Dr Grace Turner BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Grace Turner

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
Institute of Applied Health Research
Murray Learning Centre
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Grace is currently undertaking a NIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship and is a Research Fellow for the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC). 

Grace’s primary research interests are focused on the long-term impact of transient ischaemic attack (TIA); optimising stroke prevention; and Patient Reported Outcomes in Primary Care. She is also interested in use of primary care medical records to conduct epidemiological research.

Grace is actively involved in teaching and is a Fellow of the The Higher Education Academy. She also has a number of role supporting early career researchers, including ECRAG co-chair, PERCAT representative and member of the Institute Executive Committee.

Qualifications

  • PGCert Academic Practice (distinction) (2015-2018)
  • PhD in Primary Care Clinical Sciences (2012-2015)
  • MSc Toxicology (distinction) (2008-2009)
  • BSc Human Biology (first) (2005-2008)

Biography

Grace qualified at the University of Birmingham with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Human Biology in 2008 followed by a Distinction MSc in Toxicology in 2009.

Grace took a position as a Research Associate within the Primary Care Department at the University of Birmingham in 2011 where her role was study co-ordinator for a large, national cohort study. She also undertook a secondment at Russells Hall Hospital (Dudley Group NHS Foundation).

 In 2012, Grace was awarded the NIHR School for Primary Care Research PhD studentship. Her PhD research investigated the long-term impact of mini-stroke and missed opportunities to prevent stroke, through a systematic review and two epidemiological quantitative studies.

This research is published in high impact journals, including PLOS Medicine and the European Journal of Neurology, and received media coverage, including articles in the Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, iNews and ScienceDaily.com. The research has informed and is referenced in the Stroke Association’s TIA campaign (2014); the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations (2015); and the NIHR Themed Review of research into the organisation and quality of stroke services (2017). The research was also selected to be published as two NIHR Signals (timely summaries of research relevant to policy makers).

Furthermore, Grace won eight prestigious awards for her PhD research (two NAPCRG Pearls; NAPCRG distinguished paper award; Australian Association for Academic Primary Care presenter award; ESRF Investigator Award; RCGP David Morgan Presentation Prize; NIHR poster prize; and Graduate Research Festival highest scoring abstract).

In 2013, Grace was selected as the only UK candidate to participate in the Canadian training programme TUTOR-PHC (Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research- Primary Health Care), a one-year, interdisciplinary research training program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation.

Grace is currently undertaking a NIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship and is a Research Fellow for the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC).

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Grace is interested in supervising postgraduate research students who plan on using qualitative methods. She has particular expertise in research involving electronic primary care medical records and has an interest in stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) research.

Research

Grace’s research interests are broadly focused on cardiovascular disease, in particular stroke and transient ischaemic attack.

The long-term impact of TIA/minor stroke

Grace is leading a body investigating the long-term impact of TIA (mini-stroke) and minor stroke.

A systematic review invested the prevalence of residual impairments post-TIA and minor stroke. This was published in the European Journal of Neurology and provided evidence for (and is referenced in) the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations: Mood, Cognition and Fatigue Following Stroke practice guidelines (2015). The systematic review also provided evidence for the Stroke Association’s “Not just a funny turn” TIA campaign, which was presented to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Jane Ellison, and debated in the House of Commons. This research was presented at the Primary Health Care Research Conference (Australia, 2014) and received an award from the Australian Association for Academic Primary Care (AAAPC).

A retrospective cohort study of UK electronic primary care medical records investigated the risk of TIA patient consulting their GP for ongoing impairments. The study, published in the European Journal of Neurology, was selected as an NIHR Signal (timely summaries of research relevant to policy makers) and referenced in the NIHR Themed Review of research into the organisation and quality of stroke services. The research also received media coverage in the Daily Mail and was disseminated as a Birmingham Brief.

Grace received funding from the Wellcome Trust ISSF to: conduct qualitative focus groups with TIA/minor stroke patients; establish a Patient Advisory Group of TIA/minor stroke patients; and host a stakeholder engagement event. Through this research, the top 11 stakeholder research priorities for the long-term impact of TIA/minor stroke have been established.

Future research will develop and test an intervention to improve management of residual impairments and patients’ quality of life after TIA and minor stroke.

Missed opportunities for the primary prevention of stroke

A retrospective analysis of primary care electronic medical records investigated missed opportunities for primary prevention of stroke with pharmacotherapy. This research was published in PLOS Medicine and received media coverage in the Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, iNews and ScienceDaily.com. The research also achieved numerous prestigious awards including:

  • European Stroke Research Foundation (ESRF) Investigator Award (2017)
  • NAPCRG Pearl award (2015): NAPCRG conference, Mexico
  • Distinguished paper award (2015): NAPCRG conference, Mexico

Furthermore, the research was selected as an NIHR Signal (timely summaries of research relevant to policy makers).

