Our people

Our Aphasia CRE team includes investigators, postdoctoral fellows and research students from leading universities and institutes.


Professor Miranda Rose

Profile photo of Miranda Rose.CRE Director, Program Co-Lead Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care

Professor Miranda Rose is the Director of the Aphasia CRE. She is a Principal Research Fellow in the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University. Miranda co-leads the CRE program 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care.

She is a speech pathologist with a strong background in neuropsychology and counselling, and has over 20 years leadership experience in research in the fields of aphasia and clinical education.

Her research focuses on finding effective treatments and management strategies for post-stroke aphasia. Miranda leads the national COMPARE trial and the Victorian arm of the ASK clinical trial. She is a founding member of the global peak body Aphasia United and co-founded both the first consumer-based Aphasia Association in Victoria and the online Aphasia Community portal.

Professor Leanne Togher

Profile photo of Leanne Togher.CRE Chief Investigator, Program Lead Technology Solutions to Healthcare Communication

Professor Leanne Togher (CRE co-director, CRE program lead) [external link] is a certified practicing speech pathologist, Principal Research Fellow at University of Sydney, and NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Senior Research Fellow. Leanne is a lead of the CRE program 3, Technology solutions to healthcare communication and she will oversee the Community of Practice.

Leanne is a world leader in communication disorders following brain injury and has over 30 years of experience in translational research in her field. Leanne is the Past President of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment, and one of two Australians appointed to the Board of Governors of the International Brain Injury Association. Leanne is also on the Board of Directors of Brain Injury Australia. She is world renowned for her expertise in communication partner training programs for people with brain injury.

Professor David Copland

Profile photo of David Copland.CRE Chief Investigator, Program Lead Neurobiological and Psychosocial Predictors of Recovery

Professor David Copland (CRE co-director, CRE program lead) [external link] is a speech pathologist, recent ARC Future Fellow, and current University of Queensland Professorial Research Fellow. David is a lead in the CRE program 1, Neurobiological and Psychosocial Predictors of Recovery and will be responsible for the neuroimaging projects.

David has 20 years of experience in aphasia recovery and rehabilitation. He has a leading national and international reputation in the field of aphasia rehabilitation, including aphasia treatments and neuroimaging. He has been an invited expert on international consensus meetings including an NIH funded Neuroimaging in Aphasia meeting and the International Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Roundtable. He is also an elected member of the Academy of Aphasia and an international partner in the EU Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists (CATs).

Professor Ian Kneebone

Profile photo of Ian Kneebone.CRE Chief Investigator, Program Lead Optimising Mental Health and Wellbeing, Implementation to Psychology

Professor Ian Kneebone (CRE program lead) [external link] is Head of Clinical Psychology in the Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology Sydney and a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey (UK). Ian is a registered psychologist with endorsement in clinical psychology. Ian is a lead in the CRE program 4, Optimising Mental Health & Wellbeing, Implementation to Psychology. He will contribute to research in improving mental health in people with aphasia.

Ian has over 30 years of experience in the practice of clinical psychology with people with disabilities, including those affected by stroke. He has supported translational practice, having developed protocols and trained practitioners to both identify and treat emotional disorders after stroke. He is a member of the Clinical College of the Australian Psychological Society. He is an associate fellow, chartered clinical psychologist, full member of the division of clinical neuropsychology, and listed on the specialist register of clinical neuropsychologists of the British Psychological Society.

Associate Professor Erin Godecke

Profile photo of Erin Godecke.CRE Chief Investigator, Program Co-Lead Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care

Associate Professor Erin Godecke [external link] is a Senior Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University and completed her PhD in 2009. She is a practising speech pathologist, working in acute stroke care and rehabilitation. Her research primarily focuses on therapy intensity and therapy type in very early aphasia recovery and measuring stroke outcomes in healthcare services.

She is passionate about improving and promoting community participation for people with aphasia and their families; and about working with allied health professionals to develop their research.

Professor Julie Bernhardt

Profile photo of Julie Bernhardt.CRE Chief Investigator

Professor Julie Bernhardt [external link] is an experienced clinician physiotherapist and trialist, with over 30 years working in stroke rehabilitation. She is Senior Principal Fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and NHMRC Established Fellow. Julie will contribute to the proposed CRE her expertise in clinical trials, quantitative and qualitative research methodology and conduct.

Julie is a chief investigator and director or the NHMRC CRE in stroke rehabilitation and recovery. This focuses on multiple research areas from basic science of stress and fatigue to implementation of rehabilitation interventions and includes aphasia. She was the first WSO representative at the World Health Organisation 68th session. In 2016 she founded the first international Rehabilitation and Recovery Roundtable to develop recommendations to advance stroke research. Julie leads The Florey Clinical Trial Platform, established to support development and management of investigator-driven trials, with a strong focus on rehabilitation trials.

Professor Richard Lindley

Profile photo of Richard Lindley.CRE Chief Investigator

Professor Richard Lindley [external link] is Professor of Geriatric Medicine with dual specialisation in general internal medicine and geriatric medicine. He has over 30 years of clinical experience and has worked as a stroke physician since 1990. Richard will focus on the CRE Research Program 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care, and all CRE large-trial and implementation projects, vitally linking to stroke medicine.

Richard brings a broad experience of stroke medicine and clinical research to the team as a clinical academic who has been directly involved in many of the major medical advances in stroke care over the decades. Richard is a passionate believer in incorporating research into routine clinical practice.

