Funding boost for pioneering stroke rehabilitation research

A Keele academic’s research into new ways of helping stroke patients is set to develop even further after she secured two prestigious awards from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Dr Alison Aries, a Lecturer in the School of Allied Health Professions and a Clinical Academic at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, has been successful in achieving a Clinical Research Network scholarship, as well as a Clinical Academic Post-doctoral fellowship, from the NIHR.

Both of these awards will allow her to continue her research which is focused on the neurological rehabilitation of stroke patients. In particular, her research explores the importance of sensory stimulation of the lower limb, especially the foot, to facilitate motor activity and improved function after stroke.

Dr Aries first became interested in this area through her work as a physiotherapist and led a study on the topic for her PhD which yielded positive results. Her study highlighted the potential for taking this work further to a larger trial to assess the effectiveness of these interventions, and thanks to these new awards she will be able to further develop her research skills and ideas in this field.

Dr Aries thanked her colleagues, including her lead PhD supervisor Dr Sue Hunter, for their help in moving this research forward and said: “I feel very proud to have achieved these two awards; I now feel confident I can take this important research forwards, with a view to improving quality of life for stroke survivors in the future.”