About Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira

My research is centred on identifying cost-effective treatments for people with low back pain with a special focus on the older population. My current work is focussed on establishing the effectiveness of surgical and post-surgical care for this population, as well as developing optimal care pathways for low back pain.

A/Prof Ferreira has extensive expertise in the design of randomised clinical trials and has designed the world’s first placebo-controlled trial of surgery for back pain. She also has strong track record in the design and conduct of meta-analyses and risk prediction studies (e.g. case crossover designs).

A/Prof Ferreira is an NHMRC Research Fellow, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Bone and Joint Research/Kolling Institute, and Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School - The University of Sydney. She holds a Sydney Medical Foundation Fellowship and is an Oxford Martin School Fellow (Oxford University). She leads a research team in the field of low back pain at The Kolling Institute, where she supervises 5 PhD students. She has supervised 8 PhD and 3 research fellows to completion.

In the past 5 years she has had grant support of more than $7M from national and international competitive grand bodies. She is CIA on an NHMRC-funded placebo-controlled randomised trial of surgery for low back pain (2017-21, $2.3M) and holds an MRFF/NHMRC Career Development Fellowship II. She is also CI on a successful NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence (ANZMUSC). She is a full member of the ANZMUSC Clinical Trials network and co-chair of the Vertebral Fragility Fracture Special Interest Group within the Fragility Fracture Network.