• Bring together leading SHP researchers and clinicians from diverse backgrounds, clinical areas, settings, and local health distritcts to add value
  • Build upon existing collaborations and networks
  • Create new and strengthen existing partnerships between clinician researchers and academic researchers
  • Undertake effectiveness and scalability studies across SHP services
  • Implement effective interventions and remove ineffective or harmful interventions to enhance musculoskeletal health
  • Actively disseminate evidence through clinical tools, seminars, and workshops
  • Train a new generation of translational researchers
  • Focus on priority areas identified by partner health service leaders
  • Engage in existing translation projects with strong clinical/academic partnerships and senior local health district leadership support, spanning various healthcare settings, including outpatient clinics, emergency departments, inpatient wards, operating theatres, primary care networks, and community services.

Research Streams

The Musculoskeletal CAG is subdivided into seven research streams, focusing on different aspects of musculoskeletal health.

Leadership Team:

  • Prof David Hunter (Flagship Co-Director, Rheumatologist, RNSH)
  • Prof Andreas Zankl (Clinical Geneticist, Children’s Hospital Westmead)
  • Dr Jillian Eyles (Post-doctoral physiotherapist)


This Network is formed around NSW Health Leading Better Value Care initiatives and the SHP-funded MESSAGE implementation study. It will undertake pilot work for the multi-centre PARTNER trial that seeks to optimise non-surgical management of arthritis as well as supporting transfer of young people with skeletal dysplasia from CHW to adult services

Led by A/Prof Anne Tiedemann (Exercise scientist, NHMRC grant CIA) and Dr Leanne Hassett (Physiotherapist, MRFF grant CIA). Key members Dr Alexander Voukelatos (Health promotion unit evaluation leader SLHD), Dr Christopher Needs (Rheumatologist, RPAH) , Mr Andrew Woods (Physiotherapist, Canterbury Hospital), Prof Markus Seibel (Endocrinologist, Concord Hospital). This Network is built around multiple collaborative implementation projects that focus on supporting pathways to community exercise from health services with SHP (PROPOSE study led by Prof Sherrington), MRFF (BEHAVIOUR study led by Dr Hassett) and NHMRC CRE funds.

Led by Dr Gustavo Machado (Physiotherapist, NHMRC ECF, HCF Grant CIA) with Prof Chris Maher (Flagship Co-director), Dr Bethan Richards (Rheumatologist, RPAH), A/Prof Michael Dinh (Emergency Physician, RPAH), Prof Steve Kamper (Physiotherapist, NHMRC Investigator grant holder, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District). This network is built around the new model of care evaluated in the SHaPED trial and new implementation work on avoiding hospital admission in partnership with RPA Virtual Hospital.

Led by Dr Christina Abdelshaheed (Pharmacist, NHMRC grant CIA) with Prof Andrew McLachlan (Dean of Pharmacy), Prof Chris Lin (NHMRC Investigator Grant holder), A/Prof Danijela Gnjidic (NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow). This network is built around opioid de-prescribing work involving a new NHMRC-funded trial and guideline implementation as well as Prof Lin’s NHMRC-funded OASIS trial (Oral Steroids for Sciatica) which recruits from (primary care) and Sydney Local Health District.

Led by Prof Cathie Sherrington (CAG Chair) with Prof Vasi Naganathan (Geriatrician, Concord Hospital), Dr Mark Latt (Geriatrician, RPA), Dr Andrew Hallahan (Executive Director Medical Services, Clinical Governance and Risk, Sydney Local Health District). This network is built around this new Sydney Local Health District priority and builds on previous large-scale health service trials, NSW Health Leading Better Value Care initiatives and the CRE led by Prof Sherrington.

Led by Prof Ian Cameron (Rehabilitation Physician, Hornsby Hospital) with Prof Sue Kurrle (Geriatrician, Hornsby Hospital), Prof Sherrington, Prof Naganathan. Based around a) an NHMRC-funded implementation study (FORTRESS) rolling out the interdisciplinary intervention found to reduce frailty and disability in the team’s previous Frailty Intervention Trial and b) the TOP-UP trial of physiotherapy delivered by telehealth in residential aged care facilities.

Led by Prof Manuela Ferreira (NHMRC grant CIA) with Dr Andrew Ellis (Orthopaedic surgeon, Northern Local Health District), Prof Ian Harris (Orthopaedic surgeon, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney Local Health District), Dr Sam Adie (Orthopaedic surgeon), and Prof Chris Maher. This Network builds on the world leading NHMRC-funded surgical research undertaken by the team and links with CREs in Right Care, Back Pain and Musculoskeletal Trials.

Activities & Projects

Project 1 title  (link to PDF with more information and link to email for more info)
Project 2 title (link to PDF with more information and link to email for more info)
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Leadership Team

  • Professor Cathie Sherrington


  • Professor Manuela Ferreira


  • Dr Christina Abdel Shaheed

  • Prof Ian Cameron

  • A/Prof Michael Dinh

  • Dr Andrew Ellis

  • Dr Jillian Eyles

  • Dr Gustavo Machado

  • Prof Vasi Naganathan

  • Dr Bethan Richards

  • Prof Andreas Zankl

Disciplines represented in the leadership team
Physiotherapy, Geriatric Medicine, Rheumatology, Rehabilitation, Orthopaedic Surgery, Genetics, Emergency Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health


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