Professor of Rehabilitation and Director of the Person-Centred Rehabilitation Centre
School of Clinical Sciences
Professor McPherson’s desire to see research make a difference is a passion she has developed over a number of years studying and working across the globe.
Her research and experience in rehabilitation began with a clinical background, training as a registered nurse in Australia. She then became a midwife studying in Edinburgh and undertook a diploma of Health Visiting at Queen Margaret College, before completing an honours degree in psychology. She then studied at the University of Edinburgh finishing a PhD in rehabilitation exploring recovery and adaptation after brain injury.
Since 2001 she has held a range of positions within the health and tertiary sector and in 2004 she became the Laura Fergusson Trust Chair of Rehabilitation. The trust provides specialised rehabilitation services.
Areas of research for Professor McPherson continue to focus on disability and rehabilitation with particular emphasis in neurorehabilitation. This focus saw her become the director of the Person-Centred Rehabilitation Centre at AUT University having worked in rehabilitation units in Scotland earlier in her career. Her influence also saw her become the president of the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association this year (2011).
The application of her research has not only had effect in the clinical sphere but also in policy within New Zealand having made contributions to ACC and a number of government reviews of rehabilitation and welfare.
Professor McPherson is an honorary professor at King’s College in London and has been a visiting scholar at both Massey University and the University of Auckland.
Her work has also given her fantastic opportunities including a mini-sabbatical in Paris in 2009, where along with being an invited scholar at the Universite Paris Diderot 7, she spent a little time falling completely in love with the city and speaking a little bit of French.