Professor Leeanne Carey

Profile photo of Leeanne Carey.CRE Chief Investigator

Professor Leeanne Carey is Professor and Discipline Lead in Occupational Therapy, La Trobe University; current and Founding Head of the Neurorehabilitation and Recovery research group, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health; and Professor and Clinical Research Leader, Stroke Division, Florey Institute. Leeanne is a chief investigator in the CRE program 1, Neurobiological & Psychosocial Predictors of Recovery, and will provide major contribution and advice across programs to maximise integration and impact.

Leeanne is the first Australian occupational therapist (OT) OT induced to the premier Academy of Research of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and an inaugural fellow of the Australian OT Academy of Research. She has more than 30 years of experience in stroke rehabilitation research and neuroscience and is recognised as a world leader in neurorehabilitation and occupational therapy. Her research program focuses on stroke rehabilitation and recovery: in particular how the brain adapts and how we might harness that potential in rehabilitation. An important focus has been to translate findings into clinical practice and better outcomes for stroke survivors.

Professor Dominique Cadilhac

Profile photo of Dominique Cadilhac. CRE Chief Investigator

Professor Dominique Cadilhac [external link] is an expert in health services research within the field of stroke with application of her work in acute, rehabilitation and long-term care. She has published over 170 articles. She currently heads the Translational Public Health and Evaluation Research Division in Stroke and Ageing Research within the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University, and is the Head of Public Health: Stroke Division within the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (Australia). She is the Data Custodian for the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry. Her skill set includes epidemiology, implementation science and economic evaluation.

Professor Leonid Churilov

Profile photo of Leonid Churilov.CRE Chief Investigator

Professor Leonid Churilov [external link] is Head of Statistics and Decision Analysis Academic Platform at Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, an Adjunct Professor of Mathematical Science at the School of Sciences, RMIT University, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne. Leonid will contribute his expertise to Economic Evaluation, Implementation to Nursing, Telemedicine, and Registries and is a chief investigator in CRE program 1, Neurobiological and psychosocial predictors of aphasia recovery.

Leonid is a world-leading expert in the use of health analytics and statistical modelling for decision support in clinical and health care systems. Leonid contributes unique biostatistical, analytics, and decision modelling expertise to several large international clinical trials and to over 70 smaller pre-clinical, clinical, imaging, and service evaluation studies in the areas of general neurology, stroke, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, diabetes, gynaecology, and anaesthesia.

Associate Investigators

Professor Linda Worrall

Profile photo of Linda Worrall.CRE Associate Investigator

Professor Linda Worrall [external link] is Professor of Speech Pathology, and Co-Director of the Communication Disability Centre and Postgraduate Coordinator at The University of Queensland. She will be responsible for updating the online Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway the portal for aphasia clinicians and together with CI Copland, lead the Queensland Aphasia Rehabilitation Centre as a research hub of the CRE.

Linda has produced 230 peer-reviewed journal articles, 26 book chapters, and 6 books, and 26 graduated PhD candidates, with continuous nationally-competitive research funding during her 30-year academic career. She was awarded the prestigious international Robin Tavistock Award for Aphasia in 2014. From 2009–2014, she was CIA and Director of the CCRE in Aphasia Rehabilitation (GNT 569935), an Australia wide network of over 250 research and clinical speech pathologists. She is CIA on a NHMRC Partnership project and a NHMRC Project grant finishing in 2018, and AI on the CRE in Stroke and Brain Recovery. As the current Chairperson of the Australian Aphasia Association, the consumer organisation for aphasia, she will facilitate consumer engagement with this CRE.

Professor Cathy Price

Profile photo of Cathy Price.CRE Associate Investigator

Professor Cathy Price [external link] is the Director of the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging and a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow. Cathy will advise on the project 1, Neurobiological and psychosocial predictors of aphasia recovery, and provide guidance in using the Predicting Language Outcome and Recovery After Stroke (PLORAS) database to determine predictors of aphasia recovery.

She developed the PLORAS database and is recognised internationally as the leading authority on the anatomical predictors of aphasia recovery. Her work has focused on building a functional anatomical model of language that predicts how speech and reading are lost and recovered following stroke. She has obtained 21 grants totalling funding of $31 million (MRC, Wellcome Trust, NIH, James S. McDonnell Foundation). In 2014 she was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in 2017 she renewed her Wellcome PRF. For many years, she was the Associate Editor for Human Brain Mapping and the Handling Editor for Neuroimage. She has co-authored 272 papers, with more than 28,000 citations and has a H index of 90.

Professor Julius Fridrikkson

Profile photo of Julius Fridrikkson. CRE Associate Investigator

Professor Julius Fridrikkson [external link] is University of South Carolina Endowed Professor (SmartStateTM) and Co-Director of the McCausland Center for Brain Imaging. Julius will advise on the CRE Research program 1, Neurobiological and psychosocial predictors of aphasia recovery.

Julius’ work focuses on the neurophysiology of aphasia recovery and treatment. He serves as Principal Investigator for $16 million in federally-funded research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2016, he received a multicenter grant from the NIH to establish the Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery, for which he serves as Director. Julius has been a Co-Investigator or local Primary Investigator on seven federally-funded grants. He has co-authored 97 peer-reviewed publications (including in Proceedings for the National Academy of Science, Human Brain Mapping, Annals of Neurology, Brain, Neuroimage and Journal of Neuroscience). Julius is the action-editor for the journal Brain and Language and has served on grant review panels for the NIH since 2009, and as a grant reviewer for the Medical Research Council, UK. He has given over 30 invited lectures about aphasia recovery.

