My research programme focuses upon the integrity of the autonomic nervous system in health and disease, specifically the role of autonomic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of fatigue and its clinical consequences, namely cognitive impairment. Examining the integrity of the ANS in humans is established in my physiology laboratory using relatively simple, inexpensive, non-invasive technologies that allow evaluation of a wide range of parameters that will within the foreseeable future (i.e. in my career life time) be readily transferable into therapeutic interventions for patients. Developing and validating novel methodologies to determine subtle abnormalities in autonomic dysfunction and its consequences is the major aim of my research.
March 2008 to July 2014: Clinical Professor of Ageing and Medicine, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University; and Honorary Consultant Physician, Royal Victoria Infirmary.
August 2014 onwards: Clinical Professor of Ageing and Medicine, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University; and Honorary Consultant Physician, Royal Victoria Infirmary.
MB BS with Honours: June 1990
Diploma of Medical Science: July 1995
PhD: July 1998
CCST Geriatric Medicine and General Internal Medicine: April 2000
FRCP(UK): January 2003
March 2006 to March 2008: Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician
January 2000 to March 2006: Consultant Geriatrician, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle and Honorary Senior Lecturer in General and Geriatric Medicine, University of Newcastle.
August 1998 to January 2000: Specialist Registrar in Geriatric and General Internal Medicine, Northern Deanery.
August 1995 to August 1998: Clinical Research Associate, Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Newcastle.
Full member of the British Geriatric Society
Full member of the Association of Physicians for GB and Ireland and Executive Member
Member of the Association of Physicians of Region No 1
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
Sunderland Prize 1989 for communication skills.
British Geriatric Society Elizabeth Brown prize 1997 for the best scientific presentation.
Prize for the best scientific paper at the First International Meeting of Upper Gastrointestinal Disease in the Elderly, Vicenza, Italy, 1998.
Winner of Best Scientific Presentation at School Research Day 1999.
Best Poster Prize, British Geriatrics Society Meeting 2002.
European Association for the Study of the Liver, Travel Fellowship, 2002.
Vice Chancellors Distinguished Teacher 2010
Newcastle University Innovation Award 2010
Newcastle University Learning and teaching Excellence Awards - Research Supervisor of the Year 2012
Autonomic function in health and disease, particularly in understanding the pathogenesis of fatigue.
MAJOR RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
a) To describe for the first time the role of autonomic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of fatigue in PBC.
b) To identify excessive daytime sleepiness as a cause of fatigue in patients with PBC, and for the first time to be able to offer patients an effective intervention.
c) To confirm that autonomic dysfunction is prevalent in CFS/ME and has potential as a diagnostic biomarker in this disease.
d) To confirm that cognitive impairment is associated with fatigue in PBC and that this is related to autonomic dysfunction, therefore offering the potential for early identification and intervention for those at risk of cognitive decline.
i) The role of autonomic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of fatigue in PBC and other liver diseases.
ii) The role of autonomic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of cognitive impairment in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
iii) The role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of fatigue -
iv) The relative contributions of central and peripheral mechanisms to the pathogenesis of fatigue in PBC
v) Peripheral manifestations of autonomic dysfunction in PBC
vi)The role of autonomic function and psychological factors in the fatigue of PBC
vii) The role of autonomic dysfunction in the pathogenesis and severity of fatigue in CFS/ME
Dean of Clinical Medicine and Associate Medical Director for Research in Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
This research is funded by Action for ME and the Newcastle NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing and Age-Related Disease.