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Team Meeting

The GREAT Team

Glasgow Caledonian University Researchers in Musculoskeletal Health, Professor Martijn Steultjens and Dr Gordon Hendry are working with partners at Keele University, King's College London, the University of Salford and the University of Glasgow.

The team is supported by Professor Jim Woodburn (Head of School, Allied Health Services) at Griffith University, along with Professor Nadine Foster (NIHR Research Professor) at Keele University, Professor Cath Sackley (Professor of Rehabilitation) at King’s College London, Dr Anita Williams (Reader in Qualitative Health Science) at the University of Salford and Professor Iain McInnes (Professor of Experimental Medicine, Director of Research Institute) at the University of Glasgow.

Chief Investigator:  

Professor Martijn Steultjens (GCU)

Martijn Steultjens studied health sciences, specialising in human movement science, at Maastricht University, Netherlands and was awarded a PhD by VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands for his research on pain and disability in knee and hip osteoarthritis. He has held research positions at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) in Utrecht and at VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, before moving to Glasgow Caledonian University, UK in 2010 to take up the position of Professor of Musculoskeletal Health, which he currently holds. His research has focused on the biomechanics and epidemiology of chronic musculoskeletal disease, including measurement development; identification of underlying disease mechanisms; assessment of risk factors for development and progression of disease; evidence synthesis; and treatment development and evaluation through randomized controlled trials, among others. He is widely published and holds a number of research grants in these fields, including the NIHR-HTA grant for the GREAT trial.​

Principal Investigator: 

Dr Gordon Hendry (GCU)

Gordon Hendry is a podiatrist and a senior research fellow with the musculoskeletal health research group at Glasgow Caledonian University. Gordon was awarded his PhD by GCU for his work on multidisciplinary foot care in juvenile idiopathic arthritis prior working as a lecturer in podiatry at the University of Western Sydney. Gordon’s research interests include human movement analysis, development and evaluation of non-pharmacological complex interventions for foot and lower limb problems associated with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, and patient and public involvement in research. He has been a co-investigator on several multi-centre trials and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research and the Research and Development Committee of the College of Podiatry.


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Professor Lindsay Bearne , Kings College London

Lindsay Bearne is a physiotherapist and mixed methods rehabilitation researcher at Kings College London. Her research interests include the sensorimotor consequences and rehabilitation of long term musculoskeletal disorders and, in particular, the role of exercise and physical activity in the management of inflammatory arthritis. Her current projects combine exercise rehabilitation with psychologically underpinned behaviour change strategies to enhance adherence to treatment to improve health and quality of life.  Lindsay is a member of a number of funding awarding bodies and journal editorial boards. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students,  supervises PhD students and is a research mentor for allied health professions nationally and internationally.

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Professor Nadine Foster, Keele University

Nadine is a physiotherapist, lifetime Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the UK, and previous National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator and NIHR Research Professor in the UK. She has recently moved to the role of Professor and Director of the STARS Education and Research Alliance between the University of Queensland and Metro North Hospital and Health System (HHS) in Queensland, Australia (STARS is the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service, the newest public hospital in Brisbane). She leads the Research and Education portfolio within STARS, including a team of conjoint appointments between the University and HHS, across the disciplines of physiotherapy, nursing, speech therapy and occupational therapy, interdisciplinary education and research management.

Until 2020 Nadine lead a programme of musculoskeletal pain research at Keele University in the UK, serving as the School Research Director for the School of Allied Health Professions and the Director of Keele University’s Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), a nationally registered CTU in receipt of NIHR UKCRC Support funding. Her research focuses on musculoskeletal pain, including low back pain and osteoarthritis, and she has a particular interest in developing, testing and implementing treatments and health services. She has led or collaborated on more than 22 randomised trials, attracting over £43 million in research funding from, for example, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Versus Arthritis, the Medical Research Council, PCORI in the USA and the NHMRC in Australia. Examples include a 6 year NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research on stratified primary care for patients with musculoskeletal pain (STarT MSK) and an NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) trial testing stratified care for patients with sciatica (SCOPiC).