Professor Lyndsey Nickels

1016901#CRE Associate Investigator

Professor Lyndsey Nickels [external link] is a research speech pathologist and Professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University. Her research focuses on understanding how language works (developing language theories), how language breaks down in aphasia, and how best to remediate aphasia. Lyndsey brings to the CRE particular expertise in designing, implementing, and evaluating theoretically-motivated treatment for aphasia, and translation of research into clinical practice.

Lyndsey has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, more than $49 million in grant funding, and over 20 years of continuous research fellowship support from both ARC and NHMRC. She has a longstanding history of leadership roles in prestigious centres of excellence (e.g. ARC CoE in Cognition and its Disorders; NHMRC CCRE in Aphasia Rehabilitation).  Lyndsey is one of the few speech pathologists elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.  Her role as director of the International Doctorate in Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB), underlines her commitment to training and mentoring young researchers, as also recognised by the Macquarie University Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision (2014).

Professor Natasha Lannin

Profile photo of Natasha Lannin. CRE Associate Investigator

Professor Natasha Lannin leads a research program that aims to optimise health and wellbeing for people with stroke, based at the Alfred Health Clinical School. She will contribute to projects in CRE programs 1, Neurobiological and psychosocial predictors of aphasia recovery and wellbeing and 2, Treatment effectiveness across the continuum of care.

Natasha’s research investigates models for rehabilitation, including high-intensity rehabilitation, transition care planning and telerehabilitation. With a strong interest in implementation science, she is a current NHMRC TRIP Fellow and is chair of the management committee of the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry. In 2017 she was elected Fellow of the Academy of Research of the American Association of Occupational Therapy and as an inaugural Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Academy. She has over 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals related to stroke, evidence-based rehabilitation and/or brain injury. Her publications have been cited over 3200 times, including in 12 national and international treatment guidelines. Natasha has received over $AUD 8 million in competitive research funding since 2009.

Professor Sandy Middleton

Profile photo of Sandy Middleton.CRE Associate Investigator

Professor Sandy Middleton [external link] is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University. Sandy is a Ministerial appointment to the NHMRC Health Translation Advisory Committee. She will advise on implementation and translational elements of the CRE. Sandy has obtained 81 grants totalling more than $39 million. Sandy was CIA on the NHMRC-funded T3 Trial: Triage, Treatment and Transfer of patients with stroke in the emergency departments. She was also CIA on the landmark NHMRC-funded QASC cluster trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke, winning multiple international awards. Subsequently, Sandy successfully translated this intervention into all 36 NSW stroke units, winning the 2014 NSW Premier’s Public Sector Award for Improving Performance and Accountability, and the 2014 NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Award for Excellence in Innovation Research – the highest NSW accolade for a nurse researcher. These protocols now are being translated into 300 hospitals in 14 European countries.

Associate Professor Emma Power

Profile photo of Emma Power.CRE Associate Investigator

Associate Professor Emma Power [external link] is an Associate Professor in the speech pathology discipline at the Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney. She is an honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. Emma is developing an international reputation in knowledge translation for aphasia rehabilitation and also communication partner training. Emma will continue to assist with the supervision and mentorship of ECRs for CRE programs 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care and 3, Technology for healthcare communication and aphasia rehabilitation.

Emma has obtained over $2.7 million in competitive funding, including as CI on an NHMRC aphasia therapy cluster RCT (GNT1060673). She has published over 50 papers and is the lead author of the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Best Practice Recommendations published in BMJ Open and an integral member of the team that developed the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway. Emma has also been part of the team that developed the CommFitTM App, the online Conversation Partner Training, and is currently involved in two stroke implementation studies with process evaluations (speech pathology and physiotherapy). She is on the research advisory committee for the Stroke Foundation, as well as contributing to the Stroke Foundation stroke clinical practice guidelines including her role on the knowledge translation working party. . She conducts aphasia implementation workshops with clinicians nationally and internationally.

Associate Professor Robyn O'Halloran

Profile photo of Robyn O'Halloran.CRE Associate Investigator

Program 5 Lead.

Associate Professor Robyn O'Halloran is a Senior Lecturer in Human Communication Sciences at La Trobe University, and the Research Lead Speech Pathologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Robyn will contribute in projects under Research Programs 1, Neurobiological and psychosocial mechanisms of aphasia recovery and 2, Treatment effectiveness across the Continuum of Care.

She is at the forefront of speech pathology scholarship on the identification of environmental factors, including psychosocial factors that impact aphasia recovery. She has also published widely on functional communication assessment and treatment of hospital patients with communication disability. She has co-authored 48 peer-reviewed publications, including The Inpatient Functional Communication Interview and four book chapters. Her national and international reputation in this field is reflected by invitations to deliver workshops for Speech Pathology Australia, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and a keynote at the Aphasia New Zealand conference on accessible environments. She contributed to the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Best Practice Recommendations on accessible environments, as co-editor for Topics in Language Disorders in 2017 on creating accessible environments for people with aphasia.

