My main research interest is in the modulation of the inflammatory response following stroke. This work has led on from the ground breaking work of Professors Nancy Rothwell and Stuart Allan and their teams over many years, and has now been translated into clinical trials with the help from many colleagues but particularly the Stroke Research team at Salford Royal Foundation Trust. A phase 3 study of IL-1Ra in subarachnoid haemorrhage will be ready to start in 2017, and a phase 2 study of IL-1Ra in acute ischaemic stroke has just completed with results due early 2017. Other research interests include how services are organised (NIHR HS&DR study); how stroke needs are assessed in the community (GM CLAHRC studies), and longer term rehabilitation needs of people with stroke. My academic colleagues continue to develop this research programme, with Professor Craig Smith leading on pneumonia prevention and infection following stroke, Dr Adrian Parry-Jones leading on a ground breaking programme of research in ICH, Professor Audrey Bowen leading a programme on cognition and language after stroke, and Professor Sarah Tyson leading on studies of balance and gait after stroke.
As lead for a translational programme of stroke research I have expertise in the design and conduct of difficult clinical trials in vulnerable groups, together with observational studies of inflammatory markers in plasma and CSF. I am aware of many of the pitfalls and difficulties of biomarker studies particularly inflammatory biomarkers. I have expertise in the design of imaging (MR and PET) studies in cerebrovascular disease, and in the basic science underlying the translational aspects of my work.
I have experience in the adoption, design and conduct of a wide variety of RCTs and other well designed studies in stroke and subarachnoid haemorrhage. I have expertise in patient and public involvement through the clinical and research networks, and am frequently asked to talk to public groups about both research and clinical practice.
I have extensive clinical expertise in acute stroke and stroke rehabilitation, with a very active clinical practice including 24/7 cover for acute interventions, and I am nationally recognised as an expert in stroke care. I wrote the NICE Acute Stroke and TIA guideline in 2008, and I am lead for SSNAP, the national stroke audit. I have expertise in stroke rehabilitation studies, particularly dysphagia studies, as well as a specific interest in post stroke pain. I have expertise in implementation research and I am familiar with the role of qulaitative research in rehabilitation studies.