top of page

Your research. Your voice. Your future.

Webinar 3: Meet the researchers (hot topics in SCI research)


We've lined up three researchers to talk about their work.

  • Dr Annie Palermo – balance and respiration after spinal cord injury

  • Dr Marnie Graco – sleep apnoea / sleep-disordered breathing after spinal cord injury

  • Dr Ali Lakhani – impact of COVID on engagement with community disability services

This is a one-hour webinar. Each researcher will talk about their work and answer some questions about it. At the end, there will be a panel session with all three.

Streaming live Tuesday 28 June, 2:00pm - 3:00pm AEST

Wix Banner option 2.1.png

Refresh page and press play to start event.  Please press 'unmute' on the event stream, and ensure volume is up high (bottom right blue bars)

If you experience any technical difficulties, please chat to us via the box on the bottom right of this page.

If you're having issues viewing the livestream here, you can try viewing it here:

Meet our panellists


Dr Annie Palermo, Postdoctoral Fellow, NeuRA


Annie Palermo (PT, DPT, PhD) completed her clinical (2015) and academic doctorates (2020) in Physical Therapy at the University of Miami and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. She has clinical experience in acute care and has research experience in the field of Spinal Cord Injury including work in respiratory function, seated balance, blood pressure control, and physio-based interventions after or in conjunction with cell-based and neuromodulatory therapies. Annie is currently involved with trials assessing the impact of abdominal functional electrical stimulation on blood pressure, respiration, and bowel function post-SCI. She plans to further investigate the effect of inspiratory muscle training and abdominal functional electrical stimulation on these factors and seated balance

Click here for more information


Dr Marnie Graco, Researcher/Scientist, Austin Health


Dr Marnie Graco is a physiotherapist with a Masters of Public Health. Her PhD (University of Melbourne 2019) investigated the clinical management of obstructive sleep apnoea in people with high spinal cord injury. She currently works as an Implementation Scientist at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Austin Health (Melbourne). Her program of research aims to enhance the lives of people with neuromuscular diseases through understanding and improving the delivery of their health care.

Click here for more information


Dr Ali Lakhani, Senior Lecturer, La Trobe University

Ali Lakhani, BBA, MA, MES, PhD is an interdisciplinary researcher with degrees in business, economics, environmental studies and health promotion. His Program of Research has utilised innovative methods and technologies to (i) establish the physical and proximate accessibility of health services for people with disability and/or traumatic injury, (ii) investigate the impact of physical and social environments on the health and wellbeing of people with disability, (iii) clarify end-users expectations of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and (iv) evaluate innovative practices in rehabilitation medicine. Furthermore, he has extensive experience partnering with clinician-researchers and service provider-researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical and community-based health practices on the health and wellbeing of ageing populations and people with disability.

Click here for more information


Antonio Vecchio, Community and Consumer Engagement Manager, Spinal Research Institute


Antonio brings a wealth of experience in community and consumer engagement as a consultant, educator,  peer mentor,  consumer advisor and public speaker for organisations including Spire in Melbourne, Alfred Health and Independence Australia.


Want to receive
Consumer Engagement updates?

Past webinars

Webinar 1: An introduction to SCI research and its impact

This is the first of four in our webinar series Your voice. Your research. Your future.

It will give people with lived experience of SCI (and their family members, friends, and carers of course!) answers to these questions:

  • How does research work?

  • How do you access information about upcoming research?

  • How can you participate in the research cycle?

Webinar 2: Our Roles as SCI consumers in research

This is the first of four in our webinar series Your voice. Your research. Your future.

In this, our second webinar, we’ll take a deeper dive into how research works. We’ll look at

  • the consumer’s role in research – this looks different at each stage of the process.

  • the different ways you as a consumer can participate in research.

  • the benefits of participation – we’ll give you strategies to get involved.

Upcoming webinars

Webinar 4: 9 August 2022

Engaging consumers in research: A researcher’s perspective

In our final webinar, we’ll introduce a framework for researchers to involve consumers in research practice.

We’ll discuss ways to identify appropriate consumers and engage them during the research process.

This webinar will be co-facilitated by PhD candidate and published researcher Leanne Rees.

This webinar series was made possible through the kind support of the John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Marian and E.H. Flack Trust. 

Contact Details

Spinal Research Institute
Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre
1 Yarra Boulevard, Kew 3101

+61 3 9496 2579

bottom of page