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1992 …2024

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Personal profile


Professor Catherine Dean holds the current position of Deputy Dean, Education and Employability in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences.  She originally qualified and worked as a physiotherapist and currrently has a full-time academic appointment with teaching, research and administrative responsibilities. In 2011 Professor Dean moved to Macquarie University in a key appointment for the University’s expansion in health and medicine. She was appointed the inaugural Head of the Department of Health Professions and has established NSW’s first professional entry Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) degree.  In 2014, she received the Executive Dean’s Service Award for engaging students and the community in establishing the Discipline of Physiotherapy and in 2015 led the DPT teaching team which was awarded the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences excellence in teaching award.  In 2017, she was appointed Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and in 2018 also Associate Dean Learning and Teaching.  In these roles, she has led the educational endeavours in the Faculty including the introduction of a number of new courses including the Doctor of Medicine (Macquarie MD) and Master of Public Health.  In 2020 with the expansion of the Faculty into the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences her educational leadership has increased to cover  the additional disciplines of psychology, cognitive science and linguistics.  Her educational leadership has been recognised locally with the Vice-Chancellor's Educational leader award in 2019 and internationally with award of a Prinicpal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.  

Prior to her Macquarie University appointment, Professor Dean worked as an academic with teaching, administrative and research responsibilities at the University of Sydney for 20 years. Her research interests are developing and testing of rehabilitation strategies to increase activity and participation, falls prevention, translating evidence into practice and clinical education.  While Professor Dean has primarily worked with people after stroke, she has also worked with people with Parkinson's Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Back Pain and hearing impairment. She has published in leading journals such as Stroke, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain and Ear and Hearing. She has been awarded over $7 million in grants for research and education. Professor Catherine Dean’s research has changed physiotherapy practice in stroke rehabilitation. Professor Dean’s research findings have been integrated into national and international clinical practice guidelines, such as the NHMRC-approved Clinical Guidelines on the Management of Stroke 2017 and featured on the Canadian Stroke Network StrokeEngine site. 

Education/Academic qualification

Principal Fellowship of Higher Education Academy (PFHEA)

Award Date: 14 Sept 2020

PhD, University of Sydney


Master of Arts with Specialisation in Motor Learning, Columbia University


Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) with Distinction, Cumberland College of Health Sciences



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