Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Hannah Lumley

Research Assistant



My current role is Research Assistant for the Stroke Research Group within the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University. I recently graduated with an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from Durham University and, prior to this, graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from Northumbria University.

My degrees provided me with a plethora of research experience. Although I completed many research projects during this time, the most notable were my undergraduate dissertation and Master’s thesis. For my dissertation, I studied the effects of L-tyrosine on cognition during cognitive demand; many challenges were overcome during the process of this project - providing invaluable research experience. Additionally, my Master's thesis on visual working memory elicited even greater challenges; all of which I managed to overcome. The project investigated the capacity limit of visual working memory in terms of the functional architecture of the visual system; with implications that bottom-up processing limitations have a greater contribution than top-down processing limitations.

I am currently involved in the PEARS (Promoting Effective and Rapid Stroke Care) project, encompassing PASTA (Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment) and PEARS 2 and have now gained multidisciplinary experience in stroke research.



BSc (Hons) Psychology

First-Class Honours

Northumbria University



MSc Cognitive Neuroscience


Durham University


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Research Interests

My research interests are in the general field of neuroscience. Initially, I was most interested by basic research; however, I became intent on experiencing a more applied approach to research. Although I enjoy conducting basic research, I feel that more satisfaction is evoked from conducting studies which can be applied to ‘real-life’ issues. This is of particular interest to me in terms of clinical applications as I am extremely motivated to work towards creating ways of ameliorating the suffering of those with clinical conditions. Overall, I am determined to enhance the research literature in the field of neuroscience, with the aim of bridging both basic and applied research.   

Current Work

My current work in stroke research aims to improve patient treatment and therefore outcomes in a variety of ways.

Promoting Effective and Rapid Stroke Care (PEARS)

We aim to increase the efficiency of acute stroke care by implementing various methods to optimise prehospital protocols. This is in view of improving functional outcomes for patients by reducing the time between onset and treatment of stroke and providing the most appropriate treatment.

I am currently working on a scoping review to assess the feasibility of using diagnostic tools suitable for prehospital use to identify stroke and its sub-types.


Objective 1

Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment (PASTA)

The aim is to assess an enhanced paramedic care pathway, conceptualised by the Stroke Research Group, promoting a greater paramedic role in the acute treatment of stroke. Again, this is in view of reducing time to treatment to improve functional outcomes and reduce care costs.

I constructed and distributed a survey to confirm the absence of any extraneous differences between the control, trained intervention and untrained intervention paramedics. The survey also assesses paramedic attitudes towards the PASTA intervention to gauge how these attitudes may affect its implementation.  


Objective 2


The aim of PEARS 2 is to increase thrombectomy provision to eligible patients by optimising the configuration of stroke services.

I have constructed, distributed and am now writing a report on a survey for the helicopter emergency services to assess the feasibility of the use of air-ambulances for secondary transfer of stroke patients to neuroscience centres for thrombectomy. I presented the results of the survey at UK Stroke Forum Conference. I am also leading the patient and public engagement weighting survey within this objective; identifying preferences of patients and the public in terms of trade-offs they would be willing to make between aspects of service configurations. Results are to be used help commissioners interpret the service configuration models (health economic) to inform their decisions on thrombectomy centre locations. I'm also assisting with the design and dissemination of the graphical representations of the PEARS 2 models to commissioners.

Study in Novel Neuro-muscular Imaging Biomarkers for Motor Outcome in Stroke (SINONIMS)

I recently started working on the SINONIMS study which aims to utilise imaging biomarkers to predict motor outcome following stroke. Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) will be used to image white matter integrity in the brain, as well as muscle quality in the lower limb. The study will also examine the interaction between sarcopaenia (age related muscle degeneration) and motor recovery. This is in view of increasing the accuracy of prognosis to allow provision of tailored treatments to suit the rehabilitation needs of individuals.  



Although I have not participated in any formal teaching, I have spent a significant amount of time personally tutoring friends and course mates. This was a particularly frequent occurrence in the context of statistical methods. I also assisted many individuals struggling to conceptualise complex concepts by providing accessible explanations. I have provided writing guidance to many individuals by helping to structure pieces, editing work and transmitting writing skills. The most notable example of this is when the writing skills of an individual with dyslexia dramatically improved after my influence, thereby impacting heavily on his grades. Individuals that I tutored attained excellent grades; this was of particular importance to those whom I assisted with their dissertations in various disciplines. Lastly, during my Master’s thesis, I was asked to tutor an undergraduate student in experimental data collection and feel that I provided valuable insight into the research process.   


  • Lumley H, Flynn D, Coughlan D, McMeekin P, Ford GA, Craig D, Rice S, Burgess D, Balami JS, Mawson A, White PM. Secondary Transfers by Helicopter Emergency Services for Thrombectomy in Rural England: a Feasibility Study. In: UK Stroke Forum 2018. 2018, Telford, UK: International Journal of Stroke.
  • Balami JS, Coughlan D, McMeekin P, White PM, Flynn D, Roffe C, Wiggam I, Flynn P, Chembala J, Natarajan I, Dixit A, Hunter A, Foddy L, Hopkins E, Lumley H, Rice S, Burgess D, Craig D, Buchan AM, Ford GA, Gray A. Case Costing of Mechanical Thrombectomy for Acute Ischaemic Stroke in Routine Clinical Setting: Cost Differences Between Mothership vs Drip and Ship. In: UK Stroke Forum 2018. 2018, Telford, United Kingdom: International Journal of Stroke. In Preparation.
  • Lumley H, Flynn D, Ford GA, Inskip A, McClelland G, Shaw L, White PM, Price CIM. A Review of Technology to Assist with Patient Stratification during the Emergency Assessment of Suspected Stroke. PROSPERO 2018 2018, CRD42018087611. In Preparation.
  • Flynn D, Coughlan D, McMeekin P, Ford GA, Craig D, Rice S, Burgess D, Balami J, Mawson A, Lumley H, White P. Secondary Transfer of Stroke Patients for Thrombectomy by Air Ambulance in England: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. In: European Stroke Organisation Conference. 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden: European Stroke Journal.