Institute home to leading research projects

An innovative new program using some of the world’s most up-to-date technology to analyse the body’s movement of muscle and bones signals the continued evolution and growth of the Griffith Health Institute.

Three new directors have taken up positions with the Griffith Health Institute, including Professor Wendy Moyle who is now the Director of the Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, and Associate Professor Luke Haseler who heads up the Heart Foundation Research Centre.

From Western Australia, Professor David Lloyd has arrived to take the reins of the newly established Musculoskeletal Research Program at the Griffith Health Institute.

This program will rely heavily on the very latest in computational modelling in the exploration of how joints and muscles are loaded, activated and ultimately stabilised to prevent injury and illness.

“The program involves multi-scale measuring and understanding to create physical activity and exercise programs that can prevent conditions like osteoarthritis,” said Professor Lloyd (pictured), a biomedical engineer whose first qualification was in mechanical engineering.

“It’s about developing specific techniques and movements to get a treatment outcome that will benefit the community in the long term by slowing or preventing the onset of disease.”

Associate Professor Luke Haseler, from Griffith’s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, aims to develop the clinical focus of the Heart Foundation Research Centre.

“I want us to be at the forefront of clinical research into cardiovascular disease,” he said.

He is optimistic that this “lofty aim” can be realised through the right practical applications and with the support of collaborators like Queensland Health.

“A current focus of the centre has been the mechanistic basis of cardiovascular disease and we will build on this by looking at ways to prevent and protect the body from cardiovascular related illnesses,” Associate Professor Haseler said.

“We are looking at lifestyles around the world. What determines health rather than illness?”

As Director of RCCCPI Professor Wendy Moyle aims to transform health and community services through the development of innovative and sustainable models of care.

“I would like to build capacity through national and international links within each of the RCCCPI units.”

Industry links and industry partnership research are also high on her agenda.

“I will encourage the funnelling of research findings to stakeholders so that healthcare staff is using the best available evidence in their practice.”

Professor Moyle leads an evidence-based practice for older people research in RCCCPI and is a research leader in a National Dementia Collaborative Research Centre.

Here the focus of her work is on the impact of social engagement on the quality of life of people with dementia, their families and carers.

Headed by Professor Lyn Griffiths, the vision of the Griffith Health Institute is to develop healthy communities through the prevention of chronic disease.

Health promotion, early intervention and innovative health care are platforms on which research is based across the Institute’s six programs, Behavioural Basis of Health; Heart Foundation Research Centre; Molecular Basis of Disease; Musculoskeletal Research, Population Health Research and RCCCPI.