Our Impact

For over 75 years, Cerebral Palsy Alliance has been driven by our founders’ vision of a future where nothing is impossible for people with cerebral palsy and similar conditions.
We believe that one person can have an idea, but it takes different skills and the knowledge of many people to make that idea become real. This is what happens when great minds think differently.
Our research team brings together an alliance of clinicians, cerebral palsy experts, neonatologists, engineers and medical professionals together with families to drive research breakthroughs that deliver meaningful results to the global cerebral palsy community.
Since being founded in 2005, our research team have contributed significantly to our understanding of cerebral palsy. This has accelerated breakthroughs in prevention, interventions and cures.

Here is just a snapshot of our recent impact

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CPA research staff are in the top 2% of cerebral palsy experts globally, according to Expertscape

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CPA therapists involved in research projects and implementing new breakthroughs into clinical practice

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Infants recruited to take part in GAME, Australia’s largest-ever trial of therapy for babies with CP

CPA research, our impact poster

Our history of breakthroughs

  • Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute were both founded in 2005 and established an affiliation with The University of Notre Dame Australia.  
  • Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance Grants Program initiated.
  • The Australian Cerebral Palsy Register was established to collect population-level data on cerebral palsy and enable researchers to identify and report trends in the incidence and severity of CP.  
  • Professor Nadia Badawi AM was appointed the CP Chair of Cerebral Palsy Research.
  • Hosted the first-ever international research summit for the cerebral palsy community, focused on the prevention and cure of CP, in San Francisco, USA. With a goal of identifying knowledge gaps and accelerating breakthroughs, we have now organised seven global summits on topics such as stem cells, neonatal stroke and assistive technology.
  • World CP Day was established by Cerebral Palsy Alliance, giving the global advocacy community a platform to join with researchers and people with lived experience to raise awareness of the field of cerebral palsy 
  • The Research Institute transferred to The University of Sydney, Australia’s first University, with an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. This began an ongoing formal affiliation with the Speciality of Child and Adolescent Health at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, and the Brain and Mind Centre, in the Faculty of Medicine and Health.
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation established in New York.
  • CP Quest, a collaboration between CPA researchers and family members of people with cerebral palsy, was established to enable community involvement and consultation of people with lived experience of disability. 
  • Professor Alistair McEwan was appointed to the Ainsworth Chair of Technology and Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, a role also funded by our Research Foundation.
  • International Cerebral Palsy Genomics Consortium established.
  • CPA researchers published the first standardised Guidelines for Early Diagnosis of cerebral palsy in JAMA Pediatrics, a systemic review that established that CP could be diagnosed with 98% accuracy before six months of age. 
  • The 2018 Australian Cerebral Palsy Register revealed that the rate of cerebral palsy had declined over the prior ten years from 1 in 500 children (2.0 per 1,000 live births) to 1 in 700 (1.4 per 1,000 live births).
  • CPA’s first Early Diagnosis Clinic was established at Prairiewood. Supported by donors, fundraising and Medicare, the centre is Australia’s first clinical setting aimed at fast-tracking diagnosis and early access to interventions for babies at risk of cerebral palsy.
  • CMV Awareness Month, a public campaign to raise the profile of cytomegalovirus (a common virus that can cause lifelong disability in newborn babies) is launched in partnership with consumer groups and medical authorities.
  • Professor Rod Hunt appointed as the Director of Research, Victoria, Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
  • A Victorian office and council of governors was established to support growth in Victoria.
  • Launch of the first Australian and New Zealand Cerebral Palsy Strategy.
  • Professor Iona Novak was appointed as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Chair of Allied Health, at the Sydney School of Health Sciences, in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, at the University of Sydney.
  • Professor Novak receives the Elsass Foundation Research Prize, the most prestigious award for cerebral palsy research globally, for her “inspirational” contribution to the field.
  • CPA supported the launch of CP Commons, a world-first collaborative database to progress understanding of the genome’s role in causing cerebral palsy.
  • Four program leads are appointed to lead teams focused on priorities areas: early intervention and detection, epidemiology, technology and regeneration. 
  • CPA Researchers collaborated on Australia’s first stem cell clinical trial for people with cerebral palsy, the SCUBI Study.
  • In partnership with NSW Health, CPA established a second Early Diagnosis Clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Randwick.
  • The 2022 round of CPA Research grants funded more than $8 million in projects, taking the total amount of research projects funded by the CPA Research Foundation beyond $67m.
  • CPA researchers successfully receive two grants from the National Health and Medical.
  • The 2023 Australian CP Register Report is launched by NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, revealing that the prevalence of cerebral palsy in Australia has sustained previous reductions, while also seeing a fall in severity and associated comorbidities. 
  • CPA opens third Early Diagnosis Clinic, and the first in regional Australia, at the Croudace Bay Therapy Centre near Newcastle.

Find out more about the great minds behind our research

At Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute, more than 30 of the world's leading cerebral palsy experts collaborate with families, therapists and the CP community to make real change.

Learn more