Paul Greenhaff

Professor Paul Greenhaff

Director of the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research
Lead for CMAR research theme 2

Paul Greenhaff is Professor of Muscle Metabolism at the University of Nottingham. He heads the Metabolic and Molecular Physiology Research Group and the Research Priority Area in Musculoskeletal Health in Ageing and Wellbeing at the University of Nottingham, is Deputy Director of the MRC/ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research and is a member of the ARUK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. Paul is also a member of the Editorial Boards of Acta Physiologica, Clinical Nutrition, the Journal of Physiology and the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, and the Scientific Board of the European College of Sports Science. Paul has published >150 original full scientific papers, numerous review articles and book chapters and is an inventor on 3 patents filed by the University of Nottingham. His research interests focus on skeletal muscle mass regulation and muscle fuel metabolism in ageing, health, trauma and disease.

Professor Simon W Jones
PhD, BSc

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor in Musculoskeletal Ageing
Interim Theme Lead for Ageing and Frailty
NIHR Birmingham Research Centre Theme Co-Lead, Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Deputy Director

Professor Jones is a Professor in Musculoskeletal Ageing within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing. His research is focused on understanding the inflammatory and metabolic mechanisms that mediate joint and musculoskeletal pathological disorders including Osteoarthritis, Sarcopenia, Type II Diabetes and Scoliosis. He has a particular research focus on the role of non-coding RNAs (including miRNAs and long non coding RNAs) in mediating inflammatory responses and in understanding how obesity affects the pathology of diseased joint and musculoskeletal tissues.

Christopher Buckley

Professor Christopher Buckley DPhil FRCP

Arthritis Research UK Professor of Rheumatology
Lead for CMAR research theme 2

Chris has made major contributions to scientific administration through his roles with the arthritis research UK (Chair of the Fellowship Committee and Clinical Studies Group on early inflammatory arthritis) as well as EULAR (Scientific Programme organizing committee). He is closely involved in the development of clinical academics and he is a strong and eloquent advocate for clinician scientists in several fora.

Philip Atherton

Professor Philip Atherton

Professor of Clinical, metabolic & Molecular Physiology
Lead for CMAR research theme 1

I have been principal or co-investigator on successful project grants from UK research councils (MRC, BBSRC), the European Union (EUFP7), charities (Dunhill Medical Trust) and industrial (Ajinomoto, Abbott Nutrition) sources to the tune of >£10M. I have published ~90 peer-reviewed articles (H-index 35, i10 index 55, ~6000 citations) and 4 invited book chapters and my work has placed me in the world’s top 5% of cited authors for work in Biology & Biochemistry (source: Thomson Reuters). I have received prestigious early career awards (e.g. American Physiological Society New investigator 2010).


Professor Ian Macdonald

Professor of Metabolic Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Lead for CMAR research theme 3

Ians Research includes functional consequences of metabolic and nutritional disturbances at rest and in exercise in health, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Studies involve catecholamine measurement and assessment of sympathetic nervous activity; blood and tissue sampling for hormone levels, substrate turnover and oxidation; assessing cardiovascular and cognitive responses.


Professor Karim Raza BA, BMBCh, FRCP, PhD

Professor of Clinical Rheumatology and Honorary Consultant
Lead for CMAR Public and Patient Involvement

Karim Raza is Professor of Clinical Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist and Director of Research and Development at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. He qualified from Oxford in 1993 and achieved Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1996. From 2000-2003 he worked as an Arthritis Research UK clinical training fellow studying the regulation of leukocyte apoptosis in early inflammatory arthritis. Following the award of a PhD, he was appointed as Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology in 2004. In 2009 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and was awarded the prestigious Michael Mason Prize by the British Society for Rheumatology. He was promoted to Reader in 2011 and Professor in 2013.

Professor Janet M Lord FMedSci, CBE

Emeritus Professor of Immune Cell Biology in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham

Janet was the founding director of CMAR. Her research focuses on the innate immune system, the body’s frontline defence against infection, and how the efficiency of this system is affected by ageing and stress, the latter including physical trauma and emotional stress such as bereavement. She is also interested in how the ageing of the immune system predisposes adults to chronic inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and the muscle wasting associated with age and inflammatory conditions. In all of her work, she aims to translate research findings into interventions, whether lifestyle (exercise, diet) or pharmacological, to improve immunity and health in old age.

