Celebrating 20 years of service: Professor Joshua Burns

Celebrating 20 years of service: Professor Joshua Burns

Professor Joshua Burns

As Professor Joshua Burns PhD bids farewell to his time at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN), he leaves behind a 20 year long legacy of incredible work and transformative leadership.

Josh is Director of the Paediatric Gait Analysis Service of NSW at SCHN. He co-leads the Neuropathy Research Group at the Kids Neuroscience Centre and the Peripheral Neuropathy Management Clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. He is Professor of Paediatric Neuromuscular Rehabilitation and Head of School and Dean of the Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Josh Burns in the Gait Lab at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Josh’s career at SCHN began in 2002 and has been defined by his significant impact to research and clinical practice in paediatric neuropathy, improving the lives of children and their families living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and related neuropathies.

“There was never a dull moment in my day!”

Josh led an international multidisciplinary consortium on the 1000 Norms Project, the world’s most comprehensive set of reference data for measures of physical function across the lifespan.

“These normative reference values are used globally as a reference standard to score and interpret the CMT outcome measures. This month, we reached 1,000 citations for publications from the 1000 Norms Project."

Josh led the development of a web-based portal called Clinical Outcome Measures to house key CMT clinical trial endpoints. With over 1,000 registered users, the Clinical Outcome Measures portal has become a resource hub used by clinicians, scientists and pharmaceutical companies around the world.

Josh has also led clinical trials which have been successfully translated into the first international clinical practice guideline for the management of childhood CMT.

“The future is exciting because we have entered an era of testing rational disease-modifying therapies for many types of CMT."

While Josh’s departure is bittersweet, he embarks on a new chapter as the Endowed Chair of Clinmetrics at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, United States, leaving SCHN at the end of June and commencing his new role in July.

“After two decades at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and the University of Sydney, the time has come to take on a new challenge in my career. My new role will provide me with laser sharp focus to pursue several transformative work packages to accelerate my research efforts."

For Josh, his enduring legacy will serve as an ongoing source of inspiration and guidance to build upon the foundation he has laid.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone at SCHN for everything they have given me. I have been shown tremendous support in every aspect and I will forever be grateful."

Congratulations Josh on a fantastic career at SCHN and on the incredible opportunity to continue making a difference to paediatric healthcare worldwide.