Spinal Cord Injury Network Committees

Research, Evidence And Translation Committee

Dr Nicholson heads a research team comprising two full time Postdoctoral Fellows and seven graduate students and is the principal investigator (PI) of the Molecular Neuroanatomy Laboratory in the Department of Anatomy with Radiology part the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland.

The research programme embraces a number of broad projects investigating the role of specific receptors in neurodegeneration. In particular, we are interested in the molecualr mechanism of degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases that have a late onset. The role of gap junctions in central nervous system diseases and injury is a current thrust of the research group. The laboratory is extremely well resourced and has a very strong molecular skill base and internationally recognised expertise in the application of in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemisty. Organotypic slice cultures, in vitro cell culture facilities and antisense technologies are also used routinely in the laboratory.

The Research, Evidence and Translation Committee aims to facilitate research and its evaluation in spinal cord injury, and promote translation of research outcomes into best practice. Download the Terms of Reference.

Research, Evidence and Translation Committee Members

Professor Louise Nicholson (Chair)
Associate Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, NZ
Basic science, secondary degeneration
Dr Peter Bragge
Senior Research Fellow at the National Trauma Research Institute in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, VIC
Translational research
Associate Professor David Brown
Senior Research Fellow at St Vincent’s centre for Applied Medical Research at the University of NSW, NSW
Immunology and spinal cord injury
Professor Mary Galea
Professor of Clinical Physiotherapy, Director, Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, The University of Melbourne and Austin Health, VIC
Exercise in clinical and animal models
Anne Sinnott
Clinical Researcher, University of Otago, NZ
The research of real life outcomes for people living with spinal cord injury
Associate Professor Stuart Hodgetts
Research Associate Professor at the Spinal Cord Repair Laboratory, within the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia (UWA), WA
Adult stem cell transplantations
Jonathan Tang
Spinal cord injury perspective
Professor James Vickers
Deputy Director, Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, TAS
Degeneration AD, PD, MND


Professor Sarah Dunlop is a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Zoology and Chair, Neuroscience Discipline Experimental and Regenerative Neurosciences at The University of Western Australia.

The Clinical Trials Committee aims to assist the development and implementation of multi-centre spinal cord injury clinical trials in Australia and New Zealand. Terms of Reference.

Clinical Trials Committee Members

Professor Sarah Dunlop (Chair)
Director, Spinal Cord Injury Network  Winthrop Professor, Head of School of Animal Biology and Head, Experimental & Regenerative Neurosciences, The University of Western Australia, WA
Neuroscience: plasticity and promoting functional recovery after neurotrauma
Dr Catherine Bourgeois
Director, Spinal Cord Injury Network Clinical Research Manager, St Jude Medical, NSW
Clinical research management
Professor Brian Freeman
Professor and Head of Spinal Surgery, University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA
Spinal surgery and clinical research
Dr Ruth Marshall
Director, South Australian Spinal Cord Injury Service, SA
Spinal cord injury management, health service delivery, clinical trials
Associate Professor James Middleton
Director, State Spinal Cord Injury Service, NSW
Spinal cord injury management, health service delivery, clinical trials, applied research
Dr Andrew Nunn
Director Victorian Spinal Cord Service , Austin Health, VIC
Spinal cord injury management, health service delivery, clinical trials, applied research
Dr Peter Batchelor
Austin Health and Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
Neurology, basic science and clinical trials for spinal cord injury
Dr Olivia Ong
Rehabilitation Registrar, Melbourne, VIC
Clinical research, spinal cord injury perspective
Rowan Schouten
Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Burwood Spinal Unit, Christchurch, NZ
Spinal surgery and clinical research
Dr Sridhar Atresh
Director, Queensland Spinal Cord Injury Service, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
Spinal cord injury management