Dr Sarah Valkenborghs

Dr Sarah Valkenborghs

Associate Lecturer

School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Sarah Valkenborghs holds a PhD in Human Physiology from the University of Newcastle, completed under the supervision of Prof. Robin Callister, Prof. Michael Nilsson, and Prof. Paulette van Vliet, and in collaboration with Prof. Kirk Erickson (University of Pittsburgh, USA).

Her main research interests are the use of exercise in the treatment of chronic disease and exercise-induced neuroplasticity.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Human Physiology, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Testing
  • Exercise Training
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Physical Activity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
060699 Physiology not elsewhere classified 40
110320 Radiology and Organ Imaging 30
110602 Exercise Physiology 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2020 Paper of the Year for Physical Activity in Schools
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition - The University of Newcastle
2019 Wiley: Physiotherapy Research International Top 20 Downloaded Article 2017-2018
Wiley Online Library
2019 Paper of the Year for Exercise Science
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition - The University of Newcastle
2018 PhD student Research Innovation and Impact Award
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition - The University of Newcastle

Invitations

Interviewee

Year Title / Rationale
2019 What does exercise actually do for you? - ABC Radio Newcastle

Speaker

Year Title / Rationale
2018 Doing the legwork for arm and hand recovery - A Stroke in Time - Pint of Science, Newcastle
2018 Spotlight on Stroke: Hacks for Exercising after Stroke, even when it's really hard - HMRI Community Forum

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
HUBS2503 Clinical Exercise Physiology
The University of Newcastle
Tutor 1/2/2016 - 31/5/2019
HUBS3510 Sports Science 4
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Course Coordinator 1/1/2020 - 31/12/2020
HUBS2507 Integrative Physiology
The University of Newcastle
Tutor 18/7/2016 - 31/12/2019
HUBS2520 Sports Science 3
The University of Newcastle
Tutor 18/7/2016 - 3/11/2017
HUBS3510 Sports Science 4
The University of Newcastle
Tutor 23/7/2018 - 2/11/2018
SR1S17 Human Nutrition 1
University of South Wales
Lecturer 1/9/2013 - 30/6/2014
HUBS2503 Clinical Exercise Physiology
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Course Coordinator 1/1/2019 - 31/12/2020
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Balchin T, Valkenborghs S, 'Physical Activity after Stroke', Clinical Exercise Science, Routledge, London 123-155 (2016) [B1]
Citations Scopus - 1

Journal article (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Valkenborghs SR, Callister R, Visser MM, Nilsson M, van Vliet P, 'Interventions combined with task-specific training to improve upper limb motor recovery following stroke: a systematic review with meta-analyses', Physical Therapy Reviews, 24 1-19 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/10833196.2019.1597439
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Robin Callister, Paulette Vanvliet, Michael Nilsson
2019 Valkenborghs SR, Erickson KI, Nilsson M, van Vliet P, Callister R, 'Feasibility of Aerobic Interval Training in Nonambulant Persons after Stroke', Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, 8 97-101 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.31189/2165-6193-8.3.97
Co-authors Robin Callister, Michael Nilsson, Paulette Vanvliet
2019 Valkenborghs SR, van Vliet P, Nilsson M, Zalewska K, Visser MM, Erickson KI, Callister R, 'Aerobic exercise and consecutive task-specific training (AExaCTT) for upper limb recovery after stroke: A randomized controlled pilot study', Physiotherapy Research International, 24 1-11 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1002/pri.1775
Co-authors Robin Callister, Paulette Vanvliet, Michael Nilsson
2019 Valkenborghs SR, Noetel M, Hillman C, Nilsson M, Smith J, Ortega F, Lubans DR, 'The Impact of Physical Activity on Brain Structure and Function in Youth: A Systematic Review', PEDIATRICS, 144 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1542/peds.2018-4032
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Jordan Smith, Michael Nilsson, David Lubans
2019 Leahy AA, Eather N, Smith JJ, Hillman C, Morgan PJ, Nilsson M, et al., 'School-based physical activity intervention for older adolescents: rationale and study protocol for the Burn 2 Learn cluster randomised controlled trial', BMJ OPEN, 9 (2019)
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026029
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Angus Leahy, Philip Morgan, Michael Nilsson, Rohan Walker, Narelle Eather, Sarah Kennedy, Liz Holliday, Sarah Costigan, Ron Plotnikoff, Jordan Smith, David Lubans
2018 Valkenborghs SR, Visser MM, Nilsson M, Callister R, van Vliet P, 'Aerobic exercise prior to task-specific training to improve poststroke motor function: A case series.', Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy, 23 e1707 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1002/pri.1707
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Paulette Vanvliet, Michael Nilsson, Robin Callister
2017 Valkenborghs SR, Visser MM, Dunn A, Erickson KI, Nilsson M, Callister R, van Vliet P, 'AExaCTT Aerobic Exercise and Consecutive Task-specific Training for the upper limb after stroke: Protocol for a randomised controlled pilot study', Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 7 179-185 (2017) [C1]

