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Professor Deborah Falla

Professor Deborah Falla

Chair in Rehabilitation Science and Physiotherapy
Director, Centre of Precision Rehabilitation for Spinal Pain

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Professor Falla is an expert in rehabilitation science and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Her research utilises state of the art electrophysiological measures to evaluate the control of human movement and how it is affected or adapted in response to various states including pain, injury, fatigue and training. Her research interests also include optimising the management of musculoskeletal ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 47253
Email
d.falla@bham.ac.uk

Dr Nicola R Heneghan

Dr Nicola R Heneghan

Senior Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Nicola Heneghan is an expert in musculoskeletal rehabilitation sciences research and postgraduate musculoskeletal/manipulative physiotherapy. Her research is primarily focused to spinal pain and rehabilitation in different populations (trauma, low back and neck pain, athletes etc.) with a specific interest in the thoracic spine pain and dysfunction.  

Telephone
+44 (0)121 415 8367
Email
n.heneghan@bham.ac.uk

Dr Eduardo Martinez-Valdes

Dr Eduardo Martinez-Valdes

Lecturer in Spinal and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Eduardo Martinez-Valdes is an expert in electrophysiology. His research utilizes advanced surface electromyography techniques to study the neuromuscular adjustments behind musculoskeletal disorders, exploring exercise interventions which could potentially improve neuromuscular function. 

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 47253
Email
e.a.martinezvaldes@bham.ac.uk

Dr Alessio Gallina

Dr Alessio Gallina

Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Pain and Rehabilitation

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Gallina’s research focuses on neuromuscular adaptation to musculoskeletal pain and rehabilitation. He is specifically interested in understanding whether and how neuromechanical impairments have a role in the onset and maintenance of pain in chronic musculoskeletal disorders. His work combines electrophysiological and biomechanical techniques to study human movement in people with and ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 47253
Email
a.gallina@bham.ac.uk

Dr Ali Khatibi

Dr Ali Khatibi

Senior Research Fellow in Pain and Neuroplasticity

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Ali Khatibi is interested in the study of cognition and an expert in neuroimaging and the study of human spinal cord. His two lines of research is focused on the study of cognitive bias in the processing of pain and also pain interference with motor learning in human spinal cord.

Telephone
0121 414 4133
Email
khatibim@bham.ac.uk

Dr Shin-Yi (Chloe) Chiou

Dr Shin-Yi (Chloe) Chiou

Lecturer in Motor control and Rehabilitation

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Chiou’s research focuses on studying motor cortical involvement in postural control in healthy and in clinical populations. Her work utilises neurophysiological measures to investigate the control of movement and how it is affected or adapted following central or peripheral injuries. Her research interests also include improving the effectiveness of therapeutic exercises using ...

Telephone
+44 (0) 121 414 2555
Email
s.chiou@bham.ac.uk

Dr Nicola Middlebrook

Dr Nicola Middlebrook

Research Fellow

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Nicola is an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist with a particular interest in pain mechanisms and pain management. Nicola joined the University of Birmingham in 2015 as a Teaching Fellow and a Clinical Tutor in physiotherapy and started her role as a Research Fellow in the Centre of Precision Rehabilitation for Spinal Pain in April 2020.  

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3089
Email
n.middlebrook@bham.ac.uk

Dr Edith Elgueta Cancino

Dr Edith Elgueta Cancino

Research Fellow

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr. Elgueta Cancino’s research utilizes non-invasive brain stimulation and electrophysiological techniques in combination with clinical assessments to understand how the brain controls the movement and the adaptions caused by musculoskeletal disorders and pain.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 58150
Email
e.l.elguetacancino@bham.ac.uk

Dr Masood Mazaheri

Dr Masood Mazaheri

Research fellow

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr. Mazaheri has expertise in Physiotherapy and Human Movement Sciences. His research has specifically focused on understanding how pain, injury and ageing has affected sensorimotor control of human movement. Understanding the role played by cognition in motor control has received special attention in his research. Outcome measurement in physiotherapy is another research interest of Dr. ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 58526
Email
m.mazaheri@bham.ac.uk

