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.

  • Book Chapters | 2015
    huynh W; lee M; kiernan MC, 2015, 'Neurorehabilitation approaches for disorders of the peripheral nervous system', in Oxford Textbook of Neurorehabilitation, Oxford University Press, USA, pp. 225 - 235
  • Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Blood flow restriction exercise of the tibialis anterior in people with stroke: a preliminary study', Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 21, pp. 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.31083/j.jin2102053
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Clinimetrics: The Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire', Journal of Physiotherapy, 67, pp. 220 - 221, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2020.09.002
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Increased voluntary activation of the elbow flexors following a single session of spinal manipulation in a subclinical neck pain population', Brain Sciences, 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9060136
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Clinimetrics: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-revised (ALSFRS-R)', Journal of Physiotherapy, 64, pp. 269 - 270, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2018.07.005
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Critical review of complementary and alternative medicine use in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Prevalence and users' profile, decision-making, information seeking, and disclosure in the face of a lack of efficacy', Neurodegenerative Diseases, 18, pp. 225 - 232, http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000492946
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Additive effect of tDCS combined with Peripheral Electrical Stimulation to an exercise program in pain control in knee osteoarthritis: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial', Trials, 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-017-2332-6
    Journal articles | 2015
    Lee M; Kiernan MC; Macefield VG; Lee BB; Lin CS Y, 2015, 'Short-term peripheral nerve stimulation ameliorates axonal dysfunction after spinal cord injury', Journal of Neurophysiology, 113, pp. 3209 - 3218, http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00839.2014
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'Dissociated lower limb muscle involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', Journal of Neurology, 262, pp. 1424 - 1432, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-015-7721-8
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'Segmental motoneuronal dysfunction is a feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', Clinical Neurophysiology, 126, pp. 828 - 836, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2014.07.029
    Journal articles | 2011
    2011, 'Purple pigments: the pathophysiology of acute porphyric neuropathy', Clinical Neurophysiology, 122, pp. 2336 - 2344, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2011.07.036
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'The ipsilateral motor cortex contributes to cross-limb transfer of performance gains after ballistic motor practice', The Journal of Physiology, 588, pp. 201 - 212, http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2009.183855
    Journal articles | 2009
    2009, 'Short-term strength training does not change cortical voluntary activation', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41, pp. 1452 - 1460, http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181998837
    Journal articles | 2009
    2009, 'The effect of strength training on the force of twitches evoked by corticospinal stimulation in humans', ACTA Physiologica Scandinavica, 197, pp. 161 - 173, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2009.01992.x
    Journal articles | 2009
    2009, 'Unilateral strength training increases voluntary activation of the opposite untrained limb', Clinical Neurophysiology, 120, pp. 802 - 808, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2009.01.002
    Journal articles | 2008
    2008, 'Cortical voluntary activation can be reliably measured in human wrist extensors using transcranial magnetic stimulation', Clinical Neurophysiology, 119, pp. 1130 - 1138, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2007.12.018
    Journal articles | 2008
    2008, 'Unilateral practice of a ballistic movement causes bilateral increases in performance and corticospinal excitability', Journal of Applied Physiology, 104, pp. 1656 - 1664, http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.01351.2007
    Journal articles | 2007
    Lee M; Carroll TJ, 2007, 'Cross Education: Possible mechanisms for the contralateral effects to unilateral resistance training', Sports Medicine, 37, pp. 1 - 14
    Journal articles | 2007
    2007, 'Cross education - Possible mechanisms for the contralateral effects of unilateral resistance training', Sports Medicine, 37, pp. 1 - 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200737010-00001
    Journal articles | 2006
    2006, 'Contralateral effects of unilateral strength training: evidence and possible mechanisms', Journal of Applied Physiology, 101, pp. 1514 - 1522, http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00531.2006
    Journal articles | 2005
    2005, 'The amplitude of Mmax in human wrist flexors varies during different muscle contractions despite constant posture', Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 149, pp. 95 - 100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2005.03.016
  • Patents | 2018
    Conference Papers | 2013
    Simon NG; Lee M; Howells J; Vucic S; Lin C; Kiernan MC, 2013, 'The soleus H-reflex delineates upper motor neurone pathophysiology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.', in The soleus H-reflex delineates upper motor neurone pathophysiology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis., 24th international symposium on ALS/MND, presented at 24th international symposium on ALS/MND, 06 December 2013 - 08 December 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/21678421.2013.838426
    Conference Papers | 2013
    2013, 'Pathophysiological Changes in the H-Reflex Pathway in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.', in Neurology, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, San Diego, pp. P07.075, presented at AAN Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, 16 March 2013 - 23 March 2013, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000332068605057&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a

2022                  UNSW Medicine & Health Seed Grant, School of Health Sciences. “Adding a spring in your step: can the “Super Shoe reduce muscle fatigue in running?”. McDonald K, Nahan K, Broderick C, Lee M and Heroux M ($9570.88).

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                  UTS Blue 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