Specialist collaborators

Alongside our teams at Newcastle University, London School of Economics and The University of Manchester, we utilise the knowledge of a wide range of specialist academics, who are experts in their respective fields, in assisting in the direction and focus of our research.

These specialist collaborators can be found below.

Professor Clare Bambra

Clare Bambra (PhD, FAcSS) is Professor of Public Health. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist with expertise across health politics & policy, health geography and social epidemiology. Her mixed methods research examines the social, political and economic determinants of health inequalities. She has published widely on these topics including several books.

Clare is a Senior Investigator in several large grants: CHAIN: Centre for Global Health Inequalities ResearchFuse: Centre for Translational Research in Public Health; NIHR PRU in Behavioural Science, SIPHER: UKPRP consortium on Systems Science in Public HealthNIHR Applied Research Collaboration – North East and North Cumbria (NE-NC-ARC)NIHR Communities in Control study, and NIHR School for Public Health Research.

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Email: clare.bambra@newcastle.ac.uk

Nicola Brimblecombe

Nicola Brimblecombe is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (formerly Personal Social Services Research Unit) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a mixed-methods researcher whose current main research focus is unpaid carers. This includes studies of unpaid care and paid employment, young adult carers, support for carers, and unmet need among carers. Nicola’s other main research areas are young people’s mental health, impacts over the lifecourse, and health inequalities.

Nicola has worked as a researcher in both the academic and voluntary sector. In addition to the Older People and Frailty Policy Research Unit, she is a member of the Adult Social Care Policy Research Unit.

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Email: n.s.brimblecombe@lse.ac.uk

Adelina Comas-Herrera

Adelina has more than 23 years of experience in methodological and empirical work for policy-makers, civil society and academic audiences. Adelina’s background is in economics (BSc and MSc) and her work has involved analysis of health and long-term care policies, the development of simulation models to make projections of future long-term care needs and expenditure, and work on strengthening health and care system to address the challenges posed by ageing and dementia.

Adelina’s has worked at national level for the UK and other individual countries, and at global level (European Commission, 2016 and 2019 World Alzheimer Reports, World Health Organisation and Interamerican Development Bank).

Adelina’s is currently co-lead of the Strengthening Responses to Dementia in Developing countries project (funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, UKRI), which seeks to build capacity in dementia research, Adelina has gained experience on generating research to support the development of policies to strengthen the health and care systems of countries that are aging rapidly.

More information


Email: a.comas@lse.ac.uk


Professor Dame Nicky Cullum

Nicky Cullum has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Liverpool (The neuronal cytoskeleton in diabetes mellitus) and is a nurse. Nicky gained postdoctoral research experience at the Universities of Surrey, Liverpool and York (where she worked until 2011). In 1995 she founded the world’s first Centre for Evidence Based Nursing at the University of York and co-founded the journal Evidence Based Nursing, published by BMJ Publications and the RCN. She was also a founding member of the Cochrane Collaboration and has been Coordinating Editor of Cochrane Wounds since 1995.

Nicky is an applied health researcher who mainly studies complex wounds, their impact and the care of people who have them. She was appointed Professor of Nursing in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Manchester in September 2011 and was Head of the Division between August 2015 and July 2019.  Nicky is currently Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration for Greater Manchester.

Nicky has been an NIHR Senior Investigator since 2008 (now Emeritus), is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Academy of Nursing and was made a Dame in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to wound care and nursing research.  She also holds an honorary Chair at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

More information


Email: nicky.cullum@manchester.ac.uk


Josie Dixon

Josie is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at LSE, where she leads a range of research on ageing and care, particularly end of life care, dementia care and social care for older people. Areas of research interest include inequalities, personalisation and activation, relational aspects of care and resource and organisational aspects of care. 


Primarily a qualitative specialist, Josie is statistically trained and able to work across a range of methods. She has specific skills in the use of integrated mixed methods, theory of change approaches, the design and evaluation of complex interventions and the conduct of sensitive research. Josie teaches qualitative methods and research ethics.