Nadège Haouidji-Javaux

Nadège Haouidji-Javaux

CPR Spine Lab Support Technician

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Nadège joined the University of Birmingham and the CPR Spine Team in February 2019. She has obtained a Joint-Masters, both in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering of Medical Systems. Her research interests are broad, but are centered on integrating technology into research. Therefore she is the go-to person to understand how the CPR Spine labs work.

Email
n.c.haouidji-javaux@bham.ac.uk

Sarah Martin

Sarah Martin

Research Centre Administrator

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Sarah Martin joined the University of Birmingham in 2006 and worked as Executive Programmes Administrator for the University’s NHS Management Training Scheme for almost 10 years. Sarah then moved into academic project administration working on large, grant-funded projects in the Schools of Education and Business. Sarah joined the CPR Spine Team in October 2019 as Research Centre ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 7238
Email
s.l.martin@bham.ac.uk

Current students

Matthew Willett

Qualifications:

  • BPHTY
  • MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy, MACP
  • MCSP

Title of research project: Effectiveness of a behavioural physiotherapy intervention for the management of lower limb osteoarthritis.

Matthew qualified in 2002 and has worked extensively in New Zealand, Australia and England. He combines his research and teaching with clinical work as an extended scope musculoskeletal physiotherapist. Matthew’s primary research interests include the neurophysiological and psychosocial aspects of spinal and chronic pain syndromes and the delivery of interventions that optimise patient’s physical activity behaviours.   

Andy Sanderson

Qualifications:

  • BSc Anatomical Sciences

Title of research project: Individual variation in movement and muscular behaviour in reference to Low Back Pain.

Andy joined CPR Spine in 2017 following completion of his undergraduate degree at the University of Dundee. His research interest builds on his knowledge of anatomical variation, by looking changes in muscle behaviour and linking this to variation in movement strategy.

Pauline Kuithan

Qualifications:

  • MSc Sports Physiotherapy,
  • Master of Manual Therapy

Title of research project: Personalised rehabilitation for spinal pain.

Pauline commenced her PhD at CPR Spine in 2017 after three years of teaching at SRH University Heidelberg. She provides clinical expertise in musculoskeletal disorders and sports physiotherapy. Her special interest is in quantitative sensory testing, spinal pain and bridging the theory practice gap.

Feras Alsultan

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physical Therapy, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science (MSRS), Concordia University Wisconsin, United States of America

Title of research project:  Investigating the variability of changes in movement and muscle behaviour in people with neck pain disorders.

Feras earned his BSc in Physical Therapy in 2010.  In 2012, he was awarded a scholarship to continue his higher education abroad. His MSRS programme at Concordia University Wisconsin, completed in 2015, covered advanced rehabilitation techniques and physical therapy research. He is a lecturer at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia.

Louise Fawcett

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • MSc Manipulative Physiotherapy, MACP

Title of research project: Does position affect lumbar spine MRI findings in elite gymnasts? Informing a second embedded clinical study to correlate history and clinical findings with imaging findings.

Louise is a Chartered Physiotherapist with 19 years’ experience working in elite sport. Louise started her PhD in October 2016 due to her clinical interest in spinal pain and improving the long term healthcare of athletes.

Emma Rogers

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • BSc Sport Science and Geography

Title of research project: Early rehabilitation in spinal cord injury: A service evaluation of the spinal cord injury centres in the UK and Ireland

Emma joined the University of Birmingham in January 2018. She is a Chartered Physiotherapist with experience in Neuro rehabilitation.  Emma is currently completing a full time MRes ‘Spinal Pain’ at the University of Birmingham with a research interest within Spinal Cord Injuries.

