Professor Colleen Canning
BPhty(Qld), MA(Columbia), PhD(Syd).
Professor, Head of Discipline of Physiotherapy
C43O - O Block Cumberland Campus
The University of Sydney
|Telephone||+61 2 9351 9263|
|Fax||+61 2 9351 9601|
Neurological Rehabilitation Research Group
Professor Colleen Canning is Head, Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney. She leads the Parkinson’s disease research team in the Faculty and collaborates nationally and internationally with researchers and clinicians in developing and testing innovative methods of reducing disability and falls in people with Parkinson’s disease. She regularly presents at international and national conferences including invited plenary addresses as well as continuing education sessions nationally and internationally. Prof Canning has a leading role in curriculum development, with extensive experience in Neurological Physiotherapy, in particular, neurodegenerative conditions. She is the recipient of three prestigious learning and teaching awards associated with her leading role in developing a cutting-edge, evidence-based eLearning resource (Physiotherapy eSkills).
Significant service and teaching roles include:
- Head, Discipline of Physiotherapy (2015- current)
- Academic Performance and Development Reviewer (2008-current)
- Physiotherapy Accreditation Leader (2011 – current)
- Academic appointments panel member (2011-current)
- Course Director, Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) (2014)
- Course Director, Master of Physiotherapy Program (2008-2013)
- Co-chair, Physiotherapy Learning and Teaching Management Committee (2008-2013)
- Physiotherapy Clinical Education Advisory Committee (2008-2013)
- Graduate Entry Master of Physiotherapy External Advisory Committee (2008-2013)
- Board Member, Parkinson’s NSW (2012)
- Scientific Advisory Board, Parkinson’s NSW (2006-current)
- University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (2005-2008)
- Chair, School of Physiotherapy Board (2000-2006)
Professor Canning’s research focuses on the contribution of impairments to disability in neurological conditions and the development and testing of interventions to improve mobility and reduce falls. She is an international expert on exercise to improve mobility and falls prevent falls in people with Parkinson’s disease. Prof Canning’s research output includes 67 original research full length papers in international peer-reviewed journals (1056 citations with an h-index of 18), 1 edited book and 9 book chapters. She has attracted over $1.6 million in competitive research funding, including NHMRC, non-government and philanthropic organisations. Prof Canning supervises or has supervised over 25 research students to completion (5 PhDs, 7 Masters, 14 Honours).
Teaching and supervision
Professor Colleen Canning is former Course Director, of the Graduate Entry Master of Physiotherapy Program (2008-2013) and the Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) Program (2014) in the Discipline of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and innovation in learning and teaching. Her area of expertise is Neurological Physiotherapy, in particular, management of neurodegenerative conditions. Her teaching commitments include undergraduate and postgraduate students including Research Masters and PhD students.
Current research students
|Project title||Research student|
|The relationship between lower limb coordination and walking speed following stroke? an observational study||May KWAN|
- 2014-current: Member, Council of Physiotherapy Deans of Australia and New Zealand (CPDANZ)
- 2014: NSW Falls Prevention Network Advisory Committee
- 2014: International Expert Reviewer, European Guidelines for Physiotherapy in Parkinson’s disease
- 2012: Board Member, Parkinson’s NSW
- 2006-current: Scientific Advisory Board, Parkinson’s NSW
- 2005-2008: University of Sydney, Human Research Ethics Committee
- 2007: NSW Health Promotion Demonstration Research Grant Advisory Committee
Awards and honours
- 2011: Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award for Support of the Student Experience (The University of Sydney)
- 2010: Excellence in Teaching and Community Award (University of Sydney Co-op Bookshop)
- 2010: Faculty of Health Sciences Support of the Student Experience Teaching Award (University of Sydney)
- 1998: Menzies Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences for Doctoral studies (Menzies Foundation)
- 1996: Australian Postgraduate Award for Doctoral studies (University of Sydney)
- 1983: Kellogg Fellowship for Masters studies in North America (Columbia University, New York)
In the media
- 2013: Clinical Neurology News: “Exercise reduces falls in mild but not severe Parkinson’s”
- 2015: American Academy of Neurology Podcast: "Exercise for falls prevention in Parkinson disease: A randomized controlled trial"
Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences
PhD and master's project opportunities
- Towards effective exercise prescription to reduce pain in people with Parkinson’s disease; Allen N, Barry B, Hassett L, Canning C; Parkinsons New South Wales Incorporated/Research Grants.
- Dissecting the mechanisms underlying muscle fatigue in ALS using acute and cumulative resistance exercise; Lee M, Kiernan M, Swash M, Canning C; Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia/Grants in aid.
- The effects of a home-based whole-body vibration exercise intervention compared to exercise alone on falls risks and functional gait in people with multiple sclerosis; Kennedy D, Hoang P, Canning C; Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia/Incubator Grant.