In previous roles, Josie has directed Government and other nationally-commissioned qualitative and mixed method research projects (up to value £3 million+) and worked with local leaders to improve strategic planning and service provision (through consultancy, research, value for money assessment and inspection). 

Josie holds an MSc Social Research Methods (Distinction, LSE), a BSc Econ Government (First Class Honours, LSE) and is currently studying for a PhD by papers.

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Email: j.e.dixon@lse.ac.uk

Professor Rose Gilroy

Rose Gilroy is a Professor of Ageing, Planning and Policy in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University. Rose is an environmental gerontologist with a special interest in housing and the role that good design can play in supporting a good quality of life. Rose has had funding from ESRC, EPSRC, JRF, Wellcome, etc. She has published widely.

Rose welcomes enquiries from doctoral candidates interested in age friendly communities, participatory design and practices with older people. Rose Gilroy formed a working group in 2016 that has become the Future Homes Alliance Community Interest Company that will build, in Newcastle City Centre, more than 60 dwellings in which people may age well through an offer of adaptable and flexible space.

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Email: r.c.gilroy@ncl.ac.uk



Professor Eileen Kaner

Eileen is a behavioural scientist and a Professor of Public Health and Primary Care Research at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Her research aims to improve health and well-being via interventions to reduce risks due to alcohol, substance use and linked mental health problems. Eileen’s work crosses the life-course and has a strong focus on tackling social disadvantage and reducing inequalities.

Eileen has published 298 papers and won >£56 million in research grants. Eileen’s H index is 47 (i10 is 117) and has achieved 12,060 citations to date. Eileen is the Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration for the North East and North Cumbria, a member of the NIHR Schools of Public Health and Primary Care Research and the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Behavioural Sciences.

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Email: Eileen.kaner@nwcastle.ac.uk


Professor John Keady

John is a mental health nurse who trained at the start of the 1980s. He has worked in dementia care in various contexts and capacities since this time and currently holds a joint appointment between the University of Manchester and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He currently leads the inter-disciplinary Dementia and Ageing Research team and has held grants from a number of funders over the years, including the Alzheimer’s Society, BUPA, NIHR and ESRC.

John was founding and co-Editor of the Sage journal ‘Dementia; the international journal of social research and practice’ [2002-2018] and has been a member of the Alzheimer’s Society Care, Services and Public Health funding stream. John has published consistently in the literature since 1994 and has edited/written 11 books in the dementia/social research methods space. He is a NIHR Senior Fellow and part of the NIHR School for Social Care Research-Manchester.

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Email Address: John.Keady@manchester.ac.uk 

Dr Juliette Malley

Juliette has 15 years of experience conducting research in the area of long-term care policy and practice. She holds a PhD in Social Policy from the LSE and a BA (MA) and MPhil from the University of Cambridge. Juliette’s work to date has focused on England and other high-income countries, with recent studies exploring the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of long-term care funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research and NORFACE under the Welfare State Futures Programme.

Juliette is currently investigating innovation in adult social care, with a grant from the ESRC, and is a member of the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Adult Social Care, the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Policy Innovation and Evaluation, and the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Economics of Health Systems and their Interface with Social Care.

Juliette has particular expertise in the measurement of outcomes, quality and user experience in social care, having been a member of the team that developed ASCOT (a preference-weighted measure of social care outcomes). Juliette has provided advice to the English Department of Health and Social Care, the OECD, NICE and NIHR in these areas.

More information


Email: j.n.malley@lse.ac.uk


Professor James Nazroo

James Nazroo is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, Deputy Director (formerly founding Director) of the Centre of Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), and Co-Director (formerly founding Director) of the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA). Before coming to Manchester in 2006, James was Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL.

