Dr Janet Deane BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Janet Deane

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Associate Professor in Rehabilitation Science and Physiotherapy

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Janet Deane is passionate about research and uses digital technology to understand the mechanisms underpinning musculoskeletal conditions to facilitate the development of effective physiotherapy treatments for patients with chronic pain. 

Dr Deane was awarded a Versus Arthritis Clinical Doctoral Fellowship to complete her PhD at Imperial College London and was the first Physiotherapist to be appointed as an NIHR Clinical lecturer (IAT) (a position traditionally reserved for medics and dentists) at the University of Manchester. 

Dr Deane is keen to enhance research capacity and the capabilities of the next generation of researchers.  To this end, she has played leading roles in research education, national AHP research strategy delivery and has developed NHS infrastructure to support healthcare professionals in research.


  • PhD Clinical Biomechanics, Imperial College London
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) (HEd.), King’s College London
  • MSc Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice and Research, University College London
  • MSc Allied Health Professional Leadership, University of Hertfordshire
  • BSc Honours Degree in Physiotherapy, King’s College London
  • BSc Honours Degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences (Physiology Major), University College Cork, Ireland.


Dr Deane originally qualified as a biological and chemical scientist (Physiology major) in University College Cork, Ireland, where her work in organ and cellular research inspired her interest in translational medicine and human performance.  In 2001, she graduated as a Physiotherapist from King’s College London, working as a senior musculoskeletal specialist fulfilling roles in the NHS (Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospital), charitable organisations (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) and the private sector where she applied an evidence-based approach to patient management and gained a unique insight into arthritis and chronic spinal pain, which have become key research interests.

Dr Deane subsequently qualified with a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice from King’s College London and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), undertaking Musculoskeletal Lectureship roles in both BSc and MSc Physiotherapy programmes at University College Limerick, Ireland and King’s College London. Dr Deane is an experienced supervisor and has supported BSc, MSc and doctoral student research at the University of Manchester and Leeds, King’s College London, University College London, Imperial College, the University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

A prestigious Clinical Doctoral Fellowship award from Versus Arthritis enabled Dr Deane to undertake a PhD in Clinical Biomechanics at Imperial College London. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of Lumbar Disc Degeneration and chronic low back pain by evaluating biomedical sub-classifiers for this condition using MRI, kinematic and EMG analysis methods.

In 2020, Dr Deane became the first Physiotherapist to be appointed as an NIHR Clinical lecturer (IAT) by the University of Manchester, whilst playing leading roles in the development of the Manchester Clinical Academic Centre, to build NHS AHP research capacity and capability, and in the delivery of the National Allied Health Professional research strategy. 

Dr Deane has been privileged to present and publish her research nationally and internationally, winning several research awards including, the ‘New Investigator Award’ and ‘Secretary’s Award’ from the Society of Back Pain Research UK, the European Society of Biomechanics Student Awardand more recently, the ‘Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Research Development Award’ from the University of Manchester. 

Following her appointment as Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham in 2022, Dr Deane continues to maintain strong research links in an honorary capacity with the University of Manchester and Imperial College London and well as national and international collaborators. Through executive membership of grant committees (NIHR Health Technology Assessment) and societies (the Society for Back Pain Research U.K.), Dr Deane is committed to support innovative research for patient benefit.


As an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Science and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham, Dr Deane supports and leads undergraduate and postgraduate education related to her area of expertise and research interests.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Deane currently supports a range of healthcare professionals and scientists in doctoral research and is interested in supervising doctoral students in the following areas:

  • Musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Supported self-management
  • Personalisation of care
  • Mechanisms
  • Spinal pain
  • Wearable technology
  • Digital health
  • Remote monitoring
  • Efficacy of physiotherapy interventions for chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • Rehabilitation 

If you are interested in studying any of these subject areas, please contact Dr Deane using the contact details above.


Research interests include:

  • Musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Supported self-management
  • Personalisation of care
  • Mechanisms
  • Wearable technology
  • Digital health
  • Remote monitoring
  • Efficacy of physiotherapy interventions for chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • Rehabilitation

Other activities

Committee and Board membership:

  • NIHR HTA (Health Technology Assessment) Committee (2021-present)
  • Chief Executive Committee member for the Society for Back Pain Research UK (2018-present)
  • Research Sub-committee for the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (2019-present)
  • AHP Divisional Board Research and Innovation Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) (2020-2022)
  • NMAHP Research Operational Committee University of Manchester (2020- 2022)
  • NMAHP Research Strategic Committee University of Manchester (2020-2022)
  • PhD Chair for Council of Allied Health Professions Research Committee London Hub (2016-2020)

National/International body membership:

  • The Health and Care Professions Council (2001-present)
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (2001-present)
  • Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (2006-present)
  • Council for Allied Health Professionals in Research (2013-present)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2012-present)

Grant reviewer:

  • NIHR Health Technology Assessment trainee reviewer (2021-present)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) invited reviewer (2019-present)
  • NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) invited reviewer (2019-present)

Journal reviewer:

  • BMJ Open
  • Musculoskeletal Science and Practice
  • Physiotherapy
  • BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation.

Honorary positions currently held:

  • Senior Research Fellow, The University of Manchester (2022-present)
  • Research Associate, Imperial College London (2019-present)

Previous positions held:

  • NIHR Clinical Lecturer (IAT) | University of Manchester (2020-2022)
  • AHP Research and Innovation lead | Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (2020-2022)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate OATech+ Network | Cardiff University and Imperial College London (2019-2020)
  • Versus Arthritis Clinical Doctoral Fellow | Imperial College London (2013-2019)
  • Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy | King’s College London (2009-2013)
  • Junior Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy | University of Limerick, Ireland (2008-2009)
  • Research Physiotherapist | Imperial College London (2007-2008)
  • Band 6 & 7 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist | Guy’s and St.  Thomas’ NHS Trust, London (2003-2007)
  • Band 5 Physiotherapist | Bon Secours Hospital, Cork, Ireland (2001-2003)


Recent publications


AlDahas, A, Heneghan, NR, Althobaiti, S, Deane, JA, Rushton, A & Falla, D 2024, 'Measurement properties of cervical joint position error in people with and without neck pain: a systematic review and narrative synthesis', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, vol. 25, no. 1, 44. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-023-07111-4

AlDahas, A, Devecchi, V, Deane, JA & Falla, D 2024, 'Responsiveness of the cervical joint position error test to detect changes in neck proprioception following four weeks of home-based proprioceptive training', PLOS One, vol. 19, no. 5, e0303066. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0303066

Thompson , K, Milligan, J, Briggs, M, Deane, JA & Johnson, MI 2023, 'A qualitative study to explore the acceptability and feasibility of implementing person-focused evidence-based pain education concepts in pre-registration physiotherapy training', Frontiers in Pain Research, vol. 4, 1162387. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpain.2023.1162387

Chen, Z, Falla, D, Elgueta Cancino, E & A Deane, J 2023, 'Can baseline features predict a reduction in pain and disability following neck-specific exercise in people with chronic non-specific neck pain?: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol', BMJ open, vol. 13, no. 7, e074494. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2023-074494

AlDahas, A, Devecchi, V, Deane, JA & Falla, D 2023, 'Measurement properties of cervical joint position error in people with and without chronic neck pain', PLOS One, vol. 18, no. 10, e0292798. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0292798

View all publications in research portal