Dr Alison Harmer

​PhD (Syd);BAppSc(Phty)(with Distinction) (Syd);GradCertEdStud(HigherEd)(with Merit) (Syd)
Senior Lecturer

C43O - O Block Cumberland Campus
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 9706
Fax +61 2 9351 9601

Website Lung & Heart Physiotherapy Research Group
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Biographical details

Dr Alison Harmer has an academic position with teaching, administrative and research responsibilities, in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney. Dr Harmer has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and her work has attracted more than 400 citations. She has published her work in international journals with high impact such as Arthritis Care & Research (IF 7.68), Diabetes Care (IF 7.85), the Journal of Applied Physiology (IF 3.18), the Journal of Physiology (IF 4.38) and Thorax (IF 8.38). She has co-authored 2 book chapters.

Dr Harmer’s research career has focused on the acute and chronic effects of exercise among patient populations. In particular, she has completed high-impact studies examining physiological and clinical effects of high-intensity exercise training among people with type 1 diabetes; exercise rehabilitation among patients with total knee replacement; and exercise training among patients with traumatic brain injury. She is currently examining physiological and clinical aspects of fatigue among patients with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes in collaboration with colleagues at Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA; physiological and biomechanical impairments after total knee replacement; and physiological and clinical effects of exercise and training among young patients with type 2 diabetes. She has delivered plenary presentations at national physiotherapy conferences.

Research interests

  • ​Acute effects of exercise (muscle metabolism, cardiorespiratory function, muscle fatigue, ion regulation) and effects of high-intensity exercise training among people with pre-diabetes and diabetes
  • Clinical and physiological effects of exercise rehabilitation among patients with osteoarthritis or total knee replacement
  • Physiological effects of exercise training among patients with traumatic brain injury

Teaching and supervision

​Dr Harmer is the Course Director of the Physiotherapy Graduate Entry Masters Program. She is also a member of the Cardiorespiratory teaching team in the Discipline of Physiotherapy at The University of Sydney. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in both the Discipline of Physiotherapy (cardiopulmonary or musculoskeletal physiotherapy; evidence-based practice) and in Exercise and Sport Science (exercise physiology) . She is currently supervising or is an associate supervisor for 3 PhD students and has previously supervised or been an associate supervisor for 7 Honours, Masters and PhD students.

Current projects

  • Metabolic and cardiorespiratory effects of acute exercise and high-intensity exercise training among patients with early-onset type 2 diabetes
  • Physiological and biomechanical function after total knee replacement
  • Central and peripheral fatigue and functional performance among patients with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular responses to supplemental oxygen among patients with obesity hypoventilation syndrome

Associations

  • ​Australian Physiotherapy Association member
  • Member of the American College of Sports Medicine

Panel member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association National Diabetes Reference Group, jointly responsible for the development of four professional development education modules for physiotherapists on diabetes.

Themes

Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences

Selected grants

2011

  • Respiratory function in patients with newly-diagnosed early-onset type 2 diabetes; Harmer A, Maxwell L, Wong J, Alison J; Physiotherapy Research Foundation/Research Support.

2008

  • Pulmonary and Exercise Testing in Chronic Disease: Vmax Encore System.; Alison J, McKeough Z, Harmer A, Mackey M, Orr R; Faculty of Health Sciences/Equipment Development Grant.
  • Acute ventilatory and haemodynamic responses to supplemental oxygen in patients with chronic respiratory failure; Alison J, Hollier C, Harmer A, Maxwell L; Physiotherapy Research Foundation/Research Support.

2007

  • Pilot Study: Impact of extended intensive rehabilitation on comorbidities following total knee repla; Russell T, Crosbie W, Naylor J, Harmer A; Whitlam Joint Replacement Centre/Pilot Study.

2005

  • Skeletal muscle function in chronic non-specific low back pain: mitochondrial function, muscle atrophy and muscle performance.; Harmer A; University of Sydney/Internal Research Grant Allocations - Cumberland.

2004

  • Perometer; Adams R, Moseley G, Boland R, Kilbreath S, Refshauge K, Harmer A; University of Sydney/Equipment Grant.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Walker, R. (2007). Physiotherapy rehabilitation following primary total knee arthroplasty. In Cecily Partridge (Eds.), Recent Advances in Physiotherapy, (pp. 225-250). England: John Wiley & Sons.

