About us

Neurological illness and injury is common, affecting one in five people internationally. We believe that major advances are yet to be made in neuroepidemiology and neurorehabilitation and our team is working hard to contribute to knowledge gains in this important area.

Epidemiological studies

Population-based epidemiological studies of stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other major non-communicable disorders.

Continuation of the series of Auckland stroke incidence studies [1982-1983, 1992-1993, 2002-2003, 2012-2013, 2021-2022, 2021-2026]

Initiation of nationally representative TBI incidence studies [2009-2010, 2019-2020, 2020-2024]

Contribution to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study in the area of neurological disorders.

Applied clinical research

Applied clinical research of immediate and widely applicable interventions (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological), especially those with prevention, rehabilitation, psychological and educational components.

Focus on neurobehavioural interventions

A unique feature of NISAN is the emphasis on assessment and amelioration of specific cognitive, behavioural and social consequences of injury and illness.

Our clear focus on educational and other patient-orientated strategies is geared towards improving outcomes for survivors of brain injury, their families and caregivers. Once proven to be effective, these strategies are designed to be easily adopted by clinicians. Rehabilitation efforts in relation to brain injury (both stroke and TBI) often focus primarily on motor functioning to improve activities of daily living. Our broad approach is built on the expertise of its own and associated staff in the fields of brain injury and neuropsychology.

Strong emphasis on multidisciplinary collaborations

NISAN works closely with experts nationally and internationally from fields of research and practice, including public health, epidemiology, rehabilitation, psychology, neuropsychology, neurology, cardiology, traumatic brain injury, neurophysiology, social science.

Relationships with other research institutes within AUT

NISAN acts as an independent hub, interfacing with clinical and epidemiological research within AUT's School of Clinical Sciences, the Public Health and Mental Health Research Institute and the Health and Research Rehabilitation Institute. This linkage is a springboard to identify potential areas and forms of intervention that could be trialled via NISAN.

Some of our current collaborators include:

Māori, Pacific peoples and other minority groups

NISAN is working to ensure that the impact of major health risks and conditions in Māori and Pacific people and other minority groups is addressed.

Neurological disorders (including brain injury) are the leading causes of significant lost healthy life years in New Zealand, and a cause of major disparities between Māori/Pacific and non-Māori/non-Pacific life expectancies. Current and future research of NISAN will allow evaluation of novel, practicable interventions that appear to show considerable promise towards addressing these major health issues.

Māori researchers have played an integral part in the design process of many of the Institute's projects and are closely involved in the conduct of these studies and the analysis and dissemination of the results

There are significant opportunities for Māori research workforce development in each project. NISAN researchers are committed to satisfying Treaty of Waitangi obligations and improving responsiveness to Māori. We recognise the importance of partnerships with Māori and of maximising opportunities for Māori participation in research.

Stroke Foundation NZ

Professor Rita Krishnamurthi represents the Stroke Foundation as a member of the Board of Directors of the World Stroke Organization.

Meet the team

NISAN researchers are working on a number of areas to prevent, mitigate and recognise stroke and other applications of neuroscience.

Our people

Honours and awards

Find out what recognition the institute receives for its work.

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What's new at NISAN?

Find out about our latest events and honours across the institute.


Media mentions

NISAN is widely mentioned across news and other scientific organisations.

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Collaborations and partnerships

Partnership and collaboration with other organisations and research groups, both nationally and internationally, is central to the success of NISAN.

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