Mr Kelvin Hill

CRE Associate Investigator

Mr Kelvin Hill graduated with a BAppSc (Physiotherapy) in 1997 at University of Sydney and worked as a physiotherapist for several years. Kelvin will advise the CRE about Stroke Foundation policies and initiatives, represent the Stroke Foundation in CRE research planning and development, and link the CRE to Stroke Foundation research recruitment and dissemination networks.

In 2001 Kelvin completed a Graduate Diploma in Business and Commerce at University of Western Sydney. Since 2003, he has worked at the Stroke Foundation where he has developed a passion for improving services to people with stroke by implementing evidence-based care. Kevin’s role is National Manager, Clinical Services, in which he oversees development and implementation of the Australian Stroke Guidelines, the National Stroke Audit, and other national clinical and policy activity.

Mrs Wendy and Mr Paul Corp

Profile photo of Wendy and Paul Corp.CRE Associate Investigator

Mrs Wendy Corp was a theatre nurse and 13 years ago had recently retired when her husband Paul found her collapsed on the kitchen floor after a stroke. She had a right-sided hemiplegia and aphasia. Despite only 3 months of rehabilitation, Wendy Corp returned home unable to walk, talk, or care of herself, placing enormous strain on her husband who became clinically depressed. Three years after her homecoming she engaged with the University of Queensland Aphasia Clinic, which changed her life. The couple were Chair and Deputy Chairperson of the Australian Aphasia Association. Wendy helps start aphasia groups, presents at conferences, and advocates strongly for aphasia. Wendy and Paul Corp will assist investigators in the CRE to generate and carry out research that is focused on consumers with aphasia, link the CRE to the Australian Aphasia Association, and assist in translation of CRE findings and resources to their consumer networks.

Postdoctoral fellows

Dr Marcella Caragher

Profile photo of Marcella Caragher.Dr Marcella Caragher is a Lead Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the multidisciplinary Aphasia CRE (CIA Professor Miranda Rose). As a Speech Pathologist, her research interests stem from her time spent working with adults with acquired communication difficulties. She is particularly interested in the everyday communication of people with aphasia and the generalisation of behaviours from therapy to everyday life. Dr Carragher is project manager for the Aphasia App study, designing and testing a novel app to support communication between health professionals and people with aphasia. She has been involved in trial management for the COMPARE study (Professor Miranda Rose) and the ASK study (Professor Linda Worrall). Dr Carragher is Deputy Treasurer for Aphasia Victoria, a consumer-advocacy group for people with aphasia in Victoria.

Dr Sonia Brownsett

Profile photo of Sonia Brownsett.Dr Sonia Brownsett [external link] is a UK trained Speech and Language pathologist. Her research focuses on understanding how the brain supports language, especially the neural mechanisms of recovery after brain injury (such as stroke, epilepsy, brain tumour surgery). Prior to moving to Australia, Sonia worked in collaboration with people with aphasia, on the development and clinical trial of a novel auditory comprehension therapy application that combined aphasia therapy and gamification technologies in order to deliver high doses of therapy. During her PhD, Sonia used functional imaging to investigate rehabilitation in post-stroke aphasia and demonstrated that recovery relies not only on language specific neural systems but also neural networks that are utilised by many cognitive domains. Her work in the CRE will mainly contribute to the Neurobiological and Psychosocial Predictors of Recovery Programme.

Dr John Pierce

Dr John Pierce researches ways to improve life for aphasia within the Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. He is the coordinator for the Communication Connect project, a $1.8m government-funded project that aims to improve rehabilitation and self-management for people with communication disabilities after stroke and traumatic brain injury using technology-enabled, co-designed solutions. John is also developing Multi-Modality Aphasia Therapy Tele, a telehealth version of an evidence based group aphasia intervention. He received the 2020 La Trobe student prize from the Tavistock Trust for excellence in work relating to aphasia.

Affiliate Members

Dr Sarah Wallace

Dr Sarah Wallace is a Speech Pathologist, Teaching and Research Academic, and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Emerging Leadership Fellow from The University of Queensland. She conducts research in post-stroke aphasia. Sarah’s research over the next five years will focus on outcome measurement in clinical aphasia services. She will use routine data collection and outcome measurement in clinical practice in order to understand if services align with evidence-based standards and produce outcomes which are meaningful to people with aphasia.

Dr Dana Wong

Dr. Dana Wong is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neuropsychology in the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University. She leads the eNACT (Neurorehabilitation And Clinical Translation) Research Group and Clinic, which focuses on innovative neurorehabilitation techniques to improve the lives of brain injury survivors, and enhancing clinical implementation of and clinician competence in these evidence-based interventions. She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications including a treatment manual. She enjoys interdisciplinary clinical research and has numerous national and international multidisciplinary collaborators. Dana's focus on training top scientist-practitioners as a key element to clinical translation in neurorehabilitation has been recognised with several awards for teaching excellence and clinical innovation. In 2017 Dana led the development of BRAINSPaN, a multidisciplinary network of clinicians and researchers in the brain impairment field.

Dr Britta Biedermann

Dr Britta Biedermann's   research area is interdisciplinary, and spans from experimental psychology and psycholinguistics to cognitive neuropsychology with the aim to test the adequacy of language theories with recent focus on bilingual language theories. Britta works with healthy adult speakers as well as speakers with aphasia. I am using predominantly the experimental single case/ case series approach. A new emerging research interest is the exploration of meditation as a complementary tool to traditional language remediation.

