculoskeletal pain, research method, the use  of IT and sensors to inform clinical reasoning, and psychologicaly-informed physiotherapy.

Dr Leanda McKenna
Leanda’s research interests include shoulder pain, predictive factors for musculoskeletal pain, anthropometric measurement and the assessment of reliability of measurement tools.

Dr Tim Mitchell
Tim’s key research interests are in clinical translation research, in the areas of spinal pain, functional rehabilitation and work-related musculoskeletal pain.

Dr Leo Ng
Leo researches sports biomechanics, sports injury and sports science, as well as improved methods of teaching and learning in tertiary education

Professor Peter O’Sullivan
Peter and his team investigate the development, classification and targeted management of persistent musculoskeletal pain disorders. He has developed a new management approach for disabling lower back pain, ‘cognitive functional therapy’.

Associate Professor Helen Slater
Helen’s translational research focus in on findings ways to drive evidence about pain into real world clinical settings, aligning health policy and practice through models of care and exploring pain mechanisms underlying acute and persistent musculoskeletal pain

Dr Anne Smith
Anne conducts high impact clinical research in musculoskeletal pain disorders and physical activity, with a particular focus on biostatistics.

Professor Leon Straker
Leon’s research interests include the impact of technology on health, sedentariness, computer and electronic game use by children, prevention of musculoskeletal disorders associated with manual handling, and adolescent spinal pain.

Dr Penny Moss
Penny is interested in the development of manual therapy skills and decision-making in relation to neuromuscular and mobilisation techniques, and the teaching of pain concepts.

Professor Tony Wright
Tony investigates cold hyperalgesia, quantitative sensory testing, manipulation-induced analgesia, the interaction between pain and motor control dysfunction in musculoskeletal disorders, and experimental models of muscular and articular pain.


Rheumatology

This sub-area covers osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and joint hypermobility syndrome.

High profile research projects include RAP-el, rheumatoid arthritis e-learning for physiotherapists, and The Hypermobility Unit, for families with children suffering from joint hypermobility syndrome.

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School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

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Dr Kathy Briffa
Kathy focuses on osteoporosis risk identification, non-pharmacological prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and related fractures, fracture risk reduction, falls risk evaluation and prevention and the lifelong benefits of physical activity and exercise.

Associate Professor Andrew Briggs
Andrew’s work focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of models of care for musculoskeletal conditions and pain with particular attention to workforce capacity building, e-health and health policy.

Dr Robyn Fary
Robyn studies osteoarthritis of the knee, models of service delivery for people with rheumatoid arthritis, and health service delivery via Telehealth.

Dr Susan Morris
Susan’s areas of research focus are joint hypermobility syndrome, epidemiology, diagnosis, biomechanics and pain.

Dr Penny Moss
Penny is interested in the development of manual therapy skills and decision-making in relation to neuromuscular and mobilisation techniques, and the teaching of pain concepts.

Associate Professor Helen Slater
Helen’s translational research focus in on findings ways to drive evidence about pain into real world clinical settings, aligning health policy and practice through models of care and exploring pain mechanisms underlying acute and persistent musculoskeletal pain

Professor Tony Wright
Tony investigates cold hyperalgesia, quantitative sensory testing, manipulation-induced analgesia, the interaction between pain and motor control dysfunction in musculoskeletal disorders, and experimental models of muscular and articular pain.


Cardiovascular, respiratory and inpatients

This sub-area spans hospital care (inpatient and outpatient), cardiovascular studies and cancer.

Researchers in this area collaborate with the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (Brazil) and the Australia Technology Network of Universities. Recent successes include NHMRC funding granted to Meg Harrold and postdoctoral fellowships awarded to Vin Cavelheri (Cancer Council WA) and Graham Hall (Telethon Kids).

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School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

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Dr Vin Cavalheri
Vin’s research interests encompass physical activity and the role of exercise training for people with respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Associate Professor Graham Hall
Graham research focuses on identifying  the contributions of cardiovascular, respiratory muscular and pulmonary contributions to the development and persistence of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in very preterm infants.

Dr Kylie Hill
Kylie’s main focus relates to the rehabilitation of adults hospitalised with an acute respiratory condition.

Dr Meg Harrold
TBA

Dr Andrew Maiorana
Andrew focuses on improving the prevention, rehabilitation and management of cardiovascular disease.


Burns

This sub-area is closely aligned to the Fiona Wood Foundation.

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School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

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Dr Tiff Grisbrook
Tiff is working in the areas of exercise rehabilitation, biomechanics, exercise physiology and burn injury.


Neuroscience and neurodevelopmental disability

This sub-area includes spinal cord injury rehabilitation and the impact of exercise on brain health, rare disorders, intellectual disability and neuromuscular disorders.

It covers epidemiological, measurement and intervention studies.

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School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

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Dr Jenny Downs
Dr Jenny Downs is a senior researcher whose work involves understanding the natural history and modifiable determinants of childhood disability, developing outcome measures and conducting studies to determine best management for clinical issues.

Dr Andrew Lavender
Andrew’s research interests are in motor control and how neuromuscular function is affected by ageing, exercise and neuromuscular disorders.

Dr Susan Morris
Susan researches the development of sensorimotor function with a particular focus on autism and Developmental Coordination Disorder. She combines virtual reality and biomechanical methods to inform action-perception.

Dr Beatriz De Oliveira
Beatriz researches physical activity and adapted physical activity, biomechanics, management of musculoskeletal disorders and ageing