I am an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, in the area of persistent pain, currently working in the Hopkins Centre at Griffith University in the Musculoskeletal Health & Persistent Pain research group let by Professor Michel Coppieters. My early career has a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration to innovate technologies in response to, and in aid of, modern pain neuroscience. In collaborated with computer scientists to create virtual reality applications for research and therapy, and with engineers to create sensory training devices designed to test and retrain somatosensory function in the clinic. I have a combination of advanced clinical training and experience (B. Physio [hons], Masters of Musculoskeletal & Sports Physiotherapy), and research training (PhD, Body in Mind group, University of South Australia).
While focussing on design and innovation, I have 25 publications in leading journals in the field (e.g. The Journal of Pain, Psychological Science, Physical Therapy, Annals of Neurology) and have delivered over 25 conference presentations including 15, as an invited/keynote speaker. I have received over $500,000 in competitive funding as CIA, and been recognised with awards such as the Ruth Grant Prize for contribution to physiotherapy, and the South Australian iAward for innovation (Research and Development category).
The impact of my research is on an upward trajectory—according to Almetrics, the impact of my papers extends to the 98th percentile of same-age papers (score up to 130). My research has; pioneered interrogation of the Imprecision Hypothesis, an innovative theory of chronic pain; created a new research paradigm using simulated movement; and developed new sensory tests for proprioception and tactile acuity; and created new technologies explore effectiveness of virtual reality and sensory training (i.e. the MoOVi-illusion enhanced VR exercise application for neck pain, and the Imprint Tactile Acuity Device). The originality of my research is further evidenced by generated media interest, with publications in the Scientific American Mind, ScienceDaily and MedicalXpress, and television appearances—including SBS Insight.
I am committed to the translational impact of research: I am a founding and current member of the Australian Physiotherapy Pain Network—a group that aims to improve professional skills of physiotherapists working in pain. I was a commissioning editor for bodyinmind.org—the most influential pain-related web presence—until its foreclosure. My online articles here have attracted over 50,000 views. I have been committed to clinical and public pain science education; in addition to my aforementioned roles, I have been involved with each of the three Pain Revolution rural education tours, I developed the Pain Science curriculum in the physiotherapy program at Bond University and I am a regular invited speaker for clinical groups. I have been a part of working groups to better integrate pain science to clinical education (UniSA) and determine pain education needs in cancer survivors. Further, by invitation I contributed to an international debate on the future of physiotherapy (‘the great debate’, Motion for Life conference, Spain, 2016).
I am currently supervising three PhD and Masters candidates, along with honours students across a range of health and engineering disciplines. I am a Peer Review Editor for then journal Virtual Reality in Medicine, and I am on the peer review panel for Musculoskeletal Science and Practice.