Journals

  • Fransen, M., Su, S., Harmer, A., Blyth, F., Naganathan, V., Sambrook, P., Le Couteur, D., Cumming, R. (2014). A longitudinal study of knee pain in older men: Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. Age and Ageing, 43(2), 206-212. [More Information]
  • Harmer, A., Ruell, P., Hunter, S., McKenna, M., Thom, J., Chisholm, D., Flack, J. (2014). Effects of type 1 diabetes, sprint training and sex on skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake and Ca2+-ATPase activity. The Journal of Physiology, 592(3), 523-535. [More Information]
  • Hollier, C., Harmer, A., Maxwell, L., Menadue, C., Wilson, G., Unger, G., Flunt, D., Black, D., Piper, A. (2014). Moderate concentrations of supplemental oxygen worsen hypercapnia in obesity hypoventilation syndrome: a randomised crossover study. Thorax.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Harmer, A., Van Der Ploeg, H. (2014). The Reliability, Validity, and Feasibility of Physical Activity Measurement in Adults With Traumatic Brain Injury: An Observational Study. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Article in Press.
  • Hollier, C., Harmer, A., Maxwell, L., Menadue, C., Wilson, G., Black, D., Piper, A. (2014). Validation of respiratory inductive plethysmography (LifeShirt) in obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 194(1), 15-22. [More Information]
  • Hollier, C., Maxwell, L., Harmer, A., Menadue, C., Piper, A., Black, D., Willson, G., Alison, J. (2013). Validity of arterialised-venous PCO2, pH and bicarbonate in obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 188(2), 165-171. [More Information]
  • Naylor, J., Ko, V., Rougellis, S., Green, N., Hackett, D., Magrath, A., Barnett, A., Kim, G., White, M., Nathan, P., Harmer, A., Mackey, M., Heard, R., et al (2012). Is discharge knee range of motion a useful and relevant clinical indicator after total knee replacement? Part 1. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 18(3), 644-651. [More Information]
  • Naylor, J., Ko, V., Rougellis, S., Green, N., Mittal, R., Heard, R., Yeo, A., Barnett, A., Hackett, D., Saliba, C., Mackey, M., Harmer, A., et al (2012). Is discharge knee range of motion a useful and relevant clinical indicator after total knee replacement? Part 2. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 18(3), 652-658. [More Information]
  • Hassett, L., Van Der Ploeg, H., Moseley, A., Harmer, A. (2012). People with traumatic brain injury are physically inactive and have reduced cardiorespiratory fitness. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(6 (December 2012 Supplement)), 94.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Harmer, A., Van Der Ploeg, H. (2012). The measurement of physical inactivity and reduced cardiorespiratory fitness in adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 26(6), 779.
  • Raymond, J., Harmer, A., Temesi, J., Van Kemenade, C. (2010). Glucose tolerance and physical activity level in people with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 48(8), 591-596. [More Information]
  • Crosbie, W., Naylor, J., Harmer, A. (2010). Six Minute Walk Distance or Stair Negotiation?┬áChoice of Activity Assessment Following Total Knee Replacement. Physiotherapy Research International, 15(1), 35-41. [More Information]
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Tate, R., Harmer, A., Fairbairn, T., Leung, J. (2009). Efficacy of a fitness centre-based exercise programme compared with a home-based exercise programme in traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 41(4), 247-255. [More Information]
  • Harmer, A., Naylor, J., Crosbie, W., Russell, T. (2009). Land-based versus water-based rehabilitation following total knee replacement: A randomized, single-blind trial. Arthritis Care and Research, 61(2), 184-191. [More Information]
  • Lin, C., March, L., Crosbie, W., Crawford, R., Graves, S., Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Jan, S., Bennell, K., Harris, I., Fransen, M., et al (2009). Maximum recovery after knee replacement - the MARKER study rationale and protocol. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 10(16), 69-1-69-8. [More Information]
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Heard, R., Harris, I. (2009). Patterns of recovery following knee and hip replacement in an Australian cohort. Australian Health Review, 33(1), 124-135.
  • Crosbie, W., Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Russell, T. (2009). Predictors of functional ambulation and patient perception following total knee replacement and short-term rehabilitation. Disability and Rehabilitation, Online, 1-11.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Tate, R., Harmer, A. (2008). Fitness training for cardiorespiratory conditioning after traumatic brain injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008 (Issue 2. Art. No.: CD006123), 1-53. [More Information]
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Heard, R. (2008). Severe other joint disease and obesity independently influence recovery after joint replacement surgery: an observational study 1. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 54(1), 57-64.
  • Harmer, A., Chisholm, D., McKenna, M., Hunter, S., Ruell, P., Naylor, J., Maxwell, L., Flack, J. (2008). Sprint training increases muscle oxidative metabolism during high-intensity exercise in patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 31(11), 2097-2102.
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Crosbie, W., Fester, N. (2007). Clinical networks - bridging the research-quality chasm. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 53, 284.
  • Harmer, A., Chisholm, D., McKenna, M., Morris, N., Thom, J., Bennett, G., Flack, J. (2007). High-intensity training improves plasma glucose and acid-base regulation during intermittent maximal exercise in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 30(5), 1269-1271.
  • Hassett, L., Harmer, A., Moseley, A., Mackey, M. (2007). Validity of the modified 20-metre shuttle test: assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness in people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 21(10), 1069-1077.
  • Harmer, A., Ruell, P., McKenna, M., Chisholm, D., Hunter, S., Thom, J., Morris, N., Flack, J. (2006). Effects of sprint training on extrarenal potassium regulation with intense exercise in Type 1 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(1), 26-34.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Tate, R., Harmer, A. (2006). Fitness training for cardiorespiratory conditioning after traumatic brain injury (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006 (3), 1-15.
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Fransen, M., Crosbie, W., Innes, L. (2006). Status of physiotherapy rehabilitation after total knee replacement in Australia. Physiotherapy Research International, 11(1), 35-47. [More Information]
  • Thom, J., Thompson, M., Ruell, P., Bryant, G., Fonda, J., Harmer, A., Janse De Jonge, X., Hunter, S. (2001). Effect of 10-day cast immobilization on sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium regulation in humans. Acta Physiologica, 172, 141-147.

