Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation
a university for the real world


30 January 2020

IHBI has taken a step towards becoming a global front runner in shoulder research, with the launch of the Queensland Unit for Advanced Shoulder Research (QUASR).

QUASR has been established to enable collaboration between researchers, orthopaedic surgeons and industry, involving international partnerships and leveraging the latest technology.

The research focuses on shoulder function and rehabilitation, ultimately aiming to provide personalised patient care to restore independent upper limb function and movement.

It combines improved knowledge of the shoulder’s biomechanical functions and anatomy with tissue and cartilage research and use of computer modelling, virtual and augmented reality and biofabrication.

IHBI Professor and QUASR director Peter Pivonka says about 2.5 million Australians have a musculoskeletal conditions and injuries every year.

An estimated 38,500 shoulder joints were replaced in Australia in 2017, representing a 115 per cent increase on the number of shoulder arthroplasties in 2008.

‘The research conducted at QUASR has real potential to improve quality of life for millions of people, reduce time off work and ease the burden on the health system,’ Professor Pivonka says.

‘Musculoskeletal conditions have been recognised as a major cause of chronic severe pain and disability, affecting millions of people globally.’

QUASR’s research focus on personalised care will ultimately provide guidance for clinicians to assess each patient’s anatomy and determine the best treatment, whether it be surgery or rehabilitation.

Professor Pivonka says the research is multidisciplinary, enabling insights for various treatment options, such as using implants, conducting shoulder replacement surgery and reconstruction work.

‘Shoulder issues can result from ageing, disease, a sports injury or trauma from an event such as a car accident,’ he says.

‘Pain can be associated with bone fracture, a muscle tear or nerve damage – or potentially all three. We aim to help clinicians understand what is happening with each patient’s shoulder.’

QUASR will encompass education and training, with undergraduate, postgraduate, doctorate students embedded in dedicated research teams from IHBI and QUT's Science and Engineering Faculty.

Alongside Professor Pivonka, expert shoulder surgeon Dr Ashish Gupta is a QUASR co-director, with Professors YuanTong Gu and Graham Kerr and surgeon Dr Kenneth Cutbush also part of the leadership team.

Clinical partners include Greenslopes Private Hospital, Mater, Brisbane Private Hospital, Pacific Islands Orthopaedic Association, Queensland X-Ray and Queensland Radiology Specialists.

Industry partners include Wright Medical, Zimmer Biomet, Surgical Specialities and Materialise.

Global partnerships have also been forged with researchers and clinicians in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and, France.

For more information, visit

IHBI has launched the Queensland Unit for Advanced Shoulder Research, with the aim of improving knowledge of the shoulder’s biomechanical functions.


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