Bringing expertise in rehabilitation medicine, neuroscience, IT, engineering and more, the people in CRI have the breadth of knowledge needed to add significant value to traditional practices of rehabilitation and recovery


CRI's research activities are structured primarily around three main themes.

pathways to recovery

Determine the most beneficial rehabilitation interventions and where, when and how to deploy them

resilience and recovery

Clinically supervised remote residential treatment and prevention; architecture; hospital and residential design, cognitive and psycho-emotional mapping

Technology and recovery

Smart sensor enriched rehabilitation; embedding clinical services in wearable technology, machine learning, clinical decision tools

Rehabilitation interventions across these themes focus on:

-  Service evaluation
-  Work flow modelling
-  Clinical upskilling and workforce development
-  Technology evaluation
-  Policy evaluation and development


We work with government services, public and private health providers, health services and organisations, industry and patient groups to explore, advise design, monitor, evaluate, research and create new approaches or models of care tailored to the needs of a wide range of patients.

To discuss your ideas with us, please Contact Us



Projects and Collaborators

Understanding and predicting recovery in patients undergoing total knee replacement

CRI, together with the Hunter Medical Research Institute and University of Newcastle, has partnered with Ramsay Healthcare to develop a new decision support tool to assist in understanding recovery pathways and the implementation of more tailored and precision-based rehabilitation interventions after knee replacement surgery.

This three year project is funded by the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation and will involve a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, engineers and IT developers.

Contact Us for further information.

Stroke Stories: Community-based group playmaking and theatre performance for psychosocial and cognitive recovery after stroke

Our researchers will test an 8-week Devised Theatre Performance Process, which we hypothesize will improve the psychosocial well-being and cognitive function of people in the chronic phase of stroke (stroke >6 months ago), with a protocol currently in development.

Challenging, multimodal, social experiences like group-based arts and music have been shown to stimulate recovery in the chronic phase of stroke. Taking part in playmaking - synthesizing ideas and imaginations, building artistic relationships, mutual respect and discipline – and performing dramatically are demanding both psychologically and cognitively. This planned project seeks to test, scientifically, whether this community-based group process can improve the cognitive function, mood and well-being people with stroke.

The ABC Compass TV program documented the pilot project. Stroke Stories screen on Sunday July 21st at 6:30pm on TV and ABC iview. To view the Compass episode, click here.



Stroke Finder - Microwaves for early stroke detection

CRI Director, Professor Michael Nilsson, works together with Professor Chris Levi, Dr Tom Lillicrap and senior neurologists at the John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, to evaluate a new diagnostic device called the Stroke Finder. The collaboration includes Swedish company Medfield Diagnostics, HMRI, HNELHD and the University of Newcastle. Being compact and portable, this device can potentially detect bleedings/stroke type for faster therapeutic interventions. It is primarily designed for rapid deployment in Emergency departments and ambulances. The technology could have significant impact on survival and disability rates for stroke victims, and help to transform the pre-hospital stroke diagnostic capacity. 

Click here to find out more.


NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery

The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery brings together researchers at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Newcastle's Hunter Medical Research Institute and other leading institutions with the aim to develop the stroke research and practice landscape in Australia. Professor Julie Bernhardt from The Florey, together with Professor Michael Nilsson, CRI Director, co-lead the CRE which is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. 

To find out more, visit the CRE website.