Shapour Jaberzadeh


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Professor Shapour Jaberzadeh, PhD, Physiotherapist/Neuroscientist, Director of research, Director of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation & Neuroplasticity Laboratory, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Primary and Allied Health Care (SPAHC), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. 

He completed his Physiotherapy degree at Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran (1985) and subsequently a Masters of Physiotherapy (Research) Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (1992). Then he undertook a clinical MSc degree (Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, 1997) and finally he completed his PhD studies (2002) in Motor Control of Human Movements at University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. 

After 4 years of of working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Adelaide University, he joined Monash University in 2005 as a founding staff member. In Monash University he also completed a Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education in December 2007. Since joining to the Monash university, he has developed a substantial research program including a team of over 15 physiotherapists, physiologists’ postdoctoral researchers, higher degree by research students and honours students.

Professor Jaberzadeh runs a substantive research program across Non-invasive Brain Stimulation & Neuroplasticity Laboratory at Department of Physiotherapy, utilising brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques including Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (tES), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), functional and structural MRI, EEG, evoked potentials and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The primary focus of this program is on the development of new brain stimulation-based treatments for neurological and neuromusculoskeletal disorders. There is a special focus on the effects of cognition on physical performance.  

Treatments which have been developed or investigated by Professor Jaberzadeh include transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), High-Definition tDCS, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). The program of research includes developing and improving methods of treatment application and the conduct of clinical trials. His research is also focused on the better understanding of brain function/dysfunction in healthy brain and also brain in pathological conditions.

Monash teaching commitment

My teaching commitments include:

  1. Unit code: PTY2042, Neurological Physiotherapy, delivering highly specialized lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. 
  2. Unit code: PTY5108, Neurological Physiotherapy, delivering highly specialized lectures and practical sessions.
  3. Unit code: PHY3990, Honours Degree in Physiology, Since 2015
  4. Unit code: PTY4283, 2021, spans the entire year 4 of the physiotherapy undergraduate course, Physiotherapy Research Mentorship Program 2.0 2021, I took part in this program as a Mentor/Supervisor. 
  5. Postgraduate teaching and learning, MyDevelopment Module, Delivery an accredited course, Title: Data Organization, Statistical Testing and Scientific Graphing Made Easy: a ‘GraphPad Prism 8’ course for HDR students.

Research interests

The goal of my research is to understand the mechanisms underlying plastic changes in the human central nervous system (CNS) and to develop novel therapeutic approaches for recovery of function based on these advances. My work has focused on the human sensory-motor system and on plastic changes taking place due to motor training, pain, or therapeutic interventions such as electrical stimulation (ES) and biofeedback. 

I utilize different techniques in the context of well-defined hypothesis-driven investigations including Electro-neuro-myography (ENMG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), EMG-triggered ES, transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) and transcranial alternative current stimulation (tACS), Electroencephalography (EEG) and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). I am interested in the development of these techniques to better understand mechanisms of human plasticity and to modulate human brain processes. My research protocols in healthy volunteers are geared to identify mechanisms of human neuroplasticity and to develop interventional approaches to enhance them when they play a beneficial role and down-regulate them when they are maladaptive. Advances in this understanding in healthy volunteers are subsequently applied to patients with neurological conditions like stroke in attempts to enhance neurorehabilitative processes. 

My future goals are to improve my understanding of mechanisms underlying plasticity of function in humans. On the basis of these insights, I am engaged in translational efforts to develop rational rehabilitative interventions to improve sensory, motor and cognitive disability after traumatic brain injuries or other neurological disorders.

Supervision interests

Novel non-invasive brain stimulation techniques offer exciting new potential to probe the neurobiology of neurological and pain in some musculoskeletal disorders, as well as possible new avenues for treating neurological disorders such as epilepsy, stroke and multiple sclerosis. Our team at Non-invasive Brain Stimulation & Neuroplasticity Laboratory, Department of Physiotherapy, has expertise in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial pulsed current stimulation (tPCS) and transcranial alternative current stimulation (tACS). Current research streams are: 

  1. Clinical trials of novel brain stimulation treatments in management of pain in patients with chronic low back pain and multiple sclerosis.
  2. Experiments using novel brain stimulation techniques such as tDCS, tPCS or tACS to understand neuroplasticity and other brain processes. 
  3. Research into new approaches for enhancement of physiotherapeutic training approaches in rehabilitation of neurological disorders.
  4. Investigating the effects of cognition on physical performance with focus on postural balance. 

Community service

Contribution to Monash through formal roles

  • Director of Postgraduate Research, Department of Physiotherapy, 2005-current.
  • Professional Performance Supervisor, 2019-current. 
  • Chair of examiners (CoE) thesis examination review, 2015-current.
  • Point of contact within the department for all HDR enquiries, 2005-current. 
  • Chair of Postgraduate and Undergraduate Research Committee Meeting (PUGRC). 2006-current. 
  • Deputy, Director of Research, School of Primary and Allied Health Care (SPAHC), 2020-current.
  • Conference Organisation, SPAHC Research Festival (27th Aug 2019), Member of Organising Committee 
  • Conference Organisation, SPAHC Research Festival (13th Oct 2020), Chair of Organising Committee. 

Services to industry, government, community

  • Board of Physical Neuroergonomics (specialty section of Frontiers in Neuroergonomics, Associate Editor, 2020-current.
  • Editorial Board member, Journal of Brain Sciences, Member (Invited), 2019-current. 
  • Grant review and ranking of applications (NHMRC, ARC, etc.)
  • PhD thesis examination for national and international universities. 

Contributions to the advancement of the profession or practice

  • Editorial board member of the scientific journals and review of papers for the following peer review journals:
    • Brain Stimulation,  
    • Scientific Report, 
    • BMC Neuroscience, 
    • Neuroscience (Elsevier), 
    • Frontiers in Neuroscience, 
    • Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 
    • Brain Research, 
    • Frontiers in Neurology, 
    • Neurophysiologie Clinique, 
    • Aggression and Violent Behaviour Journal (Elsevier), 
    • Physiology & Behaviour, 
    • European Journal of Neuroscience.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Electromyography
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Neuroscience
  • Non Invasive Brain Stimulation
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
  • High-Definition tDCS
  • Transcranial Pulsed Current Stimulation
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  • Cognition
  • Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex
  • Primary Motor Cortex
  • Pain
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Event-related potentials (ERP)
  • Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Postural Balance

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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