The Project: An opportunity exists for two (2) high calibre higher degree research student to pursue a research career in paediatrics with a focus on exercise interventions to improve muscle health and function in children with cerebral palsy.

Individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) have muscles that are smaller, weaker and more resistant to stretch compared to typically developing people. Progressive resistance training leads to increases in muscle size and strength. In CP, the benefits of resistance training alone may not transfer to improve other activities such as walking; however, the transfer of strength improvements to improved mobility may be enhanced by performing training that involves specific functional tasks or motor skills. The project is a collaboration between researchers from the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC) and clinicians from the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (QPRS), Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. Two (2) PhD positions are available with the project suited to a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist with experience in paediatrics and/or biomechanics.

Research Aims: This study aims to determine the efficacy of combined functional anaerobic and strength training in children aged 6-12 years of age with cerebral palsy to

  1. Influencing muscle neuromuscular properties strength, structure and function and,
  2. To determine if any changes in muscle strength and structure following training impact on walking ability and gross motor functional capacity and performance

Project members

Supervisory Team

Dr Lee Barber

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre
Child Health Research Centre

Professor Roslyn Boyd

Scientific Director, Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre
Child Health Research Centre, The University of Queensland