© 2017 The Authors Motor function may be enhanced if aerobic exercise is paired with motor training. One potential mechanism is that aerobic exercise increases levels of brain-der... [more]

© 2017 The Authors Motor function may be enhanced if aerobic exercise is paired with motor training. One potential mechanism is that aerobic exercise increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is important in neuroplasticity and involved in motor learning and motor memory consolidation. This study will examine the feasibility of a parallel-group assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial investigating whether task-specific training preceded by aerobic exercise improves upper limb function more than task-specific training alone, and determine the effect size of changes in primary outcome measures. People with upper limb motor dysfunction after stroke will be allocated to either task-specific training or aerobic exercise and consecutive task-specific training. Both groups will perform 60 hours of task-specific training over 10 weeks, comprised of 3 × 1 hour sessions per week with a therapist and 3 × 1 hours of home-based self-practice per week. The combined intervention group will also perform 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (70¿85%HRmax) immediately prior to the 1 hour of task-specific training with the therapist. Recruitment, adherence, retention, participant acceptability, and adverse events will be recorded. Clinical outcome measures will be performed pre-randomisation at baseline, at completion of the training program, and at 1 and 6 months follow-up. Primary clinical outcome measures will be the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) and the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT). If aerobic exercise prior to task-specific training is acceptable, and a future phase 3 randomised controlled trial seems feasible, it should be pursued to determine the efficacy of this combined intervention for people after stroke.

DOI 10.1016/j.conctc.2017.07.009
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Michael Nilsson, Robin Callister, Paulette Vanvliet
Show 4 more journal articles

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Valkenborghs S, Erickson KI, Van Vliet P, Nilsson M, Callister R, 'Feasibility of Aerobic Interval Training in Non-Ambulant Persons after Stroke', Minneapolis (2018)
DOI 10.1249/01.mss.0000536292.13093.ab
Co-authors Michael Nilsson, Paulette Vanvliet, Robin Callister
2017 Valkenborghs S, Visser M, Nilsson M, Callister R, van Vliet P, 'A systematic review to identify all interventions combined with task-specific training to improve upper limb recovery following stroke', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE (2017)
Co-authors Robin Callister, Paulette Vanvliet, Michael Nilsson
2016 Valkenborghs S, Callister R, Nilsson M, Erickson K, Visser M, Dunn A, Van Vliet P, 'Aerobic exercise to increase efficacy of task-specific training for the upper limb after stroke: A pilot study', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE (2016)
Citations Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Michael Nilsson, Robin Callister, Paulette Vanvliet
2016 Valkenborghs S, Callister R, Nilsson M, Erickson K, Visser M, Dunn A, van Vliet P, 'Aerobic Exercise to Increase Efficacy of Task-Specific Training for the Upper Limb after Stroke: A Pilot Study Protocol', CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES (2016)
Citations Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Robin Callister, Michael Nilsson, Paulette Vanvliet
Show 1 more conference
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 14
Total funding $159,259

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20203 grants / $24,833

Improving outcomes for people with cancer using a telehealth-enabled home-based exercise training program.$9,988

Funding body: School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia

Funding body School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia
Project Team

Erica James, Craig Gedye, Loukas Nadiotis, Sarah Valkenborghs, Aoife McGarvey, Robin Callister, Mitch Duncan

Scheme Strategic Pilot Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2020
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Can we Improve Treatment in Glioblastoma with Precision Exercise?$9,950

Funding body: 2020 Faculty Strategic Pilot Grant

Funding body 2020 Faculty Strategic Pilot Grant
Project Team

Craig Gedye, Sarah Valkenborghs, Saad Ramadan, Erica James, James Lynam

Scheme 2020 Faculty of Health and Medicine Strategic Pilot Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2020
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Evaluating the effectiveness of exercise oncology for men with prostate cancer$4,895

Funding body: 2020 Faculty Strategic Pilot Grant

Funding body 2020 Faculty Strategic Pilot Grant
Project Team

Sarah Valkenborghs, Loukas Nadiotis, Craig Gedye, Robin Callister, Erica James

Scheme 2020 Faculty of Health and Medicine Strategic Pilot Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2020
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20195 grants / $64,456