Between 2018-2019, Britta gained experience working in an Aboriginal-led NHMRC project that explored culturally secure ways of working together with health services and Indigenous communities of the South West in Western Australia. In this context, Britta learned about co-design and participatory action methods which she would like to transfer into the speech pathology context.

Britta is a Chief Investigator on an ARC DP project on aphasia and bilingualism with Prof Lyndsey Nickels, Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Cognition and its Disorder (Macquarie, 2010-2018) and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department for Cognitive Science (Macquarie).

Associate Professor Deborah Hersh

Associate Professor Deborah Hersh has a research and teaching role in Speech Pathology at Edith Cowan University, and coordinates the Honours Program. She has 30 years clinical, research and teaching experience in speech pathology in the UK and Australia, is a Fellow of Speech Pathology Australia, and is Deputy Chair of the Australian Aphasia Association. Deborah established the Talkback Association for Aphasia in 1999, and was awarded life membership in 2009. Deborah was an affiliate of the NHMRC CCRE Aphasia Rehabilitation, contributed to the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway, the expert working party for the Stroke Foundation 2010 Clinical Guidelines, and the Enable Me website.

Deborah has served on the Editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, has been guest editor for Aphasiology, and is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. She has over 90 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and her work is cited widely. She has been a chief investigator on national competitive grants together worth over $3m, and presents nationally and internationally in the areas of aphasia rehabilitation, professional client relationships, person-centred practice, qualitative research approaches, and acquired communication disorders in Aboriginal Australians following stroke and brain injury.

Associate Professor Katie McMahon

A/Prof Katie McMahon’s research interests lie in understanding the neurobiology of language, learning and memory, and the genetic and environmental influences on brain structure and function. When these systems fail, either due to stroke or a degenerative disease like Parkinson’s, imaging markers of lesion size, position and brain network damage might be able to be used to optimise therapeutic intervention, by providing insights on the best type of therapy. She is also investigating behavioural and neurological markers in children with language development problems, such as autism or specific language impairment.

Katie is currently employed at Queensland University of Technology and Herston Imaging Research Facility as Deputy Director.

Professor Sabine Corsten

Sabine Corsten is a Professor of Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences (Speech and Language Therapy) at the Faculty of Health Care and Nursing at the Catholic University of Applied Sciences, Mainz, Germany. She has managed various research projects in the field of aphasia and psychological well-being, funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education. She is particularly experienced in biography work with aphasia. Currently she is leading projects on App-supported biography work in senior citizen facilities and digital group therapy for aphasia.

Associate Professor Rene Stolwyk

Rene Stolwyk is a senior lecturer and clinical neuropsychologist, based at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. A passionate scientist-practitioner, Dr Stolwyk enjoys working at the nexus of research, clinical practice and clinical education.  He has extensive clinical experience working in stroke rehabilitation, including at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London.

From a research perspective, Dr Stolwyk leads the stroke and telehealth research theme within the Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre. He supervises a growing team of research fellows, research officers and doctoral students and has published over 50 scientific works aimed at improving outcomes for survivors of brain injury, specifically within the domains of memory rehabilitation post-stroke, return to driving following acquired brain injury and optimising models of rehabilitation within rural and remote contexts.

Dr Stolwyk is the founder and clinical lead of the Monash TeleNeuropsychology Service, a world first initiative using digital health technology to open up much needed neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation services to rural neurology patients throughout Australia. He was also recently appointed convenor of the clinical neuropsychology doctoral training program at Monash University, leading a team of highly-skilled educators providing excellence in clinical training to the next generation of Australian neuropsychologists.

Professor Jennifer Oates

Jennifer Oates is a Professor Emeritus in Speech Pathology in the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport at La Trobe University. She is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist and a Life Member of Speech Pathology Australia.

Jenni practices clinically at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and Melbourne Voice Analysis Centre. Her research focuses on perception, physiology and acoustics of typical and impaired voice, epidemiology of voice disorders, and prevention and management of voice and middle airway disorders. She also has clinical and research interests counselling training for speech pathologists working with people with aphasia and other communication disorders and in the voice, communication and social participation difficulties experienced by people who identify as trans, gender diverse and non-binary.

Jenni is a member of the Voice and Communication Standing Committee of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health and Chair of the Research Subcommittee of the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health. She has published 74 journal papers and book chapters and presented 136 conference papers.

A/Prof Michael Walsh Dickey

Michael Walsh Dickey is a Professor in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders whose research and teaching focus on adult language processing, neurogenic language impairments (especially aphasia), and the treatment and rehabilitation of adult language disorders. He holds appointments in the Communication Science and Disorders and Psychology Departments and at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He also directs the Language and Brain Laboratory at Pitt's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and serves as director of the PhD Program in Communication Science and Disorders.

A/Prof Shirley Thomas

Shirley Thomas is an Associate Professor and course director of the MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Nottingham, UK. She is a Health Psychologist and her main research interest is in the psychological impact of health conditions. Much of her research has focused on the assessment and treatment of mood problems following stroke, with a particular focus on the inclusion of people with aphasia. She completed a multicentre randomised controlled trial of behavioural therapy to treat low mood in people who have aphasia following a stroke (the CALM trial). Following that she led an NIHR-HTA funded feasibility trial of behavioural activation for post-stroke depression (the BEADS trial). She is a collaborator on a range of ongoing studies in stroke rehabilitation.