Ahmed Alalawi

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • MSc Advancing Physiotherapy Practice

Title of research project: Prognosis following whiplash trauma.

Ahmed started his PhD in January 2018.  He is interested in understanding the factors that contribute to the transition from acute to chronic whiplash and how these factors could be modified aiming to establish tailored interventions to those patients.

Tim Noblet

Qualifications:

  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • MSc Orthopaedic/Musculoskeletal Medicine

  • Grad Dip Manual Therapy/MSK Injection Therapy

Title of research project: The use of Independent Physiotherapist Prescribing for Spinal Pain.

Tim is a Lecturer and Consultant Neuro-Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. From 2014-16 Tim was Quality & Advance/Extended Scope of practice professional advisor for the Australian Physiotherapy Association.  Tim has worked in the UK, NZ and Australia within elite sport, tertiary pain management as well as working as an extended scope practitioner in Orthopaedic, Pain and Spinal clinics.  Tim has a keen interest in spinal pain and neuroscience and has lectured both nationally and internationally about complex musculoskeletal rehabilitation and advanced/extended scope practice. 

Tim is currently on Sabbatical in the UK undertaking his PhD investigating the use of independent medicine prescribing by physiotherapists. He is practicing clinically at St George's University Hospitals in London, as part of the physiotherapy and spinal pain teams.

Amal M. Alsubaie

Qualifications:

  • BSc in Physical Therapy (2012), King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Saudi Arabia
  • MSc in Sport and Clinical Biomechanics (2016), Liverpool John Moores University

Title of research project: Trunk Sensorimotor Control in poeple with chronic low back pain (CLBP): performance and flexibilty evaluation during functional and non-functional movements.

Amal started her PhD at CPR Spine in 2019. She is a lecturer in KAU and has been supported by the Saudi Government to continue her higher education since 2014. Her main focus is combining biomechanical and electrophysiological techniques to study human movement in people with and without CLBP.

Ahmad AlDahas

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy (2007), Kuwait University
  • MSc (2018), Cardiff University

Title of research project: Thoracic spine proprioception.

Ahmad graduated from Kuwait Univesrity in 2007 as a physiotherapist then went on to work in sport club clinics and later at the Ministry of Public Health in Al-Sabah Hosptial, Kuwait. Ahmad is currently working on her PhD studying thoracic spine proprioception with Dr Nicola Heneghan.

Erik Thoomes

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy
  • MSc Sports Physiotherapy

Title of research project: Excursion of the median nerve at the wrist and the elbow in patients with cervical radiculopathy with radicular pain and asymptomatic volunteers during a contra-lateral cervical lateral glide movement.

Erik currently combines finishing his PhD study with running a specialized physiotherapy clinic together with his wife in The Netherlands. His research focuses on the clinical diagnosis and conservative management in patients with cervical radiculopathy. His next research project will focus on validating the PSFS 2.0 in patients with CR.

Ros Cooke

Qualifications:

  • MSc Sports Injury Rehabilitation
  • Grad Dip Orthopaedic Medicine
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy

Title of research project: Are Fundamental Movement Qualities in female athletes predictive of injury or availability?

Ros is a Chartered Physiotherapist qualifying in 2003 and working in Birmingham before moving to the English Institute of Sport (EIS) as Lead Physiotherapist for England Netball and then Senior Multisport Physiotherapist. She currently works as Consultant Physiotherapist with EIS and Football Association. Ros completed her MSc at University of Salford in 2014 and since continued to actively research in relation to return to play and lower limb injury. 

Michail Arvanitidis

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy, Technological Educational Institute of Central Greece (Lamia)
  • MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy, MACP, University of Birmingham

Title of research project: Control of trunk muscle force in individuals with and without low back pain: New insights with intramuscular and high-density surface electromyography motor unit decomposition techniques.

Michail successfully completed his MSc in Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham in December 2018. This enabled him to become a member of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP). Since February 2019 he holds a funded PhD position at CPR spine, with his research focusing on studying the neuromuscular control of muscle force in individuals with low back pain by using high-density surface electromyography techniques.