James has a significant international profile in two major fields of research (ageing studies and ethnic/race studies), both with a focus on inequalities, with a sustained record of attracting major external research funding. Recently, this has included funding for the ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) and its continuation, ongoing funding for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and funding from the MRC for an interdisciplinary programme of research on inequalities in later life (fRaill). Alongside this, he has published more than 250 pieces, including several policy orientated reports, and he is widely cited (over 18,000 citations and since 2011 over 1,000 a year, h-index of 66, and i10-index of 187 (Google Scholar, October 2019)).

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Email: james.nazroo@manchester.ac.uk

Dr Sheena Ramsay

Clinical Senior Lecturer & Hon Consultant in Public Health

Sheena is a specialist in public health with expertise in epidemiology, health inequalities, oral health and ageing. Her research has been funded by MRC, NIHR, US NIH and charities (BHF, The Dunhill Medical Trust). Sheena is a academic lead for Specialty Training in Public Health in the North East region. Sheena supervises postgraduate research students.

Sheena also is co-lead the ‘Healthy Ageing’ research programme of Fuse (North East Translational Centre for Public Health), and Deputy Lead for Public Health & Health Inequalities at the Population Health Sciences Institute. Sheena is also Vice Chair of the Academic & Research Committee of the Faculty of Public Health.

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Email: sheena.ramsay@newcastle.ac.uk


Professor Thomas Scharf

As Professor of Social Gerontology in the Population Health Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, Thomas can draw on almost 30 years of research activity in the study of social aspects of ageing. Thomas’s research has a particular focus on multi-dimensional forms of social exclusion in later life. He has held teaching and research posts at Bangor University, Keele University, the University of Applied Sciences in Worms, Germany, and NUI Galway, Ireland.

Thomas is currently President of the British Society of Gerontology and holds a visiting professorships at NUI Galway and Keele University. Thomas sits on the Advisory Board of the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) and is Vice-Chair of the ROSEnet COST Action.

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Email: thomas.scharf@ncl.ac.uk 


Gindo Tampubolon PhD

Gindo brings quantitative methods to studying healthy ageing in America, Britain and Europe using large ageing surveys and genetic data. Gindo’s work has been funded by the ESRC, BBSRC, MRC, NIHR, UK Equality & Human Rights Commission, European Horizon2020, Australia National Health and Medical Research Council. Gindo is an associate editor for BMC Geriatrics. He authored papers on quality of life, inflammation, healthy ageing phenotype, cognitive ageing and long arm of childhood condition.

Gindo’s students (13 completed, none failed) were funded by the ESRC, BBSRC and others. Two of which are now study housing history and wellbeing in Britain, and cognition and allostatic load in older Chinese. Gindo is a deputy director of Rory & Elizabeth Brooks doctoral college at the Global Development Institute.

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Email: tampubolon@manchester.ac.uk


Professor Martin Tickle

Martin Tickle is Professor of Dental Public Health & Primary Care at the University of Manchester. He was academic lead for the Population Health & Implementation Domain of Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and recently stepped down from the role of Director of the Institute of Population Health at the University of Manchester after serving a 3-year term.

After graduation from Liverpool University he worked as a General Dental Practitioner in a deprived inner city area. Following spells in hospital and community services he completed NHS specialist training in Dental Public Health in 1998 and was awarded his PhD from the University of Manchester in 1999. In 2000 he was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester and the first Consultant in Dental Public Health for Manchester. In 2003 he was awarded a National Institute of Health Research Career Scientist award, the only dentist to receive this prestigious award. 

Martin was previously dental lead for Greater Manchester and the North West Strategic Health Authorities. Professor Tickle has received over £14 million in research grants in the last 10 years and has more than 150 peer reviewed publications. His research interests are wide ranging and include evaluation of interventions at population, service organisation and clinical levels to improve the evidence-base of dentistry and the health of patients and the public.

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Email: martin.tickle@manchester.ac.uk

Dr Adam Todd

Adam is a Reader in Pharmaceutical Public Health at Newcastle University.  He is also a qualified pharmacist, and works clinically in a number of settings, including the community and in hospice care.  