Dr Emma Finch

Dr Emma Finch is a Speech Pathologist and Conjoint Senior Research Fellow between The University of Queensland and Princess Alexandra Hospital. Emma’s research focuses on improving outcomes for patients managed with medical interventions following acquired brain injury, including work into Communication Partner Training in aphasia within the healthcare and university teaching settings, the effects of thrombolysis/endovascular clot retrieval on cognition and language recovery after stroke, and developing new intervention pathways to meet the unmet needs of minor stroke patients. A second focus of Emma’s research is increasing the research capacity of allied health professionals. To date, Emma has produced over 60 publications and been awarded 17 grants.

Dr Jade Dignam

Dr Jade Dignam is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist and a Post-doctoral Researcher at The University of Queensland. Jade obtained her PhD from The University of Queensland in 2016 and her research investigated the efficacy of an intensive, comprehensive aphasia program. Her research interests include intensity and dose of aphasia rehabilitation, comprehensive aphasia therapy programs and cognition and aphasia rehabilitation. Jade has worked clinically across acute and rehabilitation health services in Queensland and New South Wales and enjoys conducting clinically-based research with meaningful outcomes for people with aphasia and speech pathologists.

Dr Sarah Northcott

Dr Sarah Northcott is a Senior Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at the University of East Anglia, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at City, University of London. Her research interests lie in exploring ways to support the emotional and social well-being of people living with stroke and aphasia. She is currently leading the Solution Focused brief therapy In Aphasia (SOFIA) study, a feasibility randomised controlled trial funded by the Stroke Association.

Sarah worked as a clinician on the Isle of Wight and for Lambeth Primary Care Trust before completing her PhD examining the social impact of stroke and aphasia at City, University of London. She has led projects exploring Solution Focused Brief Therapy with people with aphasia; and also explored how Speech and Language Therapists experience addressing the psychosocial needs of people living with stroke. In 2016 she was awarded the Stroke Association Jack and Averil (Mansfield) Bradley Fellowship Award for Stroke Research. Sarah is also a co-investigator and leading the qualitative evaluation on the ‘Adjustment post stroke and aphasia: Supporting well-being through Peer Befriending (SUPERB trial)’, funded by the Stroke Association.

A/Prof Monique Kilkenny

Dr Monique Kilkenny is head of the National Stroke Data Linkage Program and Senior Research Fellow, Translational Public Health Research & Evaluation Division, Stroke and Ageing Research (STAR) Department of Medicine, Monash University and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Stroke Division of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health Melbourne Brain Centre.

Dr Kirstine Shrubsole

Dr Kirstine Shrubsole is a lecturer in speech pathology at Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus. She is a speech pathologist with 15 years of clinical experience. She has a specific clinical and research focus on aphasia and the implementation of effective behaviour change techniques in speech pathology and multidisciplinary stroke practice. She completed her PhD at The University of Queensland in 2018, which focussed on implementing clinical practice guidelines in post-stroke aphasia management.

Kirstine’s research reduces evidence-practice gaps, partnering with clinicians to increase capacity to deliver best clinical care in complex systems. She demonstrated that practice change is achievable for healthcare teams working in aphasia, leading to positive outcomes for patients, clinicians, and organisations. She has lead a national project to evaluate sustainability of implementation outcomes in aphasia, the first study of this kind in Australia. Kirstine is also leading a trial in post-stroke aphasia to improve speech pathology practice across whole health services to achieve sustained practice change and improved healthcare outcomes. This research project incorporates a consumer panel of patients with aphasia and their family members, to ensure efficient translation of relevant and meaningful research into practice.

Dr Catherine Ford

Dr Catherine Ford is a UK-based Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist working as a Clinical Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. Prior to clinical training, she gained a PhD in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language at the Centre for Speech, Language and the Brain in the University of Cambridge, supervised by Professors Lorraine Tyler and William Marslen-Wilson, before being awarded the Pinsent-Darwin Research Fellowship in Mental Pathology. She has over ten years' clinical experience working with stroke survivors. In 2011, as part of a cross-agency project to improve community stroke services she set up matched care psychological support after stroke in the community in Cambridgeshire and organised the first accredited training in motivational interviewing after stroke in the UK. Her work was recognised by an NHS Trust Chairman's annual award in 2013 and quality improvement fellowships with Health Education England in 2014 and 2015. In 2017 she joined the programme team of the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme at the University of East Anglia, where she manages teaching for the programme, co-leads teaching on Clinical Neuropsychology and Advanced Practice and supervises clinical psychology research including a current project on screening and assessment of mood in people with post-stroke aphasia.

A/Prof Madeline Cruice

Madeline Cruice is an experienced speech pathologist, researcher and educator in post-stroke aphasia rehabilitation and recovery. Studied undergraduate degree (1994-1997) and PhD (1998-2001) in speech pathology at University of Queensland with Professors Linda Worrall and Louise Hickson, then moved to City, University of London in December 2002. HCPC-registered speech and language therapist, and member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2011 ongoing).

