Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Andrew Bateman, Dr. Lesley Thompson, and Dr. Caroline Alexander to speak at our PRS 2021 Conference this year!

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Dr. Andrew Bateman

Dr. Andrew Bateman

Research routes to patient benefit: Expect Diversions along the way!

This lecture will include a motivational  message for all conference participants! I will help you think about creating your own pathway through the research jungle that leads to your vision for patient benefit. During this interactive presentation  I will reflect on my own research journey, provide some analyses of current funding streams and we will specifically explore opportunities available through the National Institute Health Research.  Make sure your phones/tablets/laptops are charged,  so you can take part in the fun polling activities and tweets! Sign up to twitter (if you haven't already) for further material related to this talk.

More about Andrew Bateman:

I have worked in research and clinical rehabilitation since 1990, the year I qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist (East London). I completed a PhD in Neuropsychology in 1997 (Birmingham). I led research in East London for a few years before moving to an NHS management role - where  I led the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (Ely, UK) 2002-19. I am interested in wide range of topics current projects include helping clinical teams to develop their research strategy,  access to sport after brain injury, lobbying for policy changes to support rehab, executive functions assessment and rehab, assistive technology, social media in rehabilitation, & occasionally indulging myself in the world of Rasch Analyses and rehab outcome data analysis. I  am now a Reader at the School of Health and Social Care, and have taken up the post of Director of NIHR Research Design Service East of England. I am also an Affiliated Lecturer in Dept of Psychiatry (University of Cambridge), Past President of The Society for Research in Rehabilitation; and Chair of the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum. See twitter @DrAndrewBateman for news.


Dr. Lesley Thompson MBE

Dr. Lesley Thompson

Twists and turns

My own career has been punctuated by a number of forks in the road although looking back all were eventually positive. From a research start I worked for a funder and now work for a multinational. Through telling my story, I hope to provide a pause for thought and the opportunity for you to consider your motivations, passions and reflect on a very different career path.

More about Lesley Thompson:

Dr Lesley Thompson joined Elsevier in 2016 as Director Academic & Government Strategic Alliance in the UK. At Elsevier she is responsible for building strong collaborative partnerships with the UK Research Base.

Prior to joining Elsevier, Lesley worked for 26 years at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, EPSRC, the largest of the UK’s 7 Research Councils. In 2006 she was appointed Research Director, responsible for the strategy and delivery of the scientific programme, with an annual budget of £800 M. She drove the quality of the research portfolio as well as fostering the collaboration with industry. EPSRC’s collaboration with industry grew from 12 to 54% from 1994 to 2015 while the international research standing grew ensuring the portfolio delivered Excellence with Impact. During her time in EPSRC, Lesley introduced a number of innovations including; Ideas Factories, designed to encourage radical thinking with funding available to enact research following a sandpit in a research area; Discipline Hopping enabling academics to take time out in another discipline and cohort based doctoral training growing the investment of 2 centres in 2001 to 115 centres in 2014.

She has always championed early career researchers, interdisciplinary research and diversity. She is a former member of the Royal Society Diversity group, a member of Keele University Council and Chair of the Oxfordshire Innovation Board. In January 2016 was awarded an MBE for services to research. Lesley has a PhD in Biology from the University of Essex and is married with 2 children.


Dr. Caroline Alexander

Dr. Caroline Alexander

Integrating research into clinical practice: how can we achieve this?

As a profession, we have struggled to create clinical academic career structures however, I will talk about how I have been carving out a career mixing clinical and research activity sitting within a healthcare organisation. I hope that this will give you ideas about how to do the same or support others to mix the two. Clinical academics bring benefits for the patients, organisation, departments as well as ourselves. Finally, I’ll talk about how we have structured the support of our clinicians doing research at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust with the aim of sparking your own ideas of how this can be developed where you work.  See Twitter @CMarthaAlex for further updates.

More about Dr Caroline Alexander:

Caroline Alexander is the Lead Clinical Academic for Therapies at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Adjunct Reader. She has a Motor Control Laboratory situated in the Physiotherapy Department of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She is also a member of the Human Performance group in the Department of Surgery and Cancer led by Alison McGregor (Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics, Surgery & Cancer).

She received her Physiotherapy Professional Qualification in 1987 from Guy’s Hospital School of Physiotherapy,  her MSc in Advanced Physiotherapy and PhD in Physiology from University College London in 1994 and 2002 respectively. She has held a position as a clinical specialist and researcher within the Physiotherapy Department of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust since 2003.  

Her research interests include investigation of the cortical and reflex control of movement using transcranial magnetic stimulation and electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves. She is particularly interested in the control of movement in healthy people and in people with musculoskeletal problems such as Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and shoulder instability.

She is a member of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, the Health and Care Professions Council, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Physiological Society and the Society for Neuroscience, and is the Treasurer of the London hub of the Council for Allied Health Professional Research. She is also a Physiotherapy Advocate for the National Institute of Health Research. The Advocates are a cohort of passionate and proactive researchers working both individually and as a group to act as ambassadors for health research careers, promoting the NIHR training and career opportunities and supporting and advocating for non-medical professions and for individuals who wish to begin or continue a research career. See 

She is an NIHR mentor for non-medic clinical academics and supervises BSc, MSc, MRes and PhD projects undertaken at Imperial College and other universities nationally.

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