Subsequent to the findings of this research, we are conducting a systematic review of interventions to increase the prescription of oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Stroke and TIA epidemiology

In collaboration with Public Health England, Grace is working on a study to establish the epidemiology of stroke and TIA in the UK. This research is using The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database, anonymised electronic primary care records, and will address a large gap in the literature.

Other research

Grace is a member of the Centre for Patient Reported Outcomes Research (CPROR) and is co-investigator on a study investigating recording of patient reported outcomes in the management of long-term conditions in primary care, using electronic primary care patient records.

In previous roles, Grace has been study co-ordinator for a national cohort study (FACE TIA) and completed data collection for number of studies: WAVES; Lighten-up; POPS.

Other activities

Leadership roles

  • Member of the Institute Executive Committee
  • Co-chair for the Early Career Research Academic Group (ECRAG)
  • PERCAT representative (Postdoctoral / Early Researcher Career Development And Training)
  • Mentor for postdoctoral researchers

Funding

NIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship (£493,543): SUPPORT TIA: Structured follow-Up Pathway to imProve management Of Residual impairmenTs and patients’ quality of life after Transient Ischaemic Attack and minor stroke: Intervention refinement and feasibility study. 01/01/2018 - 01/01/2020

Clinical Research Network (£10,000): Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in Primary Care. Principal Investigator. 01/11/2018 - 01/08/2019

Wellcome Trust ISSF (£9,418): Long-term impact of transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Principal Investigator. 02/05/2016 - 01/05/2017

Wellcome Trust ISSF (£10,000): The use of patient reported outcomes in the management of long-term, chronic conditions in primary care. Co-applicant, PI: Dr Tom Keeley. 02/05/2016 - 01/05/2017

British Heart Foundation (£300,000): British Heart Foundation CVD Statistical Tender. Co-applicant, PI: Prof Tom Marshall. 07/11/2016 - 04/11/2019

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) (£85,260) NIHR SPCR PhD Studentship Award. 01/09/2012 – 01/09/2015

BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) (£16,000): BBSRC Masters Scholarship. 01/09/2009 – 01/09/2010

Awards/ Prizes

  • Distinguished paper presentation (2015): NAPCRG conference, Mexico
  • Highest scoring abstract for Health and Population Sciences (2015): Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate Research Festival, Birmingham
  • UK candidate for TUTOR-PHC: one-year, national interdisciplinary research training program with Western University, Canada (2014)
  • Second place poster prize (2014): NIHR SPCR Showcase, Oxford
  • First time presenter award (2014): Australian Association for Academic Primary Care, Canberra
  • AstraZeneca Research Prize (2009): Awarded for my MSc thesis 

Society membership

  • Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC)
  • Primary Health Care Scientists (PHoCuS)
  • North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG)
  • Co-chair of the UK and Ireland Special Interest Group for the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL)

Reviewer

  • Reviewer for The Health Improvement Network (THIN) Scientific Review Committee
  • Reviewer for journals, grant applications and conference abstracts

Publications

Turner GM, Calvert M, Feltham MG, et al. Under-prescribing of prevention drugs and primary prevention of stroke and transient ischaemic attack in UK general practice: A retrospective analysis. PLOS Medicine 2016;15(13)e1002169

Turner GM, Calvert M, Feltham MG, et al. Ongoing impairments following transient ischaemic attack: retrospective cohort study. European Journal of Neurology 2016;23(11):1642-50

Moran GM, Calvert M, Feltham MG, Ryan R, Marshall T. A retrospective cohort study to investigate fatigue, psychological or cognitive impairment after TIA: protocol paper. BMJ Open. 2015 May 3;5(4):e008149. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008149.

Moran GM, Calvert M, Feltham MG, Marshall T. Retrospective case review of missed opportunities for primary prevention of stroke and TIA in primary care: protocol paper. BMJ Open. 2014 Nov 11;4(11):e006622. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006622.

Moran GM, Fletcher B, Feltham MG, Calvert M, Sackley C, Marshall T. Fatigue, psychological and cognitive impairment following transient ischaemic attack and minor stroke: a systematic review. Eur J Neurol. 2014 Oct;21(10):1258-67. doi:10.1111/ene.12469.

Moran GM, Fletcher B, Calvert M, Feltham MG, Sackley C, Marshall T. A systematic review investigating fatigue, psychological and cognitive impairment following TIA and minor stroke: protocol paper. Syst Rev. 2013 Sep 8;2:72. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-2-72.

Gheorghe A, Moran G, Duffy H, Roberts T, Pinkney T, Calvert M. Health utility values associated with surgical site infection: a systematic review. Value Health. 2015 Dec;18(8):1126-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2015.08.004.

Parker L, Moran GM, Roberts LM, Calvert M, McCahon D. The burden of common chronic disease on health-related quality of life in an elderly community-dwelling population in the UK. Fam Pract. 2014 Oct;31(5):557-63. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmu035.