Professor Martin Hewison

Professor of Molecular Endocrinology and Deputy Director of the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research.
Lead for CMAR research theme 1

Prof. Hewison’s work focuses on different facets of vitamin D physiology, including classical skeletal effects and non-classical extra-skeletal effects. He has a particular interest in the interaction between vitamin D and the immune system, where antigen-presenting cells such as dendritic cells and macrophages synthesize active vitamin D (calcitriol) and also express the nuclear receptor for calcitriol (VDR). Vitamin D can, therefore, act as an endogenous regulator of both innate and adaptive immunity by enhancing antibacterial activity, and modulating antigen presentation and T lymphocyte function. Crucially these responses are highly dependent on the bioavailability of vitamin D, and Prof. Hewison has hypothesized that immune function is influenced by vitamin D status in humans. His group is using a variety of models to test this hypothesis including basic molecular and cell analyses, and vitamin D supplementation trials in human cohorts. A key objective of his work is to increase awareness of vitamin D-deficiency in the UK population.

Professor Beth Phillips

Associate Professor in Translational Physiology and Clinical, Metabolic and Molecular Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Lead for training and Public and Patient Involvement

Beth’s work focuses on the pathophysiology of musculoskeletal morbidities (sarcopenia, cachexia, arthritis, disuse, metabolic syndrome etc.) and interventions to mitigate their progression and consequences. Combining molecular biology, stable isotope methodologies and detailed in vivo human physiology, Beth has been a key part of a team that has uncovered fundamental parameters governing alterations in musculoskeletal metabolism with ageing and disease. The unique aspect of Beth’s research is combining detailed in vivo human physiology with state-of-the-art vascular imaging methodologies to determine links between vascular function (including the musculoskeletal microvasculature) and metabolic dysregulation in ageing and disease and in the context of exercise-, nutrition- and pharmacological-based interventions. Latterly, Beth has also been involved in the application of OMIC technologies to discover predictors of, and the basis for, the musculoskeletal and vascular decline in ageing and age-associated disease. Beth’s future focus is aimed at investigating the mechanisms of, and developing predictors for, the heterogeneous metabolic and physiological improvements in responses to exercise-for-health interventions. Beth also has a strong interest in developing optimal exercise training interventions around clinical constraints (e.g. time to surgery) to improve physical function in various clinical cohorts (i.e. colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis). Beth has significant involvement with and experience in numerous aspects of research relating to postgraduate training, ethics and scientific outreach.

Sophie Joanisse

Associate Professor in Exercise Science                                                Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience Division                                School of Life Sciences                                                                              University of Nottingham 

Sophie’s research is largely focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle remodelling (e.g., atrophy/hypertrophy), repair and regeneration. She is particularly interested in muscle stem cells, cells essential in the skeletal muscle repair process, and how their association with other structures (e.g., capillaries, ECM) and cell types (e.g., adipocytes, fibroblasts, inflammatory cells) within skeletal muscle can impact their function.

Yu-Chiang Lai

Associate Professor in Molecular Physiology and Biochemistry                          University of Birmingham

Yu-Chiang’s research focuses on deciphering the signalling networks that regulate muscle metabolic functions in ageing and atrophy. We seek to understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to muscle wasting and how exercise is able to improve muscle health when faced with various muscle wasting conditions.

The Management Board will provide leadership by:

  • Promoting and facilitating research of international standing in keeping with the research vision and strategy of CMAR
  • Supporting and building CMAR research capacity by increasing internal and external research opportunities for Centre members and PhD students;
  • Developing strong networks between CMAR and national and international research groupings/centres/institutes in musculoskeletal ageing research, particularly those we have identified as key collaborative partners in phase two of the Centre
  • Growing effective implementation of CMAR science into clinical practice and the wider community through partnership working
  • Developing mutually beneficial links with industry in collaborative research areas, particularly with our recognised industry partners
  • Driving delivery of CMAR knowledge to scientific and public sectors through communication and outreach;
    Ensuring CMAR research remains relevant to patient needs through support for and coordination of PPI activity
  • Assisting, where applicable, exploitation of technology transfer in CMAR by, for example, collaborative research, contract work and intellectual property commercialisation
  • Developing strong linkages within CMAR and with national and international research DTPs/centres/institutes to add scientific impact and value to the CMAR PhD training environment