David Jiménez-Grande

Qualifications:

  • BSc Industrial Electronic Engineering and Automation
  • MSc Master in Biomedical Engineering

Title of research project: Classifying Pain through exploring Motor Control of Gait and Posture – A Machine Learning Approach.

David carried out his Master’s thesis and his Bachelor’s degree Project at the Cajal Institute (Madrid, Spain), a neuroscience research centre assigned to the Spanish Research Council (CSIC). Since February 2019, he started a funded PhD position at CPR spine and his research focuses on investigating the application of Machine Learning techniques on human biomedical measurements.

Samia Alamrani

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy, King Saud University , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • MSc Musculoskeletal physiotherapy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

Title of research project: Physical functioning  of adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Samia is a lecturer at the University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. She awarded a scholarship to pursue her study at the University of Birmingham in 2018. Now, her research work is focusing on the Outcome Measures Evaluating Physical Functioning and their Measurement Properties in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Markus Ernst

Qualifications:

  • Physiotherapist, Münster, Germany

  • OMT, (CH)

  • MSc in Physiotherapy sciences, University of Maastricht (NL)

Title of research project: Headaches in office work.

Markus joined CPR Spine in 2019 after receiving a grant to examine neck pain and headache in Switzerland. He works as a  Research fellow at the Zurich University of applied sciences since 2009. His primary research interest is neck pain and related bodily functions.

Alessandro Schneebeli

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • CAS in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Title of research project: Characterization of Achilles tendon and tendinopathy with classic and innovative ultrasound based technology.

Alessandro is a physiotherapist and researcher qualifying in 2011. He works as a physiotherapist in a private practice in Switzerland and is a research fellow in the Research unit (2rLab) of the University of applied Science of Southern Switzerland. Alessandro is currently working on his PhD studying lower limb tendon problems.

Shouq M. Althobaiti

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physical Therapy, Taif University, Saudi Arabia – 2014
  • Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSc), Cardiff University, United Kingdome – 2019

Title of research project: Thoracic spine muscle strength.

Graduated from Taif University as a physiotherapist then went on to work in the same university as a teaching assistant. I have been supported by the Saudi Government to continue postgraduate studies. I obtain MSc and I started my PhD at CPR Spine in 2019. I have an interest in musculoskeletal management with the main focus around measures of thoracic spine muscle strength.

Ignacio Contreras Hernández  

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy, University of Chili
  • MSc Physiology, University of Chili

Title of research project: Neuromuscular and structural tendon adaptations after 6-weeks of either concentric or eccentric exercise in individuals with non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy.

Ignacio Contreras is interested in the study of motor unit behavior and mechanical properties of muscles and tendons in lower extremity injuries. He is mainly focused on understanding the differences in the neuromuscular control of calf muscles and its relationship with the development of non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy.

 

David Matthews

Qualifications:

  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy, MACP 

Title of research project: Neural mechanisms underlying pain interference with motor learning in the human spinal cord.

David has extensive experience as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist and lecturer. His research interests are motor control and learning, the neurophysiology underlying pain/pain experience and Neuroimaging. Since June 2020 he holds a funded PhD position at CPR spine exploring neural mechanisms underlying pain interference in motor learning.

 

Valter Devecchi

Qualifications:

  • BSc Sport & Exercise Science, University of Turin
  • BSc Physiotherapy, University of Turin

  • MSc Osteopathy, University of Verona

  • MRes Spinal Pain, University of Birmingham

Title of research project: Motor control and exercise in people with chronic low back pain.

 Valter is a physiotherapist and sports scientist with two years of clinical experience in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. After a period of research at the Laboratory for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System in Turin, Valter joined the CPR Spine in January 2019 to pursue an MRes in spinal pain. After that, he started a PhD in April 2020.