Conferences

  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Harmer, A. (2011). The Prevalence of Physical Inactivity and Level of Reduced Fitness in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Ingham Institute Host 6th Annual Research and Teaching Showcase, Sydney: The Ingham Institute.
  • Hollier, C., Harmer, A., Maxwell, L., Piper, A., Menadue, C., Willson, G. (2009). Does supplemental oxygen worsen hypercapnia in patients with obesity-related respiratory failure (obesity hypoventilation syndrome)? Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference Week APA 2009, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Harmer, A. (2009). Key health issues for older people: Diabetes evidence update and practical implications. Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference Week APA 2009, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Russell, T., Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Crosbie, W. (2007). Land versus water-based exercise following TKR. Australian Physiotherapy Association National Conference - APA 2007, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Heard, R. (2007). Severe other joint disease and obesity are associated with poorer outcomes following joint replacement. Australian Physiotherapy Association National Conference - APA 2007, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Naylor, J., Fransen, M., Harmer, A., Winstanley, J., Ireland, J. (2006). Outcomes following primary THR and TKR from a region with high socio-economic disadvantage. Australasian Quality and Safety Conference.
  • Raymond, J., Temesi, J., Harmer, A. (2006). Physical activity and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in people with spinal cord injury. 2nd Australian Association for Exercise and Sport Science Conference, Brisbane: Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science (AAESS).
  • Harmer, A., Naylor, J. (2005). High intensity exercise training reduces ventilation and carbon dioxide output in subjects with type 1 diabetes during maximal constant-load exercise. APA 9th National Cardiothoracic Conference.
  • Harmer, A., Ruell, P., McKenna, M., Chisholm, D., Thom, J., Hunter, S., Sutton, J. (2003). Increased Na+K+ATPase content is associated with improved potassium regulation during maximal exercise after sprint training in non-diabetics, but not in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Australian Physiological and Pharmacological Society.

Report

  • Harmer, A. (2008). Report to MBF on ongoing evaluation of pre-natal education at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.

