Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

Professor Ian Harris AM

Orthopaedic Surgeon, University of NSW. Professor Ian Harris is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UNSW. He maintains a clinical orthopaedic practice and directs a research unit based at Liverpool, in Sydney’s south west. His research activities include registries, clinical trials, systematic reviews and methodological studies in the fields of surgical outcomes, trauma (fractures), joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation after surgery. His aims are to improve the evidence base for orthopaedic surgery and to better align clinical practice with that evidence base.

Professor Haxby Abbott

Research Professor & Director, Centre for Musculoskeletal Outcomes Research, University of Otago Medical School, Department of Surgical Sciences Professor Haxby Abbott is a clinical epidemiologist based in the Orthopaedic Surgery section of the Dunedin School of Medicine Department of Surgical Sciences, at the University of Otago. He is the Director of CMOR – the Centre for Musculoskeletal Outcomes Research (Te Pokapū Rangahau Hauora Wheua), a multi-campus University of Otago research network. Haxby’s Management of Osteoarthritis (MOA Maimoatanga Kaikōiwi) research programme at the University of Otago has produced world-class research including clinical trials, outcomes research and cost-effectiveness modelling, and has implemented new health delivery models for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis. Professor Abbott is a former Editor in Chief of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) and the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy.

Associate Professor Dawn Aitken

Research Fellow, Menzies Institute for Medical Research Dr Dawn Aitken is a Senior Research Fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania. She is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Career Development Fellowship. Dr Aitken’s research uses advanced MRI technology to identify and test new treatments for osteoarthritis and back pain. She has experience in clinical drug trials and has completed or is currently conducting a total of 12 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) including three multi-centre trials for knee osteoarthritis, one RCT for back pain, and three industry-funded trials. Dr Aitken also has an interest in the relationship between physical activity and osteoarthritis and how to improve the conservative management of osteoarthritis.

Associate Professor Steven Kamper

Physiotherapist, University of Sydney, NSW Steven Kamper trained as physiotherapist at the University of Sydney and worked treating patients in musculoskeletal practice before completing his PhD at the George Institute in 2011. He has appointments as Principal Research Fellow at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, and Adjunct Scientist at the VU University, Amsterdam. Dr Kamper has over 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work on more than 50 occasions in 10 countries, his work is published in top ranking general medical (BMJ, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, PLOS Med) and specialist journals (Pain, Journal of Physiotherapy). He is the co-founder of the International Collaboration of Early Career Researchers (, an initiative aimed at connecting and supporting junior researchers in the health care field, and research fellow of the Physiotherapy Database ( responsible for education and training. His primary research interest is in musculoskeletal pain in children, particularly with reference to in the interaction between musculoskeletal pain and broader health risk factors such as overweight, smoking, alcohol misuse and poor mental health. His experience includes in design, conduct and reporting of prognostic studies, RCTs, systematic reviews, clinimetric analyses and studies exploring the mechanisms of action.

Professor Christine Lin

Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney Professor Lin is Principal Research Fellow at the Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health. She holds a Career Development Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council. Christine has >$8.3 million in research funding and >110 publications, including senior author publications in the prestigious journals NEJM, Lancet and JAMA. She has a professional background in physiotherapy and obtained a PhD from The University of Sydney in 2008.

Associate Professor James McAuley (NSW)

Psychologist, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and UNSW Associate Professor James McAuley is a psychologist, A/Prof at UNSW and Senior Research Scientist at NeuRA where he is a Director of the NeuRA Pain Research, Education and Management Program. He is chair of SPRiNG, the NSW network for pain PhD students/ECRs, chair of the back pain group of STREAM Health, a CAG of SPHERE and a member of the scientific advisory group of ANZMUSC. His research interests include understanding the causes of acute and chronic low back pain.

Associate Professor Donna Urquhart

Senior Research Fellow / Physiotherapist, Monash University (VIC) Associate Professor Donna Urquhart is a NHMRC Career Development Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow in the Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and a physiotherapist with over 16 years of clinical experience in the management of musculoskeletal conditions. Her primary research interest is in establishing innovative, effective treatment and prevention strategies for low back pain and she is currently involved in leading several NHMRC randomised controlled trials, conducting systematic reviews/meta-analyses, collaborating on large scale cohort studies and working with industry in this field.