Adam is interested in how older people use medicines; specifically, his research explores the harms of polypharmacy, medicine optimisation and deprescribing. Adam sits on a number of funding panels in this regard, including the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit, Health Technology Assessment prioritization committee, and Pharmacy Research UK scientific advisory committee.  Adam is also the Deputy Head of School for the School of Pharmacy at Newcastle, and is responsible for teaching undergraduate students about the benefits and harms of using medication in older people.

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Email: adam.todd@newcastle.ac.uk


Professor Arpana Verma

Arpana is Head of the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care, Director of Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health (MUCH) previously a WHO Collaborating Centre (2015-19) and honorary Consultant in Public Health at PHE.

Arpana is part of University cross-Faculty research and policy institutes and initiatives including Manchester Urban Institute (previously cities@manchester), policy@manchester and MERI. Arpana is currently the Programme Director for the Masters in Public Health and MRes in Public Health/Primary Care. Arpana was the principle investigator (PI) of the European Urban Health Indicator System project (EURO-URHIS 2) funded by DG Research under the FP7 programme (http://www.urhis.eu/), and also the founding president of the European Public Health Association section on Urban Health until 2018.

Arpana is also PI on a number of health service research projects, primarily in hepatitis C and blood borne virus prevention, infection control, immunisation including MMR and HPV vaccine. Arpana also runs training events for public health professionals including the Public Health Grand Rounds, International Festival of Public Health and President of the 11th International Conference on Urban Health 2014.

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Email: arpana.verma@manchester.ac.uk


Professor Martin J Vernon

Martin is qualified in medicine 1988 University of Manchester and working as a Consultant Geriatrician in Greater Manchester and has membership of Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) 1993. Martin completed training as a Geriatrician and General Internal Physician CCT 1998 and has a MA in Medical Ethics and Law 1998  King’s College London.

Along with being a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians (London) 2003. Martin is a visiting Professor at the University of Chester since 2016 and teaches healthcare ethics and law to masters level at University of Salford. Alongside this, Martin was the National Clinical Director for Older People NHS England and Improvement 2016 to 2020.

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Email: Martin.vernon2@nhs.net


Professor Miles Witham

Miles is a Professor of Trials for Older People, Newcastle University; Consultant Geriatrician, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust. Miles’s major research areas focus on improving physical function and quality of life for older people, using clinical trials, health informatics and other methodologies, and with a particular focus on frailty, sarcopenia and multimorbidity. His research has been funded by NIHR, the Scottish Government, and a range of charities including BHF, Diabetes UK and Dunhill Medical Trust. He is National Specialty Lead for the NIHR Ageing Clinical Research Network, and am an NIHR spokesperson on ageing and multimorbidity. Miles has 170 peer-reviewed publications; H-index 28.

Miles is a deputy editor for Age and Ageing journal. Miles teaches undergraduate medical students, postgraduate students, and is co-founder of a range of Introduction to Research courses, run by Tayside Academic Science Centre, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre. Miles is the deputy lead for the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre Ageing theme, and Ageing lead for the Newcastle MedTech and Diagnostics In-vItro Collaborative (MIC). Along with maintaining an interest in global health, with collaborations in South Africa, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Zambia.

More Information


Email: Miles.Witham@newcastle.ac.uk


Professor Alys Young

Alys is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Manchester, UK, and Senior Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research.  As an applied social scientist, her primary research focus has been on deafness and sign language. Alys’ work has been continually funded for the past 25 years through UKRI and third sector sources.

Alys has lead the sign bilingual research group SORD (SOcial Research with Deaf people) at the University of Manchester and is a distinguished visiting professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. In 2015 Alys was conferred FAcSS for leadership in social work and in deaf studies and in 2016 won the Times Higher Education award for outstanding research supervisor of the year. Alys is also the University of Manchester lead for disability equalities.

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Email: alys.young@manchester.ac.uk



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