About us

Our team of world-renowned researchers and dedicated support personnel are passionate about creating a strong evidence base that underpins high-quality healthcare provision for Australians. We house the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for the Australia and New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network, manage the Australian Rheumatology Association Database and serve as editorial base for Cochrane Musculoskeletal and Australasian Satellite of Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care. We also contribute to Wiser Healthcare and The Partnership Centre in Health System Sustainability.

Recent achievements

Our Director, Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, led an international group of authors in a ground-breaking series of papers on low back pain in The Lancet in 2018. The series contrasts the immense personal and global burden of low back pain with the harm caused to millions of people by wasteful and ineffective or dangerous treatments. Rachelle’s work in this space aims to reverse this trend.

The Australian & New Zealand Musculoskeletal (ANZMUSC) Clinical Trials Network was awarded an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence grant and the ANZMUSC CRE was officially launched by the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for Health on 22 March 2018 at the Cabrini Institute. The event was officiated by Dr Michael Walsh, CEO of Cabrini Health. Speakers included Professor Marc Parlange, Provost and Senior Vice-President of Monash University, Dr Andrew Black, Director of Research Development and Collaboration at The University of Sydney, and Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, Chair of the ANZMUSC Executive Committee.

Our staff

Director

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow
Director, Monash Department of Clinical
Epidemiology – Cabrini
4 Drysdale Street, Malvern VIC 3144
rachelle.buchbinder@monash.edu
Phone: +61 3 9508 3499
Fax: +61 3 9508 3478

Dr Denise O’Connor
Senior Research Fellow
Director, Australasian Satellite of Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC)
denise.oconnor@monash.edu

Dr Renea Johnston
Managing Editor, Cochrane Musculoskeletal
renea.johnston@monash.edu

Dr Allison Bourne
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wiser Healthcare
Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand Musculoskeletal (ANZMUSC) Clinical Trials Network 
allison.bourne@monash.edu

Dr Sheila Cyril
Assistant Managing Editor, Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group
SheilaCyril@cabrini.com.au

Dr Romi Haas
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wiser Healthcare
romi.haas@monash.edu

Dr Rebecca Jessup
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Partnership
Centre in Health System Sustainability
rebecca.jessup@monash.edu

Dr Teemu Karjalainen
Visiting Honorary Research Fellow
teemukarjalainen@me.com

Dr Polina Putrik
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Partnership
Centre in Health System Sustainability
polina.putrik@monash.edu

Dr Samuel Whittle
Practitioner Fellow, ANZMUSC
sam@whit.tl

Ms Vibhasha Chan
Data Manager, Australia Rheumatology
Association Database (ARAD)
Vibhasha.Chand@monash.edu

Mr Ashley Fletcher
Project Officer, ARAD
ashley.fletcher@monash.edu

Ms Jia Xi (JC) Han
Research Assistant
Assistant Managing Editor, Cochrane EPOC 
jhan@cabrini.com.au

Ms Melanie Hawkins
Honorary Research Fellow
MHawkins@cabrini.com.au

Mrs Cathy Matthews
Administrative Assistant
buchbinder.office@gmail.com

Current undergraduate and postgraduate students

Ms Liana Cahill, PhD (La Trobe University, 2016–)
Mr Michael Di Donato, PhD (Monash University, 2017–)
Ms Caitlin Farmer, PhD (Monash University 2017–) 
Dr Bethan Richards, PhD (University of Sydney, 2011–)

Supervision of future PhD or Honours students

We consider expressions of interest for PhD or Honours student supervision aligned with our research interests, especially Wiser Healthcare, Health System Sustainability and ANZMUSC Clinical Trials Network.

Please contact jhan@cabrini.com.au for more information.