Skip to main content

Facts & figures

We have achieved:

  • 3,059 publications
  • $61.4 million in grant funding
  • 153 HDR student completions
Centres and institutes_

Sydney Musculoskeletal Health

Global improvements in musculoskeletal health & physical activity
Sydney Musculoskeletal Health is a partnership between University of Sydney, Sydney Local Health District and Northern Sydney Local Health District. We work with leaders in health on research, clinical services and training.

Poor musculoskeletal health, fall-related injury, physical inactivity and ageing are the leading causes of disease burden globally.

Approximately 1.71 billion people worldwide have musculoskeletal conditions. Low back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are some of the major musculoskeletal disorders and are the leading contributors to disability worldwide. Fall-related injuries significantly increase the risk of developing a disability.

This burden will increase in coming decades unless action is taken now.

Our goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals by undertaking high quality research that promotes the delivery of efficient, patient-centered, evidence-based care. We aim to discover new ways to prevent, manage and cure these debilitating musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, and to promote healthy ageing and physical activity.

Less than 50% of the world’s population undertake physical activity known to improve health at an estimated cost of 1 billion dollars per year. We aim to address and change this.

We will achieve these objectives by partnering with clinicians, industry, government, and professional organisations to co-design research that transforms the lives of billions worldwide. Our mission is to be the world leader in musculoskeletal health through science, research, education, treatment and prevention.

Sydney Musculoskeletal Health builds on the University of Sydney’s long history of impactful research in musculoskeletal conditions and health, rehabilitation, healthy ageing, and physical activity.

We work with Sydney Health Partners, as well as clinicians, researchers, consumers and policymakers, to facilitate rapid translation into local health districts and primary health networks.



Chris Maher

View academic profile


David Hunter

View academic profile

Major research themes

Aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis, management and health service delivery for arthritis and related disorders.  

Aims to improve prevention and clinical care, prevent overdiagnosis and optimise intervention testing and surgery.

Aims to reduce the global impact of injuries, ageing and inactivity through prevention and rehabilitation.

Aims to integrate multiple levels of patient relevant data for tele/mobile health strategies, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology programs.

Aims to optimise the delivery of healthcare through innovation, applying implementation science and supporting knowledge transfer.

Aims to foster research in new diagnostics, new therapeutics and mechanistic research. Discovery enterprises include research into biospecimens banking, multi-omics, bioengineering, material sciences, imaging and artificial intelligence.

Aims to foster research that is relevant and influential to end-users.


NSW Gov logo

We are a partnership between the University of Sydney, Sydney Local Health District and Northern Sydney Local Health District. We also have cross-disciplinary collaboration across multiple faculties, research centres, clinics and local health districts.

Our people

Professor David Hunter, Florance and Cope Chair of Rheumatology, Professor of Medicine, The University of Sydney.

Professor Chris Maher, Director, Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, The University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District.

Arthritis, inflammation and autoimmune conditions

Back and Neck Pain

Rehabilitation and healthy ageing

Digital health and virtual healthcare

Higher value healthcare


Policy and advocacy

Arthritis, inflammation and autoimmune conditions

Back and neck pain

Rehabilitation and healthy ageing

Digital health and virtual healthcare

  • Ms Nisha Aravind 
  • Ms Louise Pearce 

Higher value healthcare

Related news