A/Prof Natalie Ciccone


A/Prof Anne Whitworth

Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy, Social Work & Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University

Dr Kate Hayward

Dr Kate Hayward is a Senior Research Fellow in Stroke Recovery in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne. She currently holds Driving Research Momentum and Dame Kate Campbell Fellowships. Kate also has an appointment in the Stroke Theme at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Kate leads the REPAIR research group (Recovery, Enrichment and Plasticity to promote Activity In neuroRehabilitation) which seeks to understand the brain-behaviour nexus during rehabilitation after stroke. Using early phase clinical trial designs, Kate studies ‘when’ is the ideal time to start therapy after stroke and ‘how much’ therapy to provide. Her research also aims to understand ‘who’ benefits most from therapy. Kate was a member of the international Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtables, which produced new global recovery science recommendations. Kate is a guideline review member of the Stroke Foundation living guideline taskforce.

Dr Lucette Lanyon


Dr Michelle Attard

Profile photo of Michelle Attard.Dr Michelle Attard is a speech-language pathologist. Her research interests lie broadly in living with communication disabilities following acquired brain injury, namely aphasia and cognitive-communication impairment. She completed her PhD in 2017, where her team investigated the efficacy of a module-based community aphasia group program facilitated by a speech-language pathologist and social worker. Michelle was awarded the internationally-recognised Student Tavistock Prize for her PhD thesis. Building from this research, Michelle was involved in the CRE projects 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care and 3, Technology for healthcare communication and aphasia rehabilitation.

Dr Marie-Pier McSween

Dr Marie-Pier McSween is a Canada trained speech-language pathologist who completed her PhD at The University of Queensland. Her research interest includes language neuroscience, neuroimaging, aphasia rehabilitation and implementation science.

Dr McSween’s research focuses on understanding the acute effects of exercise, the benefits on white noise, and the influence of Levodopa on new word learning in healthy adults and to develop new approaches to optimise interventions with patients presenting with language impairments following an acquired brain injury (e.g., stroke).

A second focus of Dr McSween’s research is aphasia recovery and aphasia rehabilitation and the implementation of comprehensive high-dose therapy programs, leading to enhanced outcomes for patients and carers.

Dr Nickolas Behn

Dr Nicholas Behn is a Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at City, University of London and Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He is a practicing speech and language therapist with a keen interest in the area of cognitive-communication disorders after acquired brain injury. In particular, understanding the nature of communication problems following a brain injury, approaches to the remediation of these problems and how to measure changes in communicative ability and quality of life post-treatment.  He was the trial manager for the SUPERB trial (2016-2020) which explored the feasibility of peer befriending for people with aphasia post-stroke. More recently, he led on a systematic review and clinician survey on communication partner training and is leading work into understanding the dating experiences of people with brain injury.

Dr Tharshanah Thayabaranathan

Dr Tharshanah Thayabaranathan is a Research Fellow in the Translational Public Health and Evaluation Division, Stroke and Ageing Research (STAR), Department of Medicine, Monash University. Her research interests lie in exploring ways to improve stroke care and patient outcomes at a hospital and community-level, with a particular focus on people with communication problems and psychological disorders post-stroke. She is currently involved in a number of projects in the field of stroke and is particularly interested in pursuing future studies in communication problems post-stroke, psychological disorders post-stroke, disease epidemiology, and lifestyle medicine.

Dr Fergus Gracey

Dr Fergus Gracey is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapies, University of East Anglia. After completing his doctoral training in clinical psychology, Fergus worked at the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, going on to become the lead psychologist there. He then leading the development of a community service for children with acquired brain injury, the Cambridge Centre for Paediatric Neuropsychological Rehabilitation where he maintains an honorary role as Director of Research.

Fergus’ clinical and research interests are in neuropsychological rehabilitation for children and adults with acquired brain injury, specifically self-regulation and executive functioning, identity, well-being and psychological therapy. Current and recent research includes a meta-synthesis of research into family adaptation to life post-traumatic brain injury, qualitative studies on understanding how to achieve positive psychological outcomes for people through community participation, and a feasibility trial of an Arts for Health group to support well-being post-stroke,. Fergus is an Associate Editor of the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation and has a number of research publications and book chapters on the topics of community neuropsychological rehabilitation, psychological therapies and identity.

Dr Caroline Baker

Profile photo of Caroline Baker.Dr Caroline Baker is a speech pathologist with 20 years of experience working with adults following acquired brain injury in Australia and the UK.  Her research combines interests in communication disability, psychological care and the implementation of evidence to clinical practice.  Caroline completed her PhD in 2018 and investigated the evidence-practice gaps of translating stepped psychological care to aphasia rehabilitation.  As a prior post-doctoral researcher at the Aphasia CRE, Caroline was involved in CRE projects within program 4, Optimising Mental Health and Wellbeing, Implementation to Psychology; and 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care.

Dr Ciara Shiggins

Dr. Ciara Shiggins is a speech pathologist, a current Post-Doctoral Research Officer with QARC and former Post-Doctoral Research Officer within the AphasiaCRE,  Ciara holds a PhD in stroke rehabilitation and aphasia (University of East Anglia (UEA), UK, 2017), which focused on the optimisation of (re)learning for people with aphasia during routine rehabilitation. Her overarching research aim is to include people with aphasia across stroke care and research to enhance their wellbeing. Her previous research has been co-designed and developed with people with aphasia and this unique Patient and Public Involvement work was recognised with an UEA engagement award in 2018. She has facilitated peer-support groups for people with aphasia and their family members. Ciara works with international teams on projects focused on the implementation of Conversation Partner Training and has investigated a novel asset-based approach to enhance social participation and well-being for people with aphasia. Ciara will contribute to the Aphasia Hub advocacy, consultancy and research program.

