Professor Jonathan Marsden

Professor Jonathan Marsden

Professorship and Chair in Rehabilitation

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health and Human Sciences)


To lead and develop research capacity in the field of rehabilitation



2000 PhD Clinical Medicine University College London.

1997 MSc (Distinction) Neurological Science University College London.

1991 BSc (Hons) 1st Class Physiotherapy Manchester University


10/2003-10/2007 MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow 

            Sobell Dept for Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders.
            Institute of Neurology Queen Square London WCIN 3BG

10/2000-2003 Post-Doctoral scientist

            MRC Human Movement Group. Institute of Neurology.
             8-11 Queen Square. London. WCIN 3BG

02/1994 – 09/1996 Senior Physiotherapist 

            The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. 
            Queen Square. London.

07/1991 – 02/1994 Junior Physiotherapist  

            United Bristol Healthcare Trust.

Professional membership

Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Member of the Health Professions Council

Roles on external bodies

NIHR panel member for the AHP Clinical and Senior clinical lectureships 2012-present

Member of the Stroke Reserach Network management committee 2010-2013

Chair of the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy Scientific Panel 2008-2010

Trustee of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Charitable Trust 2008-2010

Honorary member of the Familial Spastic Paraparesis (FSP) society.

Teaching interests

I currently teach on the MSc in Neurological Rehabilitation at the Schools of Health Professions. I am the lead for the  "Cognition, perception and behaviour" module  and contribute "sensorimotor control in neurologcal practice"  and "pathomechanics and rehabilitation of gait and balance".

I also contribute to the undergraduate physiotherapy program "Neurological Physiotherapy" module

Research interests


My research interests and experience are in the field of neurorehabilitation and human motor physiology.  I am currently investigating the pathophysiology and rehabilitation of balance and gait disorders after central and peripheral neurological lesions in adult and paediatric populations. The primary aim of my current research is to identify the cause of balance and gait impairments after neurological dysfunction and to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic interventions that aim to ameliorate these impairments.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

I currently supervise 6 postgradute student 2 PhD students as 1st supervsior, 3 PhD students as second and an 1 Mphil student as 1st supervisor

2015 MPhil E Compton Factors affecting stiff knee gait in Cerebral Palsy

2015 PhD Thesis L Sawle The Development and Evaluation of a Dynamic Elastomeric Fabric Orthosis to support the management of Athletic Pelvic/ Groin Injury

2015 PhD H Gunn Accidental falls in Multiple Sclerosis

2012 PhD Thesis J Ofori Effect of short term stretchinng on ankle stiffness and rnge in people with Multiple Sclerosis

2011 PhD Thesis A Wallace Recovering hand function after stroke: Mechanisms and Treatment

2010 PhD Thesis L Bunn Sensory mechanisms of balance control in cerebellar disease

2008 PhD Thesis G Ramdharry Compensatory strategies while walking in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease: impact and intervention

Grants & contracts

2014-2015 MS Alliance The effects of oculomotor retraining on upper and lower limb function in progressive MS. A proof of concept study £68,000 Lead Applicant 

2014-2015 Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Investigating the pathomechanics of the sciatic nerve and spine leading to postoperative residual leg symptoms following discectomy for lumbar intervertebral disc disorder. £14,469 Co Applicant

2014-2017 Developing customised Dynamic Elastomeric Fabric Orthoses to optimise foot and ankle function for use in sports and for people with long term neurological conditions.Knowledge Transfer Partnership £157, 971 Principle Applicant

2014-2015 Plymouth Hospitals General Charity The effectiveness of a dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses compared to standard orthoses in the management of plantar fasciitis: A feasibility study £11,000 Co applicant

2013-2014 Vice Chancellor’s Community Research Awards University of Plymouth HIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for people with Parkinson’s disease £10,000 Co Applicant


2013-2014 2Physiotherapy Research foundation Clinical effectiveness of increased standing time in non-ambulant children with cerebral palsy: a pilot study £20,000 Co-applicant


2012-2013 Royal Devon and Exeter small grant scheme Biomechanics of the sciatic nerve and spine leading to postoperative residual leg symptoms following spinal decompression for lateral recess syndrome £11,920


2012-2015 Dr William M. Scholl Podiatric Research and Development Fund. The effects of foot and ankle impairments on mobility and balance in community dwelling adults post stroke – a personal and multi-disciplinary approach Local Lead Applicant £167,061


2011-2014 CUC-ESF Programme Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy: evaluating the effectiveness of a novel intervention, the dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses (DEFO). Co-applicant £80,241


2011-2012 Vice Chancellor’s Community Research Awards University of Plymouth Sensory integration in Down Syndrome £10,000 Lead Applicant


2011-2012 Plymouth Hospitals General Charity Stiff Knee gait in Cerebral Palsy £13,200 Co-applicant


2011-2012Physiotherapy Research foundation The effect of temperature on neuromuscular function and walking ability in people with Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis £20,000 Co-applicant


2011-2012 Physiotherapy Research foundation An investigation of the risk factors associated with falls in people with Multiple Sclerosis £20,000 Co-applicant


2009-2011 MS Society: Establishing clinical guidance for stretching in people with Multiple Sclerosis Lead Applicant £100,508


2010-2011 Ataxia UK: Rehabilitation of balance in spinocerebellar ataxia: Feasibility and Pilot Study  co-applicant £23,000


2008-2011 Stroke Association: Determining the factors that limit functional movements in people with an upper motor neuron lesion: Towards targeted focal therapy with Botulinum Toxin; co-applicant £98,000


2009-2011 Muscular Dystrophy Campaign: Strengthening Hip Flexors to improve walking distance in people with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease  co-applicant £117,802


2008-2010 Knowledge Transfer Partnership with DM Orthotics Development of orthotic lycra garments to reduce lumbo-pelvic pain and accelerate functional recovery in sportspeople and in women following childbirth £81,621


2008-2009 Vice Chancellor’s Community Research Awards University of Plymouth Current service delivery for people with Familial Spastic Paraparesis in the South West £10,000


2007-2008 Ipsen Education grant. :Factors that limit functional movements in the hand £10,000


2006-2009 Ataxia UK: Disruption of balance in spinocerebellar ataxia: Developing targeted therapies; co-applicant £77,000


2005-2008 MRC pathfinder: Modulation of post-stroke use-dependent plasticity with theta burst stimulation; co-applicant £214,607


2003-2007 MRC: Clinician Scientist Fellowship (£500,000) Personal award


1996-1997 The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust (£1,500) Personal award