- Understanding uptake and adherence to exercise programs in people with Parkinson’s disease: a discrete choice experiment; Canning C, Paul S, Sherrington C, Howard P; Parkinsons New South Wales Incorporated/Research Grants.
- ActiveArms: a randomised controlled trial of an interactive videogame for people with Parkinson’s disease; Canning C; Parkinsons New South Wales Incorporated/Research Grants.
- A pilot investigation on an interactive videogame for improving upper limb function in people with Parkinson's disease; Canning C; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Stepping training in Parkinsons disease: a ransomised controlled trial of an interactive videogame; Canning C; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Stepping training in Parkinsons disease: a randomised controlled trial of an interactive videogame; Canning C; Parkinsons New South Wales Incorporated/Research Support.
- Monitoring and reducung instability in Parkinsons disease; Canning C; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Muscle power training in Parkinson�s disease; Canning C, Paul S; Parkinsons New South Wales Incorporated/Research Support.
- Integration of Academic and Clinical Learning Opportunities - involving the community in graduating excellent clinicians through patient simulation; Alison J, Refshauge K, Gonczi A, McCabe T, McCluskey M, Canning C, Patrick (Blackford) J; University of Sydney/Strategic Teaching Enhancement Project Grant.
- Exercise to prevent falls in Parkinsons disease; Canning C; Perpetual Trustees Charitable Trusts/Research Support.
- Leg muscle power and balance - demanding activities in people with Parkinsons disease; Canning C, Paul S; Physiotherapy Research Foundation/Research Support.
- Can Psychomotor Skill Development be Enhanced by providing Online Video Clip Demonstrations of Corre; Canning C, Dean C; University of Sydney/Cumberland Research Grant Scheme.
- Exercise therapy for prevention of falls in people with Parkinson's disease: a randomised controlled trial; Lord S, Canning C, Latt M, Sherrington C, Lord S, Fung V, Close J, Latt M; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
- What type of lecture handout encourages a deep approach to learning during lectures?; Stark A, Ada L, Canning C; Faculty of Health Sciences/Cumberland Teaching and Learning Grant.
- Sportstec Trak Performance; Sportstec Sportscode-Pro; Wacom grphire4 Education pack; Bundy A, Ada L, Baur L, Davis G, Shirley D, Canning C; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Equipment Grants.
- Can support group-based exercise reduce falls in people with Parkinsons disease; Canning C; Parkinsons New South Wales Incorporated/Research Grants.
- Does EMG-triggered electrical stimulation improve strength and activity in actue, very weak sroke?; Dorsch S, Ada L, Canning C; Physiotherapists Registration Board (NSW Health)/Research Grant.
- Developing a muscle power training protocol aimed at reducing disability and falls in people with Parkinsons disease; Canning C; University of Sydney/Research & Development.
- Can home-based lower limb strengthening exercises reduce falls in people with Parkinsons disease?; Sherrington C, Canning C; University of Sydney/Early Career Researcher.
- Visual image teaching resources; Ada L, Gamble J, Canning C, Dean C; University of Sydney/Equipment Grant.
- Does home based treadmill training improve walking capacity and quality of life in people with early to mid-stage Parkinsons disease; Canning C; University of Sydney/Early Career Researcher.
- Efficacy of slings in preventing subluxation of the shoulder in patients after stroke; Canning C, Ada L; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Development of an exercise website for physiotherapists; Harvey L, Moseley A, Ada L, Canning C; Motor Accident Authority of New South Wales/Research Grant.
- Ecological validity of gait assessments in adults with traumatic brain injury; Moseley A, Canning C, Tate R, Briffa T; Motor Accident Authority of New South Wales/Research Grant.
- Development of a protocol to increase strength in paralysed/very weak lower limb muscles immediately after stroke; Ada L, Canning C, Hodgson L; South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service/Research and Development Grants.
- Portable Gait Laboratory; Kilbreath S, Canning C, Hunt A; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).
- The effects of different attentional strategies on walking performance in individuals with Parkinsons disease; Canning C; University of Sydney/Internal Research Grant Allocations - Cumberland.
- Development of web-based refresher program for physiotherapists; Canning C, Ada L, Kilbreath S, Dean C, Fowler V; NSW Physiotherapy Registration Board/Grant.
- The performance of bimanual tasks following stroke: implications for rehabilitation; Kilbreath S, Canning C, Crosbie W; Physiotherapy Research Foundation/Research Grants Program.
- The management of patients after a stroke; Ada L, Dean C, Canning C, Fowler V, Kilbreath S; Australian Physiotherapy Association/Research Grant.
- Recovery of strength and dexterity after stroke; Canning C; Cumberland/Research Grant.