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 Universities of Waikato and Otago, 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
  • Stroke Central Region
  • Accident Compensation Corporation

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.

Measuring the incidence and outcomes of stroke and TIA in New Zealand

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

  • AUT University
  • The University of Auckland
  • University of Otago
  • The George Institute for International Health, Sydney, Australia
  • Monash University, Australia
  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • Auckland Hospital
  • North Shore Hospital, Waitemata District Health Board, Auckland District Health Board

A pilot study of telehealth intervention (Teen online problem solving - New Zealand)

This study evaluated an innovative internet-based problem-solving treatment programme developed specifically for adolescents after a head injury, and their families (Teen Online Problem Solving Intervention: TOPS). Other researchs were from:

  • University of Auckland
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital (USA)
  • ABI Rehabilitation
  • Geneva Health

Brain Research New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence

Two NISAN team members are investigators in this CoRE, along with researchers from:

  • University of Auckland
  • University of canterbury
  • University of Otago


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.


Since 2009  Valery Feigin has been a member of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, as the Chairman of the Stroke, TBI Experts Panel and the whole Neurology Section, coordinating work of over 600 members of the expert panels across the globe. The GBD study is based in Washington, USA, and is the largest and most comprehensive study to measure the burden of 315 diseases and injuries worldwide (195 countries). Two other members of NISAN are also members of the Stroke Expert Panel of the GBD study.


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. The study currently has more than 300 collaborators from 104 countries.


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.