Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 11:15
Professor Michael Sullivan
Professor Michael Sullivan

A world-renowned expert in the psychology of pain and disability has been appointed to lead Australian researchers in discovering better ways to help people recover after injury.

Professor Michael Sullivan will become Director of the Queensland-based Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (Recover).

News of his appointment was welcomed by Professor Bruce Abernethy, Executive Dean of centre partner The University of Queensland Faculty of Heath and Behavioural Sciences.

“Professor Sullivan is an innovative scientist well-recognised for developing the Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS), which has been translated into 20 languages since 1995,” Professor Abernethy said.

“He takes this appointment after almost 10 years as Professor of Medicine, Neurology and Neurosurgery at the very highly regarded McGill University in Quebec.

“Clearly we are getting someone who has a depth of knowledge and experience that will be a tremendous asset.”

Recover (formerly CONROD) is funded through a joint agreement between UQ, Griffith University and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

It has produced world-class research focussing on injury rehabilitation and disability for almost 20 years, with a major focus on improving health outcomes from road traffic crashes.

“Professor Sullivan’s expertise is highly relevant to Recover,” Professor Abernethy said.

“He will not only enhance the research currently undertaken, but will also broaden the scope of research produced by the Centre.”

Throughout his career Professor Sullivan has been invited to speak in over a dozen countries across a broad number of disciplines.

He has addressed on matters of psychology, psychiatry, anaesthesiology, neurology, nursing, medicine, surgery, oncology, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and palliative care.

His clinical involvement includes assessment, intervention and consultation with insurers and legal professionals concerning the management of pain-related disability.

Professor Sullivan has written five books, 120 scientific papers and 15 book chapters.

He will assume the directorship of Recover in January 2016 from Interim Director Emeritus Professor Gwendolen Jull, who graciously came out of retirement to fill the role over the past year.

Media: Emily Anderson, Recover Communications, e.anderson3@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 5287, +61 414 448 313.