Dr Emma Godfrey, Kings College London

Emma Godfrey is a senior lecturer at King’s College London working in the Psychology and Physiotherapy Departments and a HCPC registered Health Psychologist. Emma is an experienced researcher and practitioner who specialises in the development and evaluation of novel psychologically informed interventions to manage long-term conditions, such as chronic low back pain. She is particularly interested in training health care professionals in behaviour change techniques and building the research base for interventions designed to enhance adherence to exercise delivered by the multidisciplinary team. Emma teaches undergraduate and postgraduate medical, physiotherapy and psychology students and supervises PhD students in several disciplines. She has published widely, holds a number of research grants and is an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Professor Sam Hider, Keele University

Professor Hider came to Keele in 2007 as an NIHR Walport Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology. Following her undergraduate medical training in Nottingham (1996) she undertook clinical postgraduate training in Manchester with an MSc Clinical Rheumatology (awarded with distinction, 2003) and a Ph.D. (2007) examining clinical and genetic predictors of response to methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis. She was appointed as a consultant rheumatologist and clinical lecturer in 2009 (promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2012, and Reader in 2017) as is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. 

Dr Hider is the Director of Postgraduate Research for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (Applied Sciences) and co-Lead for the INSPIRE research programme (supported by Academy of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Trust).

Professor Helen Mason, Glasgow Caledonian University

Helen Mason is a Professor of Health Economics at Glasgow Caledonian University.  Helen’s main research interest is in the development and use of methodologies to measure the benefits of health care. In 2007 she was awarded a PhD from Newcastle University in which she developed methods to estimate the monetary value of QALYs. Helen is a Co-Investigator on several NIHR funded multicentre clinical trials in a range of disease areas. 

Dr Alex McConnachie, University of Glasgow

Dr Alex McConnachie is the Assistant Director of Biostatistics at the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, part of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration registered Glasgow Clinical Trials Unit. He has over 20 years’ experience of the design, analysis and reporting of randomised trials and observational studies in healthcare. He manages a team of 10 statisticians within the Centre, and is currently involved with projects in many clinical areas, including child development, mental health, learning disabilities, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatology, obesity, and exercise interventions.

Professor Iain McInnes, University of Glasgow

Iain McInnes is Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow. He has extensive experience in leading multicentre programmes nationally and internationally.

Professor McInnes is also Director of the Scottish Medical Research Council Clinical Pharmacology and Pathology PhD Training Programme, Chief Investigator for the ‘Enabling Stratified Medicine in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis – predicting methotrexate response and toxicity using an integrated polyomic approach Scottish Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Cohort’ (PROMISERA) and the related Scottish Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre biomarker discovery program, and Chief Investigator of numerous global phase II and III clinical trials of novel immune therapies.

He has served as a member or chair of numerous national grant-funding panels and as chair of several European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) scientific committees. Professor McInnes is currently Treasurer and President of the EULAR, and serves on its steering committee. He was formerly Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation for Research in Rheumatology (FOREUM), and leads the EULAR-supported European RheumaMap Programme which is defining the research agenda for rheumatology for the next decade.

Dr Marike van der Leeden, VU University Amsterdam

Marike van der Leeden studied physiotherapy and human movement sciences. In 2009 she received her PhD for her thesis ‘Foot impairments and related disability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis’. Marike is involved in research concerning rehabilitation in musculoskeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic widespread pain), oncological and surgical patients. She is currently appointed as a senior researcher at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, VU University Medical Centre and Reade|Rehabilitation and Rheumatology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Dr Anita Williams, University of Salford

Dr Anita Williams moved from a senior clinical role as a podiatrist to academia and has since achieved national and international recognition for research which focuses on foot health and people’s experiences of foot health interventions including footwear.  Anita’s research is underpinned by its translation into practice and patient care. This has been achieved through contributions to key practice guidelines, and through professional and patient organisation publications.

Anita has published in over 50 peer reviewed journal publications, authored books and has been an invited speaker at more than 40 conferences. All these activities have contributed to increasing the body of knowledge within podiatry and other health professions, industry and within the School of Health Sciences at the University of Salford.  In recognition of her contribution to research, education & practice, she was awarded the Fellowship of the College of Podiatry and the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College Surgeons and Physicians (Glas).

