Musculoskeletal pain conditions, including low back pain, are the leading cause of disability internationally. Despite considerable effort, even the most effective treatments for low back pain have small effects. Less than 10% of individuals have a definitive diagnosis of the cause of their pain, with the remainder considered to have non-specific low back pain. The consequence is that there is little guidance for treatment selection for this large and heterogeneous group. The major challenge is that low back pain is a highly multifactorial condition involving biological, psychological and social factors. Recent work has begun to expose features that have the potential to guide personalisation of treatment, but the challenge to disentangle the complexity of the condition is immense. Artificial intelligence will need to play a role. 


Dr. Alejandro Melendez-Calderon

Dr. Alejandro Melendez-Calderon has an interdisciplinary background in robotics and biomedical engineering with focus in human augmentation technologies used in medicine (robotics, wearable devices) and computational approaches to understand human neuromuscular control (unimpaired, stroke and SCI population). He has over 15 years of experience gained in academic, clinical and industrial environments.  He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Robotics and Neuromechanics at the University of Queensland (2020-present). He was previously a Senior Research Scientist and acting Head of Technology at the cereneo Advanced Rehabilitation Institute / cereneo Center for Neurology and Rehabilitation (Switzerland; 2017-2019), where he led and conducted research in the area of neuromechanics of movement deficits after stroke. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Northwestern University (USA; 2014-2020) and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (2012-2013), where he conducted research in cross-modal multisensory interactions and assessment of neuromuscular impairments. He led the areas of Robotic Hand Rehabilitation and Assessments, and work on adaptive control of robotic trainers at Hocoma AG (Switzerland; 2014-2016). He was a Guest Researcher at ETH Zurich (Switzerland; 2016-2019), where he conducted research in biomechanics and motor control/learning. He received his PhD degree from Imperial College London (UK; 2007-2011) for research in robotic rehabilitation and human motor control. Alejandro has a scientific interest in understanding principled mechanisms of human behaviour, in particular related to movement control/learning and neurorehabilitation; his technical interests are in robotics and computational modelling for medical diagnostics, assistive applications & (bio)medical education.


Prof Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges DSc MedDr PhD BPhty(Hons) FAA FAHMS APAM(Hon) is a neuroscientist and physiotherapy researcher from the University of Queensland in Australia. He has doctorates in rehabilitation and neuroscience and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Paul’s research has unlocked new understanding of pain, how it relates to how we move, and its rehabilitation. He uses diverse approaches to research from studies of single cells to humans, clinical trials and translation into practice. For this work Paul has won the premier international prize for back pain (the ISSLS Prize) 5 times. He has authored almost 500 peer reviewed papers that have been cited more than 52,000 times and has received more than $52 million in research funds to undertake this work.

About AI Seminar Series

AI Seminar Series will explore relevant topics in artificial intelligence and invite industry speakers and researchers to share their knowledge, experience and success - promoting transdisciplinary AI research and collaboration.