Research collaborations


We have already formed excellent relationships with the University of Auckland (Clinical Trials Research Unit, Department of Psychology, School of Population Health, Department of Medicine [Neurology] and Motor Control Laboratory), the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, the University of Waikato and the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association.

Effective working relationships have also been established with:

  • Waitemata, Waikato, Auckland and Counties Manukau District Health Boards
  • All major hospitals and rehabilitation centres in Auckland and Hamilton including Middlemore, North Shore Hospital and Auckland Hospitals
  • Rehab+ and ABI Rehabilitation Management Ltd (CAVIT Rehabilitation)
  • Stroke Foundation of New Zealand
  • Brain Injury Association of New Zealand
  • Midlands Trauma Registry
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Autism New Zealand
  • Safekids Aotearoa
  • THINK Head Injury Society New Zealand

NISAN also shares a close synergy with AUT University's Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, the Centre for Person Centred Research, and the Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (KEDRI). This pooling of AUT research resources and expertise is seen in a number of joint research projects with the Person Centred Rehabilitation research team and collaborators.

A selection of national collaborations, including current and completed research projects, is summarised below.

ARCOS:  Auckland Regional Community Study

An epidemiological study of the determinants of stroke impact on individuals, families and communities carried out in Auckland in 2002-2003.

  • The University of Auckland, Clinical Trials Research Unit
  • The University of Auckland, Department of Psychology
  • The University of Auckland, Department of Community Health
  • The University of Auckland, Maori and Pacific Health
  • The University of Auckland, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care
  • The University of Auckland, School of Population Health
  • The George Institute for International Health, Sydney, Australia
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • AUT University
  • Auckland Hospital
  • Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance, WHO, Geneva
  • Wellington School of Medicine
  • North Shore Hospital, Waitemata District Health Board


Stroke Attention Rehabilitation Trial

To determine the effectiveness of a novel intervention, Attention Process Training in improving attention and health-related quality of life for stroke survivors.

  • Clinical Trials Research Unit, The University of Auckland
  • Department of Psychology , The University of Auckland
  • Centre for Health Services Research and Policy, The University of Auckland
  • Psychological Services of the Te Ako Tapu Trust

Disabled by Illness or Injury: Does It Matter Study
A prospective outcomes study

To assess whether the receipt of ACC entitlements has an effect on health, economic and family outcomes for individuals experiencing sudden onset disability, and their primary informal carer.

  • The University of Otago, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine,

A clinical trial evaluating if polypill-based care improves adherence, blood pressure and cholesterol in people at high cardiovascular risk.

  • The University of Auckland, Clinical Trials Research Unit,
  • The University of Auckland, General Practice and Primary Health Care
  • The University of Auckland, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • The University of Auckland, Maori Health
  • New Zealand Guidelines Group
  • Auckland District Health Board
  • Capital and Coast District Health Board
  • Waikato District Health Board
  • Waitemata District Health Board
  • The George Institute for International Health, Sydney


Effective working relationships have been established or are in the process of being established with a number of internationally recognised centres of excellence from Australia, UK and the United States.


This programme of research funded by the EU Commission involves a collaboration of researchers across 19 countries with expertise in brain injury.  The collaboration aims to improve characterisation and classification of TBI, and to improve health care delivery and treatment by identifying the most effective clinical interventions to inform treatment recommendations and guidelines.  This is the largest TBI epidemiological project in the world. Valery Feigin, Alice Theadom and Kelly Jones are named investigators on this collaboration representing New Zealand.


A smartphone information technology platform app has been developed to allow users to calculate their 5 and 10-year stroke risk based on evidence- based stroke risk factors. Armed with this information, an individual can take action, with the help of their doctor, to reduce their risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. The app is being translated into 20 languages. Based on the information collected, the app is constantly being refined and the Stroke Riskometer algorithm will be extended in terms of its accuracy and applicability to different populations, and to develop new, evidence-based apps for the prediction/prevention and management of major non-communicable diseases in the world.


Methods of computational intelligence and software-hardware systems for personalised mental health risk analysis, outcome prognosis and rehabilitation


This is a joint research collaboration project, under the umbrella of the New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, between The Knowledge Engineering & Discovery Research Institute (KEDRI), NISAN and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China.

The aim is to develop jointly novel computational intelligence methods, software and hardware systems and product prototypes for stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries risk analysis, outcome prognosis and rehabilitation. The project will have three research objectives:

Objective 1: Develop personalised modelling method and system for stroke data analysis in respect to risk evaluation and outcome prognosis.

Objective 2: Develop a personalised software-hardware method and hardware system for neuro-rehabilitation.

Objective 3: Developing and clinical testing robotic rehabilitation devices to improve outcomes in stroke, brain, and spinal cord injury patients.