14 August 2018

University of Queensland experts are available to comment during Queensland Seniors Week, August 18 to August 26. Journalists can contact the experts below or search by topic or name at UQ Experts.

Professor Nancy Pachana: School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Research interests: Assessment and cognitive-behavioural treatment of late-life anxiety; early detection of dementia; driving and dementia; women's health issues in later life; assessment and treatment of anxiety in Parkinson's Disease; assessment of competency in later life; therapeutic gardening and animal-assisted therapy; attitudes to ageing and mental health policy and ageing.

Contact: n.pachana@psy.uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 6832, +61 405 790 054.

Dr Paul Gardiner: NHMRC Research Fellow, Centre for Health Services Research and Affiliate Research Fellow, Mater Research Institute-UQ

His work is focused on understanding and influencing sedentary behaviour in older adults and continues to develop a program of research with colleagues in Australia and internationally. Dr Gardiner is investigating if total or domain specific sitting time is associated with cognitive function and dementia. Another stream of research focuses on reducing prolonged sitting in older adults and those with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Contact: p.gardiner@sph.uq.edu.au, +61 401 802 534.

Professor Jill Wilson: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Her research areas relate to the interface between policy and practice in the areas of aged care, substitute and assisted decision making, models of aged care, cognitive impairment and service models in disability, elder abuse, assets and ageing, and end of life decision making. She has a long history of involvement in the governance of large non-government services and the establishment of services to meet emerging needs. She teaches in the areas of health and ageing, social work methods and field education.

Contact: wilsonj@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 1254, +61 7 3356 7665.

Dr Maree Peterson: Senior Lecturer in Social Work, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

Dr Petersen is a lead investigator on a number of research projects concerned with housing and older people. A program of research over the past six years has comprised of three projects concerned with understanding older people's homelessness in Australia, addressing the housing and support needs of older women experiencing homelessness, and advocating for the intersection of housing, homelessness and aged care policy. Maree has a longstanding interest in older people's access to community aged care.

Contact: m.petersen@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 7314.

Dr Martin Sale: School of Health and Rehabilitation Services

Dr Sale investigates the human nervous system’s ability to change rapidly throughout life, which is important for learning, memory and recovery from brain injury. He’s interested in using emerging brain stimulation and imaging techniques to "artificially" induce plasticity in the human brain, to ultimately improve the treatment outcomes for various neurological conditions, particularly stroke.

Contact: m.sale@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 3008, +61 439 950 053.

Professor Len Gray: Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine

His research interests focus on aged care policy, models of aged care service delivery, assessment and care planning systems, and in recent years, e-health and telemedicine strategies. He leads international development of the interRAI Acute Care system of assessment, and is a board member and the Australian coordinator for interRAI —  a multinational research collaborative. He is the Principle Investigator on the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Telehealth, established in 2013. He is a Lead Investigator on the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, and a Systems Investigator on the NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health Systems Sustainability.

Contact: len.gray@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3176 5530, +61 418 361 760.

Associate Professor Ruth Hubbard:  Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine

She has published widely on the inflammatory aetiology of frailty, the difficulties of measuring frailty in clinical practice and the relationships between frailty and obesity, smoking, socioeconomic status and exercise. Based on the impact of her publications, she is currently ranked number 3 in a list of the world’s leading experts in frail elderly research (http://expertscape.com/ex/frail+elderly ).

Contact: r.hubbard1@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3443 8043.

Professor Louise Hickson: Head of School, School and Health and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

She is also Co-Director of the Communication Disability Centre at UQ. Professor Hickson’s work focusses on the effects of hearing impairment on the lives of older people, how to measure outcomes in that population and the development of strategies and interventions that improve the uptake and outcomes of audiological rehabilitation.

Contact: l.hickson@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 7139, +61 403 366 021.

Dr Melinda Martin-Khan: Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine

Dr Martin-Khan has more than 12 years research experience involving the development, measurement, evaluation and translation into practice of systems for improving the quality of care, patient outcomes, and organisational processes, for people with dementia and other at risk populations.

Contact: m.martinkhan@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3176 5677, +61 407 399 818.

Dr Anthony Tuckett: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Anthony undertakes health services research: studying how social factors, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviours affect access and quality of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. In the field of health care ethics, he has recently written in the area of moral distress in residential and community aged care, penned a number of editorials reflecting on the older person in crisis and arguing why ethics matters in aged care.

Contact: a.tuckett@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 6787.

Dr Jacki Liddle: School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, School of Psychology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Services

Jacki Liddle researches quality of life, participation and life transitions and investigates the needs and experiences of people living with neurological conditions (dementia, Parkinson's disease, stroke), older people and their caregivers. She is currently part of a multi-disciplinary team co-designing technology with people living with dementia and their care partners to support communication. Dr Liddle's PhD focused on researching the experiences related to retirement from driving for older people, which led to the development of the CarFreeMe program to improve outcomes related to driving cessation.

Contact: j.liddle@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 9765.

Dr Nadeeka Dissanayaka: UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine

Her research involves multidisciplinary areas ranging from basic science (eg: pharmacology, physiology, genetics) to clinical science and medicine (eg: epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging and addiction). Dementia and Parkinson’s disease are key areas of her research.

Contact: n.dissanayaka@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 6026.

Professor Gerard Byrne: Faculty of Medicine

His primary research interests include Alzheimer's disease (particularly the neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with AD), and personality, anxiety and depression in older people. Recent published work has included papers on generalised anxiety disorder in older people, dementia and delirium in the general hospital setting, and the role of lifestyle factors in predicting cognitive trajectory in middle age and later life.

Contact: Gerard.byrne@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 5152 +61 411 873 202.

Associate Professor Marcus Meinzer: ARC Future Fellow UQ Centre for Clinical Research

The Meinzer lab is interested in the way the nervous system supports cognitive function (e.g. language, memory, attention) and motor function in healthy individuals. The lab also investigates how different pathological conditions like stroke or dementia affect brain function. The lab also develops novel therapies based on basic neuroscience to counteract the decline in functional skills in old age and to improve cognitive and motor impairment in the wider community.   

Contact: m.meinzer@uq.edu.au. +61 7 3346 6001, +61 478 506 044.

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 1120.