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Adelaide Spinal Research Group

Our research aims to understand how the spine functions, how it is injured, and to devise and test methods to prevent and repair injuries.

The Adelaide Spinal Research Group is a team of experienced clinicians, engineers and scientists. Our multidisciplinary program of clinical, biomechanics and basic science research seeks to better understand the normal, diseased and injured spine and spinal cord. Our current areas of research are:

  • dislocation and fracture mechanisms of the cervical and lumbar spine
  • biomechanics of neurotrauma (spinal cord injury and brain injury)
  • musculoskeletal modelling for estimating spinal loads
  • strategies for reducing lower back pain associated with every day activities
  • cadaveric models to investigate spinal cord injury mechanisms
  • use of medical imaging for quantitative description of spinal injury
  • neck injury criteria used for crashworthiness testing
  • spine simulation in paramedic mannequins
  • spinal immobilisation for first responders
  • design and testing orthopaedic implants
  • mechanical behaviour of tissues related to skeletal maturation
  • surgical strategies for rotator cuff repair
  • tibial plateau fracture fixation

Our research uses a variety of in vitro and in vivo laboratory techniques and medical imaging modalities involving cadaveric, pre-clinical and computational models—as well as volunteer participants. It is undertaken in clinical settings, in state-of-the art biomechanics laboratories and in a pre-clinical surgical and imaging facility. 

We have local and international collaborations with researchers and clinicians from the main hospitals and universities in Adelaide, and with universities in Canada.

Lead researcher: Professor Brian Freeman and Dr Claire Jones

Research team

Research support
  • Erica Beaucage-Gauvreau (PhD candidate) 
  • Ryan Quarrington (PhD candidate)
  • Timothy Pointon (PhD candidate)
  • Danika Hunt (honours candidate)
  • Joshua De Bricassart-Brown (honours candidate)
  • Lochlan Campbell (honours candidate)
  • Matthew Ramm (honours candidate)
  • Rachael Killian (honours candidate)
  • Tsuen-Zern Lee (honours candidate)


  • Centre for Automotive Safety Research, the University of Adelaide
  • Defence Science and Technology Group, South Australia
  • Dr Elizabeth Clarke, Kolling Institute, the University of Sydney
  • Dr Anna Leonard, Associate Professor Renee Turner and Dr Francis Corrigan, Translational Neuropathology Laboratory, the University of Adelaide
  • Dr William Robertson; Dr Dominic Thewlis, the University of Adelaide
  • Dr Ryan Doig, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.