Tasha completed her training as a clinical Physiotherapist in 2002 and after two years of clinical work, she returned to pursue her Master of Science in spinal biomechanics with Prof Greg Kawchuk at the University of Alberta, Canada, completing in 2007. She then received a highly competitive PhD recruitment scholarship – the University of Sydney International Research Scholarship – and relocated overseas to complete her PhD, studying low back pain and clinical prediction, with Prof Chris Maher, Prof Jane Latimer, and Associate Prof Mark Hancock at the University of Sydney/The George Institute for Global Health.
Her research aims to understand why we have pain and why, sometimes, pain doesn’t go away. Her work investigates the neural underpinnings of pain in a unique way – by manipulating our sense of reality. Using mediated and virtual reality, her work explores the contribution of multisensory input to the experience of pain. Her work spans both experimental and clinical pain and she is particularly interested in the role that pain education and activity play in recovery from chronic pain. Together, her research focusses on clinical pain neuroscience and she is specifically interested in cortical body representation, multisensory integration/modulation, multimodal illusions, somatosensation, and pain.
Tasha has published over 65 peer-reviewed journal articles and has been a keynote or invited speaker at over 50 national/international conferences. She was recognised as one of Australia’s Top 5 under 40 Science Communicators (ABC Radio National and UNSW). The quality and importance of her research and her communication of that research has been recognised through various awards: In 2016, she won the Ronald Dubner Research Prize from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) that recognizes the best series of papers by a trainee, including all pain research areas. She also won the Inaugural Rising Star Award from the Australia Pain Society. In 2015, she was named the South Australia Young Tall Poppy of the Year (Australian Institute for Policy and Science) and received the Best New Investigator Award at the National Australian Physiotherapy Association Congress.
She is currently looking for Masters and PhD students.