Mental HealthNeurological Disorders

Depression & Pain Treatment

Project Lead
Professor James McAuley

Professor James McAuley

Professor James McAuley

Professor James McAuley is a psychologist, Professor in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health at UNSW and Senior Research Scientist at NeuRA.

James completed his PhD at Brunel University, London (2003). After immigrating to Australia in 2004 he took up a post-doctoral position at the University of Sydney and then at the George Institute for Global Health. In 2010 he moved to NeuRA where he set up the Centre for Pain IMPACT (investigating mechanisms of pain to advance clinical translation). In 2017 he was appointed as Associate Professor to the Exercise Physiology department at UNSW and in 2020 he was promoted to Professor.

Professor McAuley’s research combines experimental, clinical and translational methods to develop and test new interventions to manage low back pain. He has published more than 190 articles and holds more than $10 million in research funding. He is regularly invited to present at conferences and scientific meetings and has supervised 18 PhD students and mentored four post-doctoral researchers.

Professor McAuley is the chair of the back pain group of SPHERE MSK and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Australian and New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network (ANZMUSC). In 2015 he founded the NSW network for pain PhD students/ECRs (SPRiNG).

People with health conditions including low back pain are more likely also to have a diagnosis of depression. Evidence suggests that if pain is treated effectively, depressive symptoms may also improve. The team are examining revolutionary models of treatment for chronic back pain whilst challenging traditional methods, such as drugs and localised treatments, by viewing the problem as relating to the nervous system rather than in the disc, bone, or muscles.

About the project

Professor McAuley and his team are investigating the effectiveness of an internet-delivered evidence-based education and psychological intervention to support people living with chronic back pain. The project will test tailored digital technologies to improve the mood of people with low back pain and reduce their pain and disability.

If successful, doctors would be able to prescribe the online intervention, providing psychological support to encourage patients to self-manage their lower back pain recovery.

Funding Sources

  • Commonwealth grant funding awarded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Other Projects

Learn about other Mindgardens research projects.

View all

Interested to hear more?

Do you want to learn more about past or present Mindgardens work?

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.