Physiotherapy professor awarded prestigious fellowship

An academic from the University of Plymouth has received one of his profession’s top honours after being made a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. 

Professor Jonathan Marsden, Associate Head of Research in the University’s School of Health Professions, received the award in recognition of his contribution to research and education.

With more than more than 70 publications in top scientific journals, Professor Marsden is a leading researcher in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, as well as the treatment of walking and muscle co-ordination in those suffering from rare and progressive neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis. 

His research focuses on both underlying mechanistic issues, such as gait impairment, and the efficacy of therapeutic interventions used in the health sector. He has also worked with a variety of patient groups to investigate the therapeutic effect that activities such as standing can have upon development and recovery.

In addition to his research, Professor Marsden has championed relatively unknown conditions such as ataxia and Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis (HSP) – working closely with neurological charities, such as the HSP Support Group, of which he is an honorary member and a trustee.

Graduating as a physiotherapist in 1991, his research has gone on to gain international recognition and has seen him present at conferences all over the world. 

Professor Marsden said: 

“It’s great to be recognised by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and I’m honoured to have received the fellowship. My research addresses both the need to understand why people move and balance the way they do, and the need to evaluate our evidence base in healthcare so that we know whether interventions are working. With this role I hope to raise awareness of the conditions people suffer that are relatively under recognised, and ensure that the interventions they’re provided with are as effective as possible.”

Bernhard Haas, Interim Head of the School of Health Professions at the University of Plymouth, said: 

“We are immensely proud of what Jon has achieved and this appointment serves to highlight his outstanding contribution to the profession.”

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