2014

  • Fransen, M., Su, S., Harmer, A., Blyth, F., Naganathan, V., Sambrook, P., Le Couteur, D., Cumming, R. (2014). A longitudinal study of knee pain in older men: Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. Age and Ageing, 43(2), 206-212. [More Information]
  • Harmer, A., Ruell, P., Hunter, S., McKenna, M., Thom, J., Chisholm, D., Flack, J. (2014). Effects of type 1 diabetes, sprint training and sex on skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake and Ca2+-ATPase activity. The Journal of Physiology, 592(3), 523-535. [More Information]
  • Hollier, C., Harmer, A., Maxwell, L., Menadue, C., Wilson, G., Unger, G., Flunt, D., Black, D., Piper, A. (2014). Moderate concentrations of supplemental oxygen worsen hypercapnia in obesity hypoventilation syndrome: a randomised crossover study. Thorax.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Harmer, A., Van Der Ploeg, H. (2014). The Reliability, Validity, and Feasibility of Physical Activity Measurement in Adults With Traumatic Brain Injury: An Observational Study. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Article in Press.
  • Hollier, C., Harmer, A., Maxwell, L., Menadue, C., Wilson, G., Black, D., Piper, A. (2014). Validation of respiratory inductive plethysmography (LifeShirt) in obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 194(1), 15-22. [More Information]

2013

  • Hollier, C., Maxwell, L., Harmer, A., Menadue, C., Piper, A., Black, D., Willson, G., Alison, J. (2013). Validity of arterialised-venous PCO2, pH and bicarbonate in obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 188(2), 165-171. [More Information]

2012

  • Naylor, J., Ko, V., Rougellis, S., Green, N., Hackett, D., Magrath, A., Barnett, A., Kim, G., White, M., Nathan, P., Harmer, A., Mackey, M., Heard, R., et al (2012). Is discharge knee range of motion a useful and relevant clinical indicator after total knee replacement? Part 1. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 18(3), 644-651. [More Information]
  • Naylor, J., Ko, V., Rougellis, S., Green, N., Mittal, R., Heard, R., Yeo, A., Barnett, A., Hackett, D., Saliba, C., Mackey, M., Harmer, A., et al (2012). Is discharge knee range of motion a useful and relevant clinical indicator after total knee replacement? Part 2. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 18(3), 652-658. [More Information]
  • Hassett, L., Van Der Ploeg, H., Moseley, A., Harmer, A. (2012). People with traumatic brain injury are physically inactive and have reduced cardiorespiratory fitness. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(6 (December 2012 Supplement)), 94.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Harmer, A., Van Der Ploeg, H. (2012). The measurement of physical inactivity and reduced cardiorespiratory fitness in adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 26(6), 779.

2011

  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Harmer, A. (2011). The Prevalence of Physical Inactivity and Level of Reduced Fitness in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Ingham Institute Host 6th Annual Research and Teaching Showcase, Sydney: The Ingham Institute.

2010

  • Raymond, J., Harmer, A., Temesi, J., Van Kemenade, C. (2010). Glucose tolerance and physical activity level in people with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 48(8), 591-596. [More Information]
  • Crosbie, W., Naylor, J., Harmer, A. (2010). Six Minute Walk Distance or Stair Negotiation?┬áChoice of Activity Assessment Following Total Knee Replacement. Physiotherapy Research International, 15(1), 35-41. [More Information]

2009

  • Hollier, C., Harmer, A., Maxwell, L., Piper, A., Menadue, C., Willson, G. (2009). Does supplemental oxygen worsen hypercapnia in patients with obesity-related respiratory failure (obesity hypoventilation syndrome)? Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference Week APA 2009, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Tate, R., Harmer, A., Fairbairn, T., Leung, J. (2009). Efficacy of a fitness centre-based exercise programme compared with a home-based exercise programme in traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 41(4), 247-255. [More Information]
  • Harmer, A. (2009). Key health issues for older people: Diabetes evidence update and practical implications. Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference Week APA 2009, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Harmer, A., Naylor, J., Crosbie, W., Russell, T. (2009). Land-based versus water-based rehabilitation following total knee replacement: A randomized, single-blind trial. Arthritis Care and Research, 61(2), 184-191. [More Information]
  • Lin, C., March, L., Crosbie, W., Crawford, R., Graves, S., Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Jan, S., Bennell, K., Harris, I., Fransen, M., et al (2009). Maximum recovery after knee replacement - the MARKER study rationale and protocol. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 10(16), 69-1-69-8. [More Information]
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Heard, R., Harris, I. (2009). Patterns of recovery following knee and hip replacement in an Australian cohort. Australian Health Review, 33(1), 124-135.
  • Crosbie, W., Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Russell, T. (2009). Predictors of functional ambulation and patient perception following total knee replacement and short-term rehabilitation. Disability and Rehabilitation, Online, 1-11.

