Vision and mission

MERRC conducts innovative, internationally renowned investigations into the outcomes and effectiveness of intervention programs for individuals with brain injury or other injury sustained as a result of trauma, aiming to maximise patient outcomes.

Key activities

  • Develop and evaluate innovative interventions for key impediments to better outcomes following brain injury and trauma
  • Develop collaborations within Epworth, Monash University, and the wider research and clinical community, locally, nationally and internationally
  • Develop trauma and brain injury rehabilitation research programmes in a clinical context
  • Disseminate findings widely through conference presentations
  • Identify factors associated with outcome following brain injury and trauma
  • Publish findings in internationally reputable journals
  • Support research activities through competitive grant funding
  • Training the next generation of scientist practitioners to develop and implement evidence-based neuropsychological assessment and treatment for brain injury
  • Translate outcomes from research into more effective rehabilitation of individuals with brain injury and trauma, with the ultimate aim of maximising their quality of life

Key partnerships

  • The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) - the largest financial supporter of the Centre, providing substantial funding for the longitudinal head injury outcome study and associated projects for over 20 years, via the Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR)
  • The Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health
  • School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University (where Professor Ponsford is Director of Clinical Programs, convening a doctoral training program in clinical neuropsychology)

Individual project grants have also been provided by:

  • The NHMRC
  • Australian Research Council
  • Epworth Research Institute
  • Monash University
  • The Jack Brockhoff Foundation
  • William Buckland Foundation
  • Department of Human Services
  • Australian Football League
  • Victorian Clinical Stroke Network
  • The Summer Foundation



  • Professor Jennie Ponsford AO (BA (Hons), MA (Clin Neuro), PhD)

Senior Academics:

  • Dr Catherine Willmott (BSci (Hons), MSc, PhD)
  • Dr Adam McKay (BSc (Hons), MPsych(Clin Neuro), PhD)
  • Dr Rene Stolwyk (BSc (Hons), DPsych (Clin Neuro), Grad Cert (Health Prof Ed)

Core MERRC Staff:

  • Meagan Carty (BSc (Hons))
  • Dr Marina Downing (BBSc(Hons), PhD)
  • Dr Gershon Spitz (BA (Hons), PhD)
  • Dr Kate Gould (BBNSc (Hons), DPsych (Clin Neuro))
  • Amelia Hicks (BA (Hons), MPsych (Clin Neuro), PhD candidate)
  • Dr Lisa Johnston (PhD)
  • Mary Ryan (R.N.)

Affiliated Staff:

  • Dr Dana Wong (MPsych (Clin Neuro), PhD)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Dean McKenzie (BA(Hons), PhD)
  • Associate Professor Gavin Williams (PhD)
  • Dr Pamela Ross (BAppSci, MA, PhD)
  • Professor John Olver (MBBS, FACRM, FAFRM (RACP), MD)
  • Dr Michael Ponsford (MBBS, FACRM, FAFRM (RACP))
  • Dr Rose Acher (MBBS, FACRM, FAFRM (RACP))

Research staff:

  • Dr Caroline Ayre. (DPsych (Clin Neuro))
  • Dr Toni Withiel. (DPsych (Clin Neuro))
  • Bronwyn Hall. (BA/BSc, BPsych (Hons), MPsych (Clin Neuro))
  • David Lawson. (DPsych (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Michelle Kehoe. (PhD (Psych))
  • Olivia McConchie. (BBNSci (Hons), MPsych (Clin Psych))
  • Sarah Carrier. (PhD (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Jo Tran. (BA/BSc, BPsych (Hons), MPsych (Clin Neuro))
  • Jen Makovec-Knight. (DPsych (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Rachel Knott. (DPsych (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Courtney Baxter. (BBNS, BSc (Psych, Hons), DPsych (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Elinor Fraser. (PhD (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Penny Analytis. (DPsych (Clin Neuro) candidate)
  • Jai Carmichael. (BSc (Psych, Hons))

Active projects

MERRC has many ongoing research studies, a summary of which can be found at the below link:

Information about studies for which we are currently seeking participants can be found at the below link:

Contact details

Monash - Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre (MERRC)
Ground Floor, 185-187 Hoddle St
Richmond VIC 3121
Phone: 03 9426 8923
Fax: 03 9426 8925
Email: [email protected]