Clinical Ageing Research Unit

Staff Profiles

Dr Rachael Lawson

Parkinson’s UK Senior Research Fellow

Background

Current Role

I am the Janet Owens Parkinson's UK Senior Research Fellow leading the Defining delirium and its impact in Parkinson’s Disease (DELIRIUM-PD) study at the Translation and Clinical Research Institute at Newcastle University.


Previous Roles

  • Research Associate on the "Incidence of Cognitive Impairment in Cohorts with Longitudinal Evaluation in Parkinson's Disease (ICICLE-PD)" study.
  • Chief Investigator of the "Identifying delirium in people with Parkinson’s disease (DETERMINE-PD)" study.
  • Co-investigator on the "Structural Retinal Changes: A biomarker for dementia in Parkinson’s disease?" study.
  • Research Assistant on the "Prospective Study of Mood States in Parkinson’s Disease (PROMS-PD)" study .

Other roles

Educational Lead for the Mental Health, Dementia and Neurodegeneration Theme in the Faculty of Medical Science.

Member of the Parkinson's UK College of Experts grant review panel

Steering group member of the Parkinson's Incidence Cohort Collaboration (PICC)

Member of the Critial Path for Parkinson's (CPP) consortium

Member of Dementia Platforms UK (DPUK)

Areas of expertise

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Neuropsychology
  • Delirium
  • Quality of life
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms

Qualifications

  • PhD, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, 2016
  • MSc, Health Psychology, University of Nottingham, 2008
  • BSc, Joint Honours Mathematics and Psychology, 2007

Memberships

  • British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist
  • International and Parkinson Movement Disorders Society (MDS)
  • European Delirium Association (EDA)
  • Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases (DemaNDs) Research Group
  • British Geriatrics Society
Other

Google Scholar

SCOPUS

Brain and Movement (BAM) Research Group

Research

I am the Janet Owens Parkinson's UK Senior Research Fellow. I am currently part of the Brain and Movement (BAM) Research Group led by Professor Lynn Rochester at the Translation and Clinical Research Institute at Newcastle University.

My background is in psychology and my research focus has been in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementias over the last ten years. I have a particular interest in the neuropsychology of Parkinson's disease and delirium. I have an interest in mathematics and statistics, and have an interest in advanced statistics to analyse complex, longitudinal data. I am passionate in research that will ultimately improve the care and quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease. 

Current and previous studies

  • Defining delirium and its impact in Parkinson’s Disease (DELIRIUM-PD), Chief Investigator.
  • Identifying delirium in people with Parkinson’s disease (DETERMINE-PD), Chief Investigator.
  • Incidence of Cognitive Impairment in Cohorts with Longitudinal Evaluation in Parkinson’s Disease (ICICLE-PD), Research Associate. PI: Professor David Burn.
  • Structural Retinal Changes: A biomarker for dementia in Parkinson’s disease? Co-investigator. PI: Professor David Burn.
  • Prospective Study of Mood States in Parkinson’s Disease (PROMS-PD), Research Assistant. PI Professor Ricahrd Brown, local PI Professor David Burn.


Teaching

Teaching and supervision

Educational Lead for the Mental Health, Dementia and Neurodegeneration Theme in the Faculty of Medical Science.

MRes Supervisor for Neuroscience and Medical Science, Newcastle University.

MSc Medical Sciences Project Supervisor, Faculty of Medical Science Newcastle University.

BSc Biomedical Sciences Dissertation Project Supervisor, Faculty of Medical Science, Newcastle University.

MRCPsych Senior Academic Supervisor, Health Education North East, Newcastle University. One current Old Age Psychiatry Higher Trainee.

Undergraduate Summer School Supervisor. Three previous students.

Undergraduate teaching and essay supervisors for PSY1001: Psychological Enquiry, BSc Psychology, Newcastle University.

Guest lecturer: “An Introduction to Qualitative Methods”, Critical Appraisal Module, The Northern Deanery MRCPsych course. Module leader: Dr Sumeet Gupta.


Publications