Research Clinics

Clinical Research

WANRI’s specialist clinics not only provide diagnosis, management and treatment for patients with complex neurological and neuromuscular diseases but they are involved in clinical research and clinical trials.

Such conditions include Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders such as Essential Tremor and dystonia, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory Muscle Diseases including Inclusion Body Myositis and polymyositis as well as a variety of unusual and rare muscle and nerve diseases. More recently the Clinic service has expanded to include post-stroke/cerebral palsy and refractory epilepsy.

The clinics are also involved in clinical drug trials and observational studies. These are quite often national or international studies and participants are identified via the Clinic service.

WANRI’s clinics operate under the direction of Clinic Manager, Sue Walters and Medical Director, Clinical Professor David Blacker and involve 11 Consultant Neurologists as well as a number of nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and administrative staff.

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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials that are both pharmaceutical sponsored and investigator driven provide an opportunity for participation by some of our clinic patients. WANRI consultants participating in clinical research and trials include Professors William Carroll, Allan Kermode, Soumya Ghosh and Frank Mastaglia, and Doctors Jason Burton and Merrilee Needham.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) trial

Dr Merrilee Needham is the Principal Investigator for the WA site within this phase 2B/3 international clinical trial. The trial is about testing a potential new treatment hope for sufferers of sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) for whom there are currently no approved treatments or cures.

Australia has the second largest number of trial participants (after the US) with trials being run in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. WANRI managed to randomise fourteen patients into this study which is the third highest worldwide for an individual centre.

Innate Immunotherapeutics MS trial

In August 2014 WANRI received approval to commence patient recruitment for Innate Immunotherapeutics’ Phase 2B trial of MIS416 in patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS).

Led by Dr Jason Burton and C/Professor Allan Kermode, WANRI was selected by Innate as the study’s lead site due to its strong focus on investigating the causes and improving the therapy and management of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. The institute has a strong focus on providing the best clinical management for multiple sclerosis available. Find out more

MS trial

WANRI is currently recruiting for a clinical trial to improve walking and balance in patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis by combining balance training and non-invasive brain stimulation. Find out more

Stroke trial

WANRI is also currently recruiting first ever ischemic stroke patients in a clinical trial using robotics to enhance recovery of function after stroke with a combined use of physical training (robot-assisted arm therapy) and non-invasive brain stimulation. Find out more

Parkinson’s Registry calling for participants

The Australian Parkinson’s Disease Registry through the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is calling for participants with Parkinson’s diseaseFind out more


Susan (Sue) Walters

Sue worked in a variety of health service areas, including community health, public hospitals and private practice before taking on the role of Clinic Manager at WANRI in 1996.

Full Biography

Clinical Professor Soumya Ghosh

C/Professor Ghosh is a neurologist with special interests in clinical neurophysiology, movement disorders and head of the Centre for Restorative Neurology.

Full Biography

Clinical Professor Allan Kermode

C/Professor Kermode is a consultant neurologist and head of the Demyelinating Diseases Centre.

Full Biography

Dr Jason Burton, Consultant Neurologist
Clinical Professor William Carroll, Consultant Neurologist
Clinical Professor Soumya Ghosh, Consultant Neurologist
Clinical Professor Allan Kermode, Consultant Neurologist
Professor Frank Mastaglia, Consultant Neurologist
Dr Merilee Needham, Consultant Neurologist
A/Professor Michelle Byrnes, Head of Clinical Psychology Research Unit
Mr Dave Hathorn, Physiotherapist
Ms Jennifer Eisenhauer, Research Assistant