Understanding how exercise improves asthma$32,225

Funding body: John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust

Funding body John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust
Project Team Doctor Hayley Scott, Professor Lisa Wood, Conjoint Professor Robin Callister, Doctor Sarah Valkenborghs, Doctor Geoff Tyler
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2020
GNo G1900260
Type Of Funding C2220 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Other
Category 2220
UON Y

Project Title Investigating the impact of cognitively demanding physical activity breaks on adolescents’ cognition, brain structure and function$23,750

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding body Hunter Medical Research Institute
Project Team Doctor Nick Riley, Doctor Myrto Mavilidi, Professor David Lubans, Doctor Sarah Valkenborghs, Doctor Daniel Barker, Professor Charles Hillman, Assistant Professor Mirko Schmidt
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2020
GNo G1901494
Type Of Funding C3120 - Aust Philanthropy
Category 3120
UON Y

Visiting Fellow $3,500

Funding body: Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Dr Sarah Valkenborghs; Dr Chelsea Stillman (University of Pittsburgh)

Scheme Visiting Fellows Scheme
Role Lead
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

World Technology Universities Network Research Exchange Travel Grant: Optimising Glycaemic Control during Exercise in children with Type 1 Diabetes$3,081

Funding body: World Technology Universities Network

Funding body World Technology Universities Network
Project Team Doctor Sarah Valkenborghs, Conjoint Professor Bruce King, Conjoint Professor Robin Callister, Dr David O'Neal, Dessi Zaharieva, Michael Riddell, Doctor Carmel Smart
Scheme World Technology Universities Network Research Exchange Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1900978
Type Of Funding C3211 - International For profit
Category 3211
UON Y

Research Equipment Grant$1,900

Funding body: Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Dr Sarah Valkenborghs

Scheme FHEAM Equipment Grant Round
Role Lead
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20181 grants / $6,352

Research training visit at the Brain Ageing and Cognitive Health Lab, University of Pittsburgh$6,352

Funding body: Centre for Research Excellence in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery

Funding body Centre for Research Excellence in Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery
Project Team

Sarah Valkenborghs, Prof. Paulette van Vliet, Prof. Michael Nilsson, Prof. Robin Callister.

Scheme Research Trainee Centre Visit Travel Scholarship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding Not Known
Category UNKN
UON N

20172 grants / $5,510

Clinical Research Design, Information Technology and Statistical Support (CReDITSS) Grant$4,000

Funding body: Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury

Funding body Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury
Project Team

Sarah Valkenborghs, Robin Callister, Paulette van Vliet, Michael Nilsson

Scheme Clinical Research Design, Information Technology and Statistical Support (CReDITSS) Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Research Support Grant$1,510

Funding body: Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury

Funding body Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury
Project Team

Sarah Valkenborghs, Robin Callister, Michael Nilsson, Paulette van Vliet

Scheme PRC Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20153 grants / $58,108

Effects of aerobic exercise combined with task specific training on neuroplasticity in chronic stroke$36,000

Funding body: National Stroke Foundation

Funding body National Stroke Foundation
Project Team

Prof. Paulette van Vliet, Prof. Michael Nilsson, Milanka Visser, Sarah Valkenborghs

Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112
UON N

Faculty of Health and Medicine - Research Equipment Grant$12,108

Funding body: Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Sarah Valkenborghs, Professor Paulette van Vliet, Professor Michael Nilsson, Milanka Visser, Ashlee Dunn, Professor Robin Callister.

Scheme Faculty Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant$10,000

Funding body: Jennie Thomas - Philanthropic Donor

Funding body Jennie Thomas - Philanthropic Donor
Project Team

Sarah Valkenborghs

Scheme Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding C3120 - Aust Philanthropy
Category 3120
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed2
Current2

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 Honours Changes in brain structure and function during stroke rehabilitation as measured by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Medical Science, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2014 Masters An Analysis of Injury Databases of Amateur Netball Players M Philosophy (Physiotherapy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2018 Honours Exercise Training for Adults with Asthma Human Movement, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2015 Honours Acceptability of task-specific training combined with aerobic exercise after stroke Occupational Therapy, School of Health Science, Faculty of Health & Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Dr Sarah Valkenborghs

Positions

Associate Lecturer
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Casual Research Assistant
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email sarah.valkenborghs@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4042 0819
Links Twitter
Research Networks

Office

Room ATC301
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