Dr Michael Lee
Associate Professor

Dr Michael Lee

PhD (Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales)

Master of Physiotherapy (University of Queensland)

Master of Chiropractic (Macquarie University)

Bachelor of Science (Anatomy & Physiology) (University of New South Wales)

Medicine & Health
School of Health Sciences

I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Health and the Physiotherapy Program Lead & Program Authority in School of Health Sciences. At UNSW, I currently lead the design, development and implementation of the new physiotherapy program, and coordinates the physiotherapy program accreditation processes. I have significant experience in leadership, management and curriculum development and has an established track record in physiotherapy program accreditation, having previously established two new physiotherapy programs in Victoria (Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Federation University in 2020) and New South Wales (Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2016). I was the inaugural Discipline Lead in Physiotherapy at Federation University prior to moving to UNSW in late 2021.

My research focusses on the use of technology in neurorehabilitation and currently collaborates with two technology companies (Tech Gym and AI-Exo) to develop novel robotic systems to improve rehabilitation outcomes for people with neurological disorders, including stroke and spinal cord injury. I am a member of the Council of Physiotherapy Deans, Australian and New Zealand (CPDANZ) and the Section Editor for the Brain Imaging and Stimulation (BIS) Journal.

Having completed a PhD (2009) investigating the mechanisms underlying neural adaptation induced by resistance training, I was awarded a prestigious and highly competitive 3-year research fellowship from the NSW Office of Medical Research (2011-2014, Spinal Cord Injury and Related Neurological Conditions Research Grants Program; $298,735) to undertake post-doctoral research training in clinical neurology under Professor Matthew Kiernan at the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. I have developed research expertise in a wide range of neurophysiological techniques including non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), electromyography (EMG), nerve excitability techniques, electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). These skills allows me to interrogate pathophysiological processes underlying neurological diseases and musculoskeletal disorders including chronic pain. I am an AHPRA registered Physiotherapist and Chiropractor with over 20 years of clinical experience.

  • Journal articles | 2015
    Simon NG; Lee M; Bae JS; Mioshi E; Lin CSY; Pfluger CM; Henderson RD; Vucic S; Swash M; Burke D; Kiernan MC, 2015, 'Dissociated lower limb muscle involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', Journal of Neurology, vol. 262, pp. 1424 - 1432, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-015-7721-8
    Journal articles | 2015
    Simon NG; Lin CSY; Lee M; Howells J; Vucic S; Burke D; Kiernan MC, 2015, 'Segmental motoneuronal dysfunction is a feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 126, pp. 828 - 836, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2014.07.029

2020                 School of Health Research Equipment Funds. School of Health, Federation University. Lee M ($6,230.00).


2019                 Spinal Cure Research Grant. “Robot-assisted game-based rehabilitation program for upper limb function in people with spinal cord injuries: A feasibility study”. Quel de Oliveira C, Stubbs PW, McCambridge A, Lee M and Verhagen AP. ($20,000).


2018                 UTS Blue Sky Research Scheme, Faculty of Engineering & IT. “Upper limb stroke rehabilitation using electromyography functional connectivity analysis”. Su S, Carmichael M, Tipper J, Duffield R & Lee M. ($17,000)


2018                 UTS Blue Sky Research Scheme, Faculty of Engineering & IT. “Collaborative robots for

versatile and affordable therapy in the clinic and the home”. Carmichael M, Lee M, Paul G and Aldini S. ($24,000)


2017                 UTSBlue Sky Research Scheme, Faculty of Engineering & IT. “Kinetics and physiology of

human motion in stroke rehabilitation”. Su S, Carmichael M, Chai R, Duffield R and Lee M. ($15,000)


2017                 UTS Blue Sky Research Scheme, Faculty of Engineering & IT, UTS.  “Next Generation of

Miniaturized Wearable Millimeter-Wave Scanners for Instant Health Care Check”. Yang Y, Zhu F, Lee M and Dutkiewic E. ($18,000)


2016                 Grant-in-aid, Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia, “Dissecting the

mechanisms underlying muscle fatigue in ALS using acute and cumulative resistance exercise”. Lee M (Chief Investigator). ($98,758.50)


2016                 International Cooperation - FAPESB/Brazil. “Knee Osteoarthritis: Effects of adding

neuromodulation to exercises on pain, function and cortical representation of the quadriceps”. Baptista A and Lee M (*USD $56,150.00)


2015                 Nina Buscombe Award. Motor Neuron Disease Victoria ($3000)


2015                 The Peter Chandra Motor Neuron Disease Research Gift Grant, The Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney. Philanthropy grant. ($45,000).


2012-2014        Spinal Cord Injury and Related Neurological Conditions Research Grants Program, NSW Office for Medical Research. Lee M (Chief Investigator). ($298,735.00)


2012                 Bill Gole Motor Neuron Disease Postdoctoral Fellowship, Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia. “Mechanisms underlying exercise-induced neuroprotection in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)” Lee M (Chief Investigator). ($225,000, awarded and declined).


2011                 Brain Foundation. “Utilising plasticity to drive functional recovery after spinal cord injury”. Lee M (Chief Investigator). ($44,000)


2010                 Hamblin New Zealand Chiropractic Research Trust Fund. Haavik H and Lee M ($10,000)

2020                 Techcelerator, Most Technically Feasible Prototype Award for the project titled: “AI-based Exoskeleton for Upper Limb Rehabilitation”, by Guo K, Wang L and Palayil J; Supervised by Su S and Lee M.

2015                 Nina Buscombe Award. Motor Neuron Disease Victoria

2015                 Distinction in Scholarship in the Journal of Neurophysiology, The American Physiological Society

2015                 Travel scholarship, Taipei Medical University.

2012-2014        Applied Spinal Cord Injury Research Fellow, NSW Office for Medical Research.

2004-2008        Australian Research Council (ARC) Human Motor Control PhD Scholarship, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW

2007                 University of New South Wales Postgraduate Travel Grant         

2006                 Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research Travel Grant, Otago University

2005                 Australian Neuroscience Society Travel Grant

My Teaching

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Neurological Physiotherapy, Neurorehabilitation, Professional Practice, Neurophysiology, Inter-professional Education, Clinical Neurology