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Trauma recovery: new science and technology for mental and physical health



The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Credit: Invictus Games Foundation

This Transforming our Future meeting, held by the Royal Society in partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation, will bring together leading experts from industry, academia, government and the wider scientific community to discuss recent advances in technologies and treatments that have the real possibility of helping individuals recover from injury across the health spectrum.

The conference will focus upon two broad themes: Our increased understanding of the biology of human health after injury, and especially the impact of trauma on both mental and physical health and the application of innovative new technologies and treatments to help individuals adapt to life-changing injuries. Following the presentations, speakers will discuss what can be achieved in the short- and medium-term, and how such developments should be prioritised and driven forward based upon the experiences of those who have suffered injury. 

Attending this event 

This event is currently invitation only, public registration will open in November.

Please contact the Industry team for more information.

About the conference series

This scientific meeting is part of the Royal Society’s Transforming our Future conference series. The Transforming our Future meetings are unique, high-level events that address the scientific and technical challenges of the next decade. Each conference features cutting edge science from industry and academia and brings together leading experts from the scientific community, including regulatory, charity and funding bodies.

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Event organisers

Select an organiser for more information

Schedule of talks

04 March




Welcoming remarks




Coffee and networking


Session 1

3 talks Show detail Hide detail


Professor Russell Foster CBE FRS, University of Oxford

Using Virtual Reality (VR) to deliver engaging, efficacious, and fast psychological intervention

Professor Daniel Freeman, University of Oxford, UK


Mental health disorders are very common, but far too few people receive the best treatments. Much greater access to the best psychological treatments may be achieved using automated delivery in virtual reality (VR). With virtual reality simulations, individuals can repeatedly experience problematic situations and be taught, via evidence-based psychological treatments, how to overcome difficulties. A key advantage of VR is that individuals know that a computer environment is not real but their minds and bodies behave as if it is real; hence, people will much more easily face difficult situations in VR than in real life and be able to try out new therapeutic strategies. VR treatments can also be made much more engaging and appealing for patients than traditional therapies. A systematic programme of work developing and testing automated VR psychological treatments will be described, with a particular focus on the gameChange ( project for schizophrenia.

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Dr Kirstie Anderson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Improving lives for people following traumatic brain injury

Professor Melinda Fitzgerald, Curtin University and the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) arises as a result of a physical injury to the brain and dramatically impacts the lives of both the patient involved and the people around them. There is a desperate need for new options to improve lives following TBI and give patients and their families hope for the future. TBI arises from a range of circumstances, such as concussion from playing sport, an elderly person having a fall or severe injury arising following a road accident. The resulting injuries vary in severity, ranging from mild to moderate or severe trauma to the brain. Symptoms also span a spectrum of severity, such as deficits in cognition through to vegetative states, varying degrees of lack of emotional control, poor mental health, disrupted balance and sleep disturbances. These can lead to dramatic, often long-lasting, impacts on patients and their families and a substantial financial drain on society.

The Australian Mission for TBI is a large scale federally funded initiative in Australia, providing 10 million AUD over 10 years. The Expert Advisory Panel for the Mission will define priorities for research funding that will improve outcomes for people following TBI of all severity, from concussion through to severe injuries. It is likely that the approach will include a large scale research registry that will enable the prediction of outcomes following injury. In addition, nationwide clinical trials of promising treatments will be conducted. The research of the Australian Mission for TBI has the potential to be transformative and lead to substantially improved outcomes for people who have experienced a TBI.

Show speakers


Lunch and networking


Session 2


Coffee and refreshments


Panel: scientific directions


Closing remarks and conference close

Related events

Trauma recovery: new science and technology for mental and physical health

Bringing together scientists from industry and academia and the wider scientific, medical and policy community to discuss science employed to help patients recover from traumatic events. Speakers will explore technologies and treatments for those who have suffered from physical and mental trauma.

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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