CSIRO Research Scientist, Dr Dana Kai Bradford.

CSIRO Research Scientist, Dr DanaKai Bradford.

Dr Dana Kai Bradford: improving outcomes for Australians in need

Dr Dana Bradford works at the interface of neuroscience and technology to improve outcomes for specific population groups.

  • 1 August 2011 | Updated 22 April 2013

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current research

Dr Dana Bradford is a research scientist and Team Leader with the Science into Society group. She is involved in projects which combine advances in technology with neuroscience knowledge to improve outcomes for specific population groups.

Dr Bradford is currently developing a novel rehabilitation technology utilising fast broadband to provide a new rehabilitation service for people in rural and remote Australia.

Dr Bradford is also involved in the Smarter Safer Homes project, which aims to develop a platform that enables older people to safely live longer at home. The platform will aggregate sensor information at environmental, cognitive, physical, and physiological levels.

This information will provide a support mechanism for decision making by service providers examining the trends and changes in activities of daily living, including psychological, behavioural and vital signs. 

The platform also aims to enhance the psychological and physiological well-being of aged persons through interactive videoconferencing to significant others including adult children, direct care workers, and health care professionals.

Dr Bradford is also involved in the Smarter Safer Homes project, which aims to develop a platform that enables older people to safely live longer at home.

The pilot study will further determine if the platform can be tailored to varied levels of older people’s support needs, to establish a framework for designs of future homes for independent living.

Dr Bradford's role is to determine if the data derived from the sensors is sensitive enough to detect cognitive decline.

Early detection of neurodegeneration is important to be able to tailor smart homes to the needs of people with dementia or other neurological dysfunction and to assess when care needs will prevent residents from remaining in their own homes.

This allows the elderly, their families and carers time to discuss and decide on appropriate long-term care arrangements.

Past research

Recent completed projects include an investigation into the Destinations Project, an initiative implemented by Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to improve outcomes for Indigenous adolescents.

The investigation looked at the intended destinations of Indigenous youth as indicated during Year 12 and compared these to actual post school destinations six–eight months after leaving school.

The investigation also looked at the barriers encountered by Indigenous Pathway Co-ordinators as they mentored the Year 12 students, and the innovative solutions they proposed and/or implemented to circumvent those hurdles.

Dr Bradford has also been involved in the Human Services Delivery Research Alliance between CSIRO and the Department of Human Services.

Here she worked closely with Centrelink staff to identify favourable outcomes arising from intensive support services and how these might be measured. 

This work is now informing the design of future services with vulnerable welfare groups.

Future research direction

Dr Bradford is developing a package comprising telehealth, rehabilitation and communication technologies to monitor and improve patient outcomes following CNS insult or injury.

Academic qualifications

In 2004, Dr Bradford was awarded a Bachelor of Science (Neuroscience/Psychology), by the University of Queensland, Australia.

She was later awarded First Class Honours (Neuroscience) by the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland in 2005.

In 2011 was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (Neuroscience) by the Neural Migration Lab, Queensland Brain Institute, at the University of Queensland.


Dr Bradford has also been awarded the following prizes and commendations:

  • Australian Neuroscience Society, Sir Grafton Elliot Smith Poster Prize, 2010
  • Australian Society for Medical Research Postgraduate Oral Competition, 2010
  • Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Science Photography, 'Highly Commended' for Great Balls of Fire, 2010
  • UQ Postgraduate Biomedical Science Conference, Poster Competition, 2010
  • Australian Society for Medical Research Postgraduate Oral Competition, 2009
  • Australian Neuroscience Society, Istvan Törk Prize for Best Oral Presentation, 2009
  • Annual School of Biomedical Sciences Poster Competition, 2007.

Great Balls of Fire was commissioned by Questacon in 2011.

Read more about Science into Society.