Chronic pain presents a major challenge to the Australian community and the economy. Most of this burden is related to lower back pain (LBP) and osteoarthritis. LBP is the major cause of disability internationally and the overall burden is second to cancer. The impact is broad. Not only does pain reduce productivity and quality of life, it limits adoption of a healthy physically active lifestyle which is advocated as the solution to the modern blight of chronic diseases related to obesity and inactivity. It is time to act.

There is considerable misunderstanding regarding what pain is (and is not), and this has a major impact on how it is dealt with by the individual with pain and by the community. It is critical that pain is demystified and the myths dispelled. New treatments are emerging. Drugs are getting refined and developed. Although there is a common perception that ultimately most will resort to drugs and surgical interventions, conservative treatments (including exercise, physical treatments) are considered the cornerstone of management with potent effects.

UQ is leading the way in discovery in pain. Teams from across UQ are making a major impact on the key elements of this debate from recognition of the impact to development of innovative solutions.


Professor Paul Hodges

Professor Paul Hodges is from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is a Neuroscientist and Rehabilitation expert. He is the highest cited physiotherapy researcher in the world and recipient of many International/National Awards, including the NHMRC Achiever Award as the highest ranked NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. He will deliver the presentation, What is pain, really?

Professor Maree Smith

Professor Maree Smith is Executive Director of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development in M+BS and from the School of Pharmacy is the Head of the Pain Research Group. She has a long history of industry collaboration. She is the Executive Director of TetraQ, which is an accredited, skilled drug development organisation that provides collaborative R&D opportunities, preclinical & clinical testing to the life sciences industry. She will deliver the presentation, New drugs for new times.

Professor Gwendoline Jull

Professor Gwendoline Jull is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in physiotherapy research and was former Head of Physiotherapy within the School. She is one of the most highly regarded physiotherapists internationally in Musculoskeletal Pain. Professor Jull will deliver the following presentation, The major impact of non-drug treatments.

About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

Listen to podcasts of previous GLS events click here


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