2008

  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Tate, R., Harmer, A. (2008). Fitness training for cardiorespiratory conditioning after traumatic brain injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008 (Issue 2. Art. No.: CD006123), 1-53. [More Information]
  • Harmer, A. (2008). Report to MBF on ongoing evaluation of pre-natal education at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Heard, R. (2008). Severe other joint disease and obesity independently influence recovery after joint replacement surgery: an observational study 1. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 54(1), 57-64.
  • Harmer, A., Chisholm, D., McKenna, M., Hunter, S., Ruell, P., Naylor, J., Maxwell, L., Flack, J. (2008). Sprint training increases muscle oxidative metabolism during high-intensity exercise in patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 31(11), 2097-2102.

2007

  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Crosbie, W., Fester, N. (2007). Clinical networks - bridging the research-quality chasm. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 53, 284.
  • Harmer, A., Chisholm, D., McKenna, M., Morris, N., Thom, J., Bennett, G., Flack, J. (2007). High-intensity training improves plasma glucose and acid-base regulation during intermittent maximal exercise in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 30(5), 1269-1271.
  • Russell, T., Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Crosbie, W. (2007). Land versus water-based exercise following TKR. Australian Physiotherapy Association National Conference - APA 2007, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Walker, R. (2007). Physiotherapy rehabilitation following primary total knee arthroplasty. In Cecily Partridge (Eds.), Recent Advances in Physiotherapy, (pp. 225-250). England: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Heard, R. (2007). Severe other joint disease and obesity are associated with poorer outcomes following joint replacement. Australian Physiotherapy Association National Conference - APA 2007, Australia: Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • Hassett, L., Harmer, A., Moseley, A., Mackey, M. (2007). Validity of the modified 20-metre shuttle test: assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness in people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 21(10), 1069-1077.

2006

  • Harmer, A., Ruell, P., McKenna, M., Chisholm, D., Hunter, S., Thom, J., Morris, N., Flack, J. (2006). Effects of sprint training on extrarenal potassium regulation with intense exercise in Type 1 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(1), 26-34.
  • Hassett, L., Moseley, A., Tate, R., Harmer, A. (2006). Fitness training for cardiorespiratory conditioning after traumatic brain injury (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006 (3), 1-15.
  • Naylor, J., Fransen, M., Harmer, A., Winstanley, J., Ireland, J. (2006). Outcomes following primary THR and TKR from a region with high socio-economic disadvantage. Australasian Quality and Safety Conference.
  • Raymond, J., Temesi, J., Harmer, A. (2006). Physical activity and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in people with spinal cord injury. 2nd Australian Association for Exercise and Sport Science Conference, Brisbane: Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science (AAESS).
  • Naylor, J., Harmer, A., Fransen, M., Crosbie, W., Innes, L. (2006). Status of physiotherapy rehabilitation after total knee replacement in Australia. Physiotherapy Research International, 11(1), 35-47. [More Information]

2005

  • Harmer, A., Naylor, J. (2005). High intensity exercise training reduces ventilation and carbon dioxide output in subjects with type 1 diabetes during maximal constant-load exercise. APA 9th National Cardiothoracic Conference.

2003

  • Harmer, A., Ruell, P., McKenna, M., Chisholm, D., Thom, J., Hunter, S., Sutton, J. (2003). Increased Na+K+ATPase content is associated with improved potassium regulation during maximal exercise after sprint training in non-diabetics, but not in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Australian Physiological and Pharmacological Society.

2001

  • Thom, J., Thompson, M., Ruell, P., Bryant, G., Fonda, J., Harmer, A., Janse De Jonge, X., Hunter, S. (2001). Effect of 10-day cast immobilization on sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium regulation in humans. Acta Physiologica, 172, 141-147.

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