Dr Emily Brogan

Dr Emily BroganDr Emily Brogan is a speech pathologist who completed her PhD in 2019. She is based at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Emily has worked as a Post Doctoral Researcher with the Aphasia CRE researching within Program 2 Treatment effectiveness across the Continuum of Care with Chief Investigator Erin Godecke. Emily worked on the Very Early Rehabilitation in SpEech (VERSE) trial, the largest international aphasia intervention study to date. Her primary research interest is treatment effectiveness and aphasia, particularly aphasia intervention dosage and active ingredients. She continues to work clinically within hospital and rehabilitation settings, teach the future generation of speech pathologists and is a committee member for Aphasia WA and the Emerging Stroke Clinician Scientist group

Dr Annie Hill

Profile photo of Annie Hill.Dr Annie Hill [external link] is a speech-language pathologist. Her research interests involve the development, implementation and evaluation of telerehabilitation applications in speech-language pathology and more broadly in allied health services. Annie completed her PhD in 2008, in which she validated the telerehabilitation assessment of acquired neurogenic communication disorders in adults. Annie is Australia’s foremost aphasia telerehabilitation researcher and has a growing international reputation for her research in this area. Her work in the CRE will contribute to evidence-base for the use of technology and telerehabilitation in aphasia rehabilitation services. Based at the University of Queensland (UQ), Annie will continue to collaborate with other world leaders in telerehabilitation research at UQ and The University of Sydney.

Dr Katerina Hilari

Dr Katerina Hilari is a Professor of Acquired Communication Disorders and Research Centre Lead for the Centre of Language and Communication Sciences at City, University of London. She is a Speech and Language Therapist with a background in Psychology.  Her research is driven by the priorities of people with aphasia. She leads a programme of research on developing and evaluating the effectiveness of complex interventions for aphasia. Her research also focuses on the psychosocial impact of aphasia and other acquired disorders, and on the development and use of patient-reported outcome measures. Katerina has >100 publications, including >85 peer-reviewed papers. She has received awards for research excellence (2011), outstanding doctoral supervision (2015), and best journal article (Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, - Language, 2016). She is the recipient of multiple research grants including from the European Union (European Social Fund) and, in the UK, the National Institute for Health Research, the Stroke Association, and the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia. Katerina is recognised as an international expert in aphasia, leads the Trials for Aphasia Panel of the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists and is on the Board of Trustees of Aphasia Re-Connect.

Dr Brooke Ryan

Profile photo of Brooke Ryan. Dr Brooke Ryan [external link] is a speech pathologist who completed her PhD in 2013. Brooke’s research interests span the identification and treatment of depression and anxiety following aphasia. She is the developer of the Aphasia ASK program, a novel brief and early intervention aimed at preventing depression post-stroke. She was the trial manager of the “ASK study” one of Australia’s largest aphasia related randomised controlled trials funded by a 5 year NHMRC grant that started in 2014. Brooke’s work within the CRE will contribute to the evidence based for Optimising Mental Health and Wellbeing, Implementation to Psychology; and 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care.

A/Prof Nawaf Yassi

A/Prof Nawaf Yassi is based at Royal Melbourne Hospital. Aphasia CRE project affiliation - Neurobiological and psychosocial predictors of recovery. Investigating imaging predictors in VERSE and other CRE project data.

Dr Abby Foster

Dr Abby Foster is a speech pathology clinician, researcher and manager with extensive experience providing services in the Australian public health sector. She completed her doctoral studies exploring aphasia management in acute hospital settings through The University of Queensland in 2016 . Abby is the Allied Health Research Advisor at Monash Health and holds adjunct appointments at both La Trobe and Monash Universities. She loves talking nerdy about qualitative research. Abby's research is collaborative and multidisciplinary. She focuses her work on creating systems that reduce barriers to communication, supporting clinicians to be their best and love their work, and ensuring people with communication disability have excellent experiences and outcomes in hospital and beyond.

Dr Sam Harvey

Dr Sam Harvey is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Queensland Aphasia Research Centre (QARC) and is an affiliate researcher with the CRE Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation. Sam has over ten years’ experience working as a speech pathologist with adults who live with the consequences of brain injury. Sam’s doctoral thesis focused on the question of how the amount of treatment a person with aphasia receives affects recovery of language and communication after a stroke.

Sam is a Catalyst Ambassador with the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a member of the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists, an Early Career Researcher representative for the International Collaborative Network of N-of-1 trials and Single-Case Designs, and an ambassador for open science practices in speech pathology with CSDisseminate.

He is currently working on several aphasia research projects at QARC aiming to improve the consistency of care that people with aphasia receive.

Research students

Community of Practice

The Aphasia CRE has established a multidisciplinary Community of Practice (COP) of health professionals and consumers interested in improving healthcare and the life of people with aphasia. Members of the COP receive our monthly newsletter and regular email updates about major events and activities in our Centre.

We welcome people with aphasia, their family, friends, health professionals, researchers and organisations to our Aphasia CRE Community of Practice (COP).

COP members are invited to contribute to research agendas, research collaboration activities, implementation workshops and projects, and general networking activities.

Membership benefits

Benefits to members of the COP include:

  • receiving our monthly newsletter
  • updates about events and activities
  • invitations to contribute to research studies and trials
  • contribute to research agendas
  • attend implementation workshops and projects
  • networking opportunities.

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