Neurological rehabilitation & gerontology

Neurological disorders are a common cause of reduced capacity for everyday independence. Neurological rehabilitation focuses on improving a person's ability to care for themselves and optimise their outcome from a neurological event or condition. The research programs in the physiotherapy department target a range of conditions such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and motor neurone disease. These conditions represent major causes of disability in younger and older adults. We work collaboratively with our clinical partners, consumers, and other professions to investigate physical impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions that result from neurological disorders.

There are three main research areas:

  1. Identification of physical impairments and activity limitations associated with neurological disorders. This can include reduced balance, poor upper limb use and muscle weakness, which can all play a major role in limiting independence.
  2. Implementation of research findings into clinical practice.
  3. Evaluation of the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions that aim to improve function, health and wellbeing (spanning impairment, activity and participation) or reduce secondary risk for people with a neurological condition.


Profile picture of Jennifer McGinley

Prof Jennifer McGinley

Head, Department of Physiotherapy | Research areas include movement and function across the lifespan in healthy people and those with neurological conditions including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder
Profile picture of Gavin Williams

Prof Gavin Williams

Professor of Physiotherapy Rehabilitation | Research areas include neurological gait disorders, running, task-specific strength training and focal spasticity management
Profile picture of David Berlowitz

Prof David Berlowitz

Chair in Physiotherapy at Austin Health | Research areas include sleep and breathing disorders in neuromuscular disease, health systems and data research, clinical trials of therapies and care models
Profile picture of Cathy Said

A/Prof Cathy Said

A/Professor Physiotherapy Western Health | Research interests include rehabilitation and fall prevention in older people and people with neurological disorders
Profile picture of Kate Hayward

Dr Kate Hayward

Senior Research Fellow | Research areas include the brain-behaviour nexus during rehabilitation after stroke
Profile picture of Natalie Fini

Dr Natalie Fini

Senior Lecturer, Post-Doctoral Researcher | Research areas include physical activity after neurological injury, stroke recovery and rehabilitation
Profile picture of Kelly Bower

Dr Kelly Bower

Lecturer | Research areas include stroke rehabilitation, balance training, falls prevention, motion-tracking technologies and telehealth
Profile picture of Libby Proud

Dr Libby Proud

Lecturer, Researcher

Honorary staff

A/Prof Frances Batchelor

Dr Liam Johnson

Dr Karen Borschmann

Dr Marlena Klaic

Dr Bridget Hill

Sue Williams

Graduate Researchers

Matt Wingfield

Sara Isaak

Emily Dalton

Shae Cooke

Claire Formby

Josh Farragher

Natasha Machado

Sara Aldous

Edwina Sutherland

Aruska D’Souza

Fiona Pazsa