Our people

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

Investigators

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

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.

Dr Robyn O'Halloran

Profile photo of Robyn O'Halloran.CRE Associate Investigator

Dr 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 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.

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 Caroline Baker

Profile photo of Caroline Baker.Dr Caroline Baker is a speech pathologist with 18 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.  Based at La Trobe University, Caroline will be 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 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 will be involved in the CRE projects 2, Treatment Effectiveness across the Continuum of Care and 3, Technology for healthcare communication and aphasia rehabilitation.

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.

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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