Academic Partnerships: Manchester Metropolitan University Institute of Sport – Patient PREHAB and REHAB Research networking event

MMU IoS - student working on a patient.

Health Innovation Manchester has a thriving portfolio of activities, with a large portion of this activity harnessing the excellence in academia and research that Greater Manchester has to offer, in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation and repair, women and children, mental health, neuroscience and applied health and care.

The Academic Partnerships team support and nurture relations with Health Innovation Manchester’s four Higher Education Institutions (HEI) partners, including the University of Salford, University of Bolton, Manchester Metropolitan University, and The University of Manchester, to maximise Greater Manchester’s research and academic capacity and capability.

In this blog, the Academic Partnerships team reflect on their attendance at the Manchester Metropolitan University Institute of Sport – Patient PREHAB and REHAB Research networking event, which took place on 28th February 2023.

The best ideas often happen over a cup of coffee, where a casual conversation can spark a lightbulb moment that makes you think about a challenge differently or connects you with a fresh perspective that could just help assemble the missing pieces of the creative puzzle.

This is exactly why the Institute of Sport – Patient PREHAB and REHAB Research networking event proved to be a fantastic evening, bringing together expertise across academia, the NHS and Industry to explore new collaborations.

Based on the dynamic Oxford Road corridor within the 3rd Floor of the Institute, the modern and versatile seminar room was the perfect setting to explore collaborations and valuable research-building opportunities in key research areas including Neuroscience, Cardiac and MSK.

We were greeted with a warm welcome and generous hospitality from the team who were bursting with energy and enthusiasm to share their research interests, showcase the facilities of the Institute and discover areas of interest, complementarity, and potential research activity across Greater Manchester and beyond.

The event started with a welcome speech from Professor Tim Cable and Professor Jamie McPhee, who outlined how the institute unites expertise from across Manchester Metropolitan University, making connections far beyond any one field, opening doors to new collaborations and creating a wealth of opportunities. It was exciting to hear how the institute is going from strength to strength and aiming to push back the frontiers across health, movement, and performance as well as harnessing the transformative power of sport and activity to address major health-related challenges.

Fascinating research talks followed, providing an insight into the range of research interests and activity on campus by the growing team of dedicated academics focussed on combatting the most pressing healthcare issues affecting the Greater Manchester population.

Presentations covered an impressive breadth of expertise across the Institute:

  • Dr Stefan Birkett discussed prehabilitation, integrating in-patients into a cardiac rehabilitation programme and preparing to improve fitness for surgery.
  • Dr Kelly Bowden Davies presented her areas of research within metabolism and obesity, and time-restricted eating.
  • Dr Kat Daniels discussed research interests within biomechanics, human movement, health ageing, physical activity, and nutrition.
  • Dr Nathan Hodson presented cell-based models to investigate skeletal muscle.
  • Dr Aneurin Kennerley provided an interesting talk on neuro, cardiac and MSK MRI

Guided tours of the facilities followed, providing the chance for the academics across the Institute to showcase the state-of-the-art 3T MRI, DXA and pQCT imaging, hypoxia chamber and CPET testing, advanced Gait and Human Movement Labs alongside cell and molecular biology facilities, enabling vital research into disease processes and patient prehabilitation and rehabilitation.

The evening proved to be an excellent opportunity for attendees to network and discuss collaborative opportunities in a wide variety of areas. The talks highlighted the thriving portfolio of activity and how passionate the team are to forge collaboration across the region. The Academic Partnerships team are keen to support these collaborations by connecting partners with the Institute to build meaningful partnerships that provide opportunities and produce impactful research into the most pressing healthcare challenges.

It’s clear how the £26m infrastructure is a hugely positive addition to the Manchester Met campus representing diverse and dynamic teaching and world-leading research. We look forward to hearing how the Institute goes from strength to strength over the coming months and years and strongly urge a visit if you want to learn more.

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