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.
Professor Brian Freeman
Professor Brian Freeman is an orthopaedic surgeon with interests in both paediatric and adult spinal surgery. He is Head of Spinal Services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Professor of Spinal Surgery at the University of Adelaide. In 2012, he was appointed Research Director at the Adelaide Centre for Spinal Research and co-director of the Centre for Orthopaedic and Trauma Research, the University of Adelaide. Professor Freeman is the senior clinician responsible for the management of traumatic spinal cord injured patients for central Australia (South Australia and Northern Territory).
Dr Claire Jones
Dr Claire Jones is Head, Biomechanics Laboratory, Adelaide Spinal Research Group and Centre for Orthopaedics and Trauma Research and NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide.
Research team Role Professor Brian Freeman Lead researcher Dr Claire Jones Lead researcher Dr Jillian Clark Researcher Dr Julia Kuliwaba Researcher Professor Peter Cripton Visiting researcher Dr Noyel Thibbotuwawa Research support Adnan Mulaibrahimovic Research support Oana Marion 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
Partner Institution/Organisation Centre for Automotive Safety Research University of Adelaide Defence Science and Technology Group Dr Elizabeth Clarke Kolling Institute, University of Sydney Dr Anna Leonard, Associate Professor Renee Turner and Dr Francis Corrigan Translational Neuropathology Laboratory, University of Adelaide Dr William Robertson University of Adelaide Dr Dominic Thewlis University of Adelaide Dr Ryan Doig South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
Related areas of research
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.