Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Karen Davies

AGE Resource Manager


I joined the university in January 2002, taking up a central role in the design and management of the flagship MRC-funded Newcastle 85+ study (pilot study: (2003-2004) - main study: baseline (2006) - phase 4 (2014)), along with EU-funded research examining genetic influences of longevity (the Genetics of Healthy Ageing [GEHA] project). 

Since 2015 I have been part of the Ageing Geriatrics & Epidemiology (AGE) research group (AGE resource manager since 2016), lead by Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, within the Institute of Neuroscience. The multidisciplinary research undertaken by this group focuses on the role of skeletal muscle in ageing, health and disease across the life course, particularly in relation to the geriatric syndromes of sarcopenia and frailty.

During my career to date I have accumulated an integrated set of distinctive clinical and research skills relevant for multi disciplinary ageing research and acquired deep knowledge of the practical and ethical considerations of engaging older individuals in research. I have provided frequent advice to internal and external research groups and participated in discussions with an MRC-convened committee around the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act.


Resource Manager of the Ageing Geriatrics & Epidemiology (AGE) research group, led by Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, within the Institute of Neuroscience.  The primary focus of this group is given to improve the health and healthcare of older people across the lifecourse through interdisciplinary research and clinical practice.

Role as local PI on the CiC MRC-funded Muscle and Ageing Science Study (MASS). This study aimed  to and successfully delivered:  

  1. assess the feasibility and acceptance of examining sarcopenia using detailed imaging scans, muscle biopsy and novel measures of muscle health in a very old community dwelling population group ( n 19 participants aged 85 sucks fully recruited)
  2. evaluate findings, describe their association with muscle structure, strength and physical performance from detailed health profiling
  3. provide essential data for planned future substantive research

Currently plans to develop findings from MASS are underway.