Directorate and Operations Group

Director - Professor David Baxter - Director

Professor David Baxter TD is the Director of Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Centre at the University of Otago, New Zealand; he is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster (UK), where he completed his undergraduate and doctoral training. David previously led the University of Otago's multidisciplinary Research Theme on Rehabilitation and Disability (2007–2011), and is currently Director for the New Zealand National Science Challenge research consortium for Ageing Well.

David’s research expertise is in the fields of rehabilitation, low back pain, complementary and alternative medicine, as well as in laser medicine. His current projects include physical activity interventions (principally walking interventions) for health, photobiomodulation of delayed wound healing, and clinical effectiveness of acupuncture (including laser devices) as an alternative to needles in treatment of pain.

Professor Baxter has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed research papers in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and contributed to various textbooks including DeLisa's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (5th edition). He is the Editor in Chief of Physical Therapy Reviews, and a member of the Editorial Boards of a number of other international peer-reviewed journals. He has presented multiple platform or poster presentations and educational workshops at national and international meetings. David has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, the International Academy of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, and the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery.

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Deputy Director- Associate Professor Debra Waters

Associate Professor Debra Waters is the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago, which is a split appointment between the Department Medicine in the Dunedin School of Medicine, and School of Physiotherapy. She is also the Director of the University of Otago Research Theme “Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence” (CARE).

She is the Vice President for the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and a member of the Southern Wide Multi-Sector Falls Governance Group, the South Island Fall and Fracture Liaison Service, the US National Council on Aging Falls Prevention Coalition, and the Otago Partners for Elder Needs (OPEN)—a multi-sectorial group based in Dunedin.

She has been conducting gerontology research since 1996 with a focus on sarcopenia, frailty, and falls and also holds a research appointment at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in the US. She collaborates with the Institute on Ageing at the University of Toulouse, France and more widely across New Zealand, Europe and the UK.

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Manager-Lisa Davis

lisa-davisLisa Davis comes to us from the Faculty of Law at University of Otago, where she has been working on a national-level research project on costs and delays in civil cases before the High Court. Having originally trained and worked as a community and social worker, Lisa is also a trained lawyer with previous experience in working as in-house counsel in the University’s Research and Enterprise Office.

Over her career she has gained experience in engaging with different communities, working within community-funded agencies, and in managing funder relationships, as well as significant research and community projects.

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Administrator-Dean Alexander

Dean Alexander started working with Ageing Well in March 2017. Previously Dean worked at Brain Research New Zealand (CoRE), a Centre of Research Excellence, and before that he was a Reference Librarian at the University of Otago, Christchurch.



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