ABIRA staff ABIRA staff

Professor Valerie Pomeroy PhD, BA, GradDipPhys, FCSP 

Following qualification as a physiotherapist at the Cambridge School of Physiotherapy and holding a variety of clinical posts Professor Pomeroy obtained a PhD from the School of Medicine, University of Southampton. Between 1996 and 2002 she was Senior Lecturer in Stroke Therapy Research at the University of Manchester and was also Director of The Stroke Association's Therapy Research Unit. Professor Pomeroy holds the position of Professor of Neurorehabilitation and Associate Director of Research for the School of Health Sciences.


Dr Celia Clarke 

After completing BSc in Physiology, at the University of Sunderland, Celia obtained a MRes in Bioengineering at Strathclyde University. Between 2006 and 2010 she was appointed as a research associate at Strathclyde University and completed a PhD. In 2010 she was appointed as a Lecturer in Movement Neurophysiology here at the University of East Anglia.


Dr Nicola Hancock 

Nicola has worked both nationally and regionally to develop stroke rehabilitation services and is currently pursuing an academic career in this field. She is a Lecturer in Physiotherapy at UEA and holds a first class BSc in Physiotherapy from the University of East London, 1992 and a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education from the UEA. Nicola was awarded her PhD in July 2014.  Her recent research has involved investigating reciprocal pedaling exercise after stroke.


Dr Simon Horton 

Simon's research interests stem from his background as a speech & language therapist and have focused on therapy interventions for acquired communication impairments, the enactment of multi-disciplinary stroke rehabilitation, and the long-term impact of stroke for stroke survivors and their families. He has employed a range of designs including single case and small group observational studies, ethnographic, and interview / focus group approaches.


Dr Niamh Kennedy 

Niamh completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queens University Belfast, during this time her particular area of interest was recovery after Brain injury. After she finished her undergraduate degree, she completed two summer research internships at Harvard University and Boston University. After completing her internships she started a PhD in 2006 at Queens University Belfast, following her PhD, she took up a Lectureship in Rehabilitation Neuroscience here at the University of East Anglia.


Kath Mares 

Having qualified as a physiotherapist in 1993, Kath went on to specialized in the management and treatment of people with acquired brain injury, at what is now known as the Specialist Rehabilitation Services (SRS) in Norwich. In 2000 she started work as a Lecturer/Practitioner in Physiotherapy working between the SRS and the University of East Anglia (UEA).



Elizabeth Chandler 

Liz has a MSc (pre-registration) in Physiotherapy (2008, UEA) and a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She first worked as a research scientist at the John Innes Centre before re-training and working as a rotational physiotherapist for the Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust. In 2011 she combined her interests and became a Research Therapist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust working on a UEA clinical trial. She joined UEA as a Research Therapist in 2013.


Claire Havis 

Claire has a BSc Hons degree in Occupational Therapy (2009, UEA). She worked as a Rotational OT for the Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust until 2013, when she became Research Therapist at UEA.




Jess Smith 

Jess has a 1st class BSc Hons degree in Sport Science (2011, Anglia Ruskin University) and joined UEA in 2012 as a Research Technician for the School of Health Sciences. Whilst studying, she gained experience working with elite athletes.




Postgraduate Research Students

Kathryn Collins

Katey gained a MS/BS in Physical Therapy (2003, The Sage Colleges, US) and subsequently worked for the University of Chicago Medicine for 9 years. Over the last 7 years she has focused on neurological rehabilitation and has been a Neurological Clinical specialist since 2008. Katey came to UEA in 2012 as a postgraduate research student. Her PhD research area is upper limb recovery and neuroplasticity after stroke.


Elisabetta Colucci

After Elisabetta graduated in Physiotherapy (2004, Bologna University, Italy) she worked in the field of neurological rehabilitation in Italy.  She came to the UK in 2009 to do a MSc in Advanced Musculoskeletal Practice and Research at UEA to broaden her professional knowledge. She embarked on her PhD in 2010 to devise a new framework for dose-finding trials in the neurological rehabilitation field. Her PhD research area is enhancing clinical practice of motor restorative interventions after stroke and, in particular, issues of training dosage and its optimisation; devising and testing a new trial design and approaches for stroke rehabilitation research.

Ciara Shiggins

Ciara has a BSc in Clinical Speech & Language Therapy (2011, Trinity College Dublin) and co-ordinated aphasia groups in Dublin before moving to UEA to begin her PhD under the supervision of Dr Simon Horton and Prof Valerie Pomeroy. Ciara's PhD research area is Increasing opportunities for functional communication learning in rehabilitation for people with aphasia post-stroke.


Alison Aries

Alison has worked as a Physiotherapist in the NHS for 25 years, in the fields of neurology and rehabilitation, surgical and intensive care and Community  Intermediate Care. She completed a MSc in Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation in May 2003 and has been a lecturer at Keele University since 2003. Alison will begin her NIHR Clinical Academic Fellowship at Keele University under the supervision of Dr Sue Hunter (Keele University) and Prof Val Pomeroy on 1 April 2015 and will be researching sensory stimulation to the lower limb post-stroke.