Current LSA Research Projects:

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Neil Sachse Foundation

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), in partnership with the Neil Sachse Foundation, is studying innovative solutions to spinal cord injuries from motor vehicle accidents.

SAHMRI’s project focuses on creating an innovative biological approach to spinal cord injury and will use a cyclotron, or particle accelerator, located at SAHMRI in Adelaide.

Research will look at spinal cord inflammation, and may lead to improved scanning of affected areas, better surgical intervention and improved patient outcomes.

The research team of Prof Julio Licinio, Dr Parabjit Takhar and Prof Brian Freeman has expertise in neuroscience and imaging, radiochemistry and spinal cord injury.

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Neil Sachse Foundation logo

University of South Australia

University of South Australia

The team of researchers at the University of South Australia is looking to develop an understanding of the meaning of choice and control, as it relates to our participants.

The project will focus on people who have acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident, and will not only include the perspectives of participants but also their caregivers and families members.

Learnings of the study will help to inform practice that can help to improve the lives of our participants and ensure the best outcomes for them and their families.

The research team includes both senior experienced and early career researchers of the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia and includes Dr Mandy Stanley, Dr Syhlie Mackintosh, Dr Gisela van Kessel, Dr Caroline Fryer, Assoc Prof Susan Hillier and Carolyn Murray.

Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre and Royal Adelaide Hospital

Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre and the Royal Adelaide Hospital are studying technology available for individuals with tetraplegia, a spinal cord injury above the first thoracic vertebrae affecting the cervical spinal cord.

Tetraplegia results in reduced motor and sensory function of the upper and lower limbs, and independent access to technology can be difficult or sometimes impossible for people living with the condition.

The research project will facilitate access to an all-in-one device, such as a tablet or smartphone, for people living Tetraplegia to explore the satisfaction and perspectives of its uses and benefits.

The research team is led by occupational therapist Kate Viner, with Dr Mandy Stanley and Hugh Stewart.

Spinal Cord Research

Flinders University

Flinders University

The Flinders University research project will look at supporting people with complex trauma injuries and their families to maximise participation through community mobility.

The project will focus on people with injuries including orthopaedic, amputee, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, who may no longer be able to drive.

The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a community mobility group intervention for these people, and their families, to positively impact health outcomes.

The research team includes Assoc Prof Stacey George, Dr Jacqui Liddle, Prof Maria Crotty and Dr Chris Barr, and is supported by a steering committee.

University of Adelaide

The research team at the University of Adelaide is looking to develop a preliminary trial of an online vocational program for adults with spinal cord injury.

The project has three aims: to examine facilitators of and barriers to workforce participation to people with spinal cord injury living in community-based housing, to examine the feasibility of online vocational rehabilitation programs, and to create a detailed picture of service delivery in vocational rehabilitation.

A key outcome of the research will address the successful long-term health and lifestyle for injured people, and help to ensure that our participants living with spinal cord injury have a robust set of tools and information to successfully transition to vocational pursuits and career development.

Unversity of Adelaide’s Dr Diana Dorstyn, lecturer in the School of Psychology, leads the team of researchers.


Brain Research

Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre

The Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre project is exploring education that addresses recognition of the signs of brain injury-related fatigue.

Dr Maggie Killington, and occupational therapists Michael Snigg and Emma Campbell, will undertake a clinical trial to investigate whether group-based education that addresses recognition of the signs of fatigue, causes of fatigue and self-management of fatigue following brain injury result in improved quality of life and self-efficacy.

The study will include 50 participants each of whom will be an inpatient in the Acquired Brain Injury unit at the Hampstead.

Julia Farr Collaboration

We are delighted to be partnering with the Julia Farr Housing Association (JFHA) on a significant home automation and assistive technology project trial.

The joint research study will identify and measure the benefits of up to 13 scheme participants to explore how integrated home technology can increase a person’s independence and dignity, enhance their wellbeing and connection to the community.

The trial will involve identifying, assessing and validating suitable technology, utilising a proven Cost Benefit Analysis approach.

Outcomes of the project will provide valuable experience and information to further inform the value of technology as part of treatment, care and support plans for participants.

Through this project, we anticipate our participants to have greater independence and mobility, improved control in their lives through a greater choice of technology options, and be active participants in the assessment and selection of technology in their lives.

The project will run through to October 2018.

Julia Farr Housing Association (JFHA)

SKIN Tissue Engineering

SKIN Tissue Engineering

During 2016 we awarded a significant grant to Adelaide-based biotechnology company SKIN Tissue Engineering to support their unique tissue culturing process.

The process can significantly help burns victims by growing large areas of new skin from a small piece of donor skin in less than a month.

The funding will support evaluation of a prototype reactor and the tissue culturing process, then the start of human trials from the middle of 2017.

The technology extracts cells from a piece of donor skin measuring just 10 square centimetres and then produces 25 square metres of skin, enough to cover the entire body, in just 28 days.

SKIN was established after the 2002 Bali bombings by Associate Professor John Greenwood and former Sturt footballer Julian Burton.