Professor James Woodburn, Griffith University

Professor Jim Woodburn was trained in podiatry, biomechanics and arthritis in Edinburgh, Leeds and the National Institutes of Health and University of Pennsylvania in the USA. He is a podiatrist and clinician scientist with a major interest in diabetes and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. He is a past recipient of highly prestigious UK Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Training (1997-2000) and Clinician Scientist Fellowships (2000-2005). Jim has led on several award-winning European Commission (EU) funded projects and innovative training networks in arthritis and orthotics. His work, as coordinator of the flagship A-FOOTPRINT project, pioneered the development of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for custom orthoses and led to two European-based spin-out companies. More recently he has returned to focus his work on diabetic foot disease, exploiting data science techniques (linkage and geospatial mapping) to identify novel risk factors and the contribution of multiple deprivation to foot ulceration, lower extremity amputation and premature mortality. This work extends into better understanding of the biomechanical basis of ulcer development and off-loading using novel precision-healthcare paradigms. He has attracted over $AUD 24M in external grant funding, successfully supervised 17 PhD students and published over 150 papers.

Miss Lisa Jolly, Project Manager

I have more than 10 years experience in clinical trials. I started in the laboratory, processing study samples and moved into writing laboratory manuals and overseeing the running of trials at the Respiratory Research Facility at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow before I became a Project Manager for the Glasgow Clinical Trials Unit.

It’s my job to support the Chief Investigator and core study team by ensuring the trial has all the necessary approvals and documents. I also ensure the study runs according to the sponsor requirements and engaging with the participating site teams to aid site set up, maintenance and close out. I to look forward to working with my GREAT (every pun intended!) colleagues for the next few years.

When I’m not managing trials, I volunteer in my local community to help run a Brownie group with a very enthusiastic team of leaders and girls.I also enjoy crafting having recently learnt how to knit and sew using a sewing machine.

Miss Aimie Patience, Research Associate, GCU

Aimie studied podiatry at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh before working as a Research Associate at the University of Leeds and Glasgow Caledonian University. She completed the prestigious Arthritis Research UK internship scheme for allied health professionals and has since gained clinical and academic experience working in rheumatology and musculoskeletal health.

Dr Mandeep Sekhon, Research Associate, Kings College London

Mandy is a post-doctoral Research Associate, applying mixed methods research to assess the acceptability, fidelity and feasibility of a gait rehabilitation walking intervention delivered to patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (GREAT trial). As well as working on the GREAT trial, Mandy contributes to the education of undergraduate and postgraduate allied healthcare professional students. 

Mandy completed her PhD in Health Psychology, at City, University of London. The aim of her PhD was to define acceptability in the context of healthcare interventions and to develop a Theoretical Framework of Acceptability that can be applied to assess acceptability qualitatively and quantitatively from two stakeholder perspectives healthcare professionals and patients. 

Mandy's research interests include applying theory and mixed methods to design, implement and evaluate behaviour change interventions across a range of clinical conditions. Specifically, she is interested in advancing acceptability research in the context of healthcare interventions and services. 

Professor Catherine Sackley, Kings College London

Cath is a qualified Physiotherapist, winning a series of 4 personal awards to support her research career. She completed her PhD in 1992 at the University of Nottingham and her 1st appointment as Professor was at the University of Birmingham in 2003. Her research focus is on the rehabilitation of older people with non communicable disease such as; stroke, Parkinson's disease and hip fracture.

Cath's methodological expertise is in the evaluation of complex rehabilitation interventions using mixed methods. he is an experienced trialist with experience of community setting, including care homes.

Dr Yeliz Prior, University of Salford

Yeliz is an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist and a mixed-methods researcher with experience in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Yeliz gained her BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy from the University of Salford, prior to her Ph.D. titled “An Epidemiological Study of Self-Care Restriction and Joint Pain in Community-Dwelling Older Adults” from the Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University. Later, she has also completed postgraduate certificates in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, and Teaching in Academic Practice [PGCAP].

To date, Yeliz has successfully delivered a number of multi-centre RCTs, large observational surveys and qualitative studies supported by funders such as the NIHR, Versus Arthritis, MRC, Public Health England and Royal College of Occupational Therapists. Her current research spans from the management of long term-chronic conditions such as rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, diabetes, foot and ankle rehabilitation, work rehabilitation and the use of digital health technologies and wearables to enable wider access to health information and self-management.

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