Applied Health Research Group

Audiology clinic

The Applied Health Research Group brings together researchers involved in translational research applying basic biomedical, neuroscience and behavioural research to clinical and other population-based settings. Essentially multidisciplinary, the group encompasses health psychology, medicines research, clinical pharmacy and audiology.  Much of our work focuses on children’s and young people’s health or on healthy ageing. We conduct primary laboratory and field research and evidence synthesis. We use a broad range of methodologies and are interested in methodological and technological innovation, including the design and evaluation of complex health interventions. 

Director of Research: Dr Claire Farrow

Applied Health Research Group - Research Themes:

We conduct research which makes a real difference to clinical practice and to the health of the paediatric population and their families.

Our cross cutting research themes are concerned with supporting the development of children with chronic illnesses and conditions and their clinical, psychological and social sequelae; the prevention of illness, disorders and accidents in children and young people and research which contributes to understanding children’s lives through innovative methodologies which engage children and families in research. 

We conduct research with children and families with a range of different physical and mental health conditions, including:

  • Diabetes 
  • Myopia
  • Allergy 
  • Obesity
  • Attention disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Feeding and eating disorders
  • Rare genetic conditions
  • Hearing loss
  • Epilepsy. 

Our research is cross-disciplinary; bringing together researchers in Health Psychology, Pharmacy, Optometry and Audiology. The non-medical professional expertise and links with paediatric research in the Aston Brain Centre are internationally unique. We work closely with specialist children’s hospitals and charities, ensuring that our research is clinically relevant and applied to practice. Our portfolio includes research from fundamental science to multi-disciplinary translational studies. 

For more information on Aston Research for Children's and Young People's Health please click here.

 
Staff members:
 Dr Lou Atkinson
 Professor Jackie Blisset
 Dr Claire Farrow
 Dr Amanda Hall
 Dr Gemma Heath
 Dr Dan Kirby
 Dr Rebecca Knibb
 Professor Afzal Mohammed
 Professor Helen Pattison
 Dr Helen Pryce
 Dr Rachel Shaw
 Dr Jane Waite
 Dr Raj Singh Badhan

Research within Pharmaceutics at Aston covers broad range of topics pertinent to drug development and analysis such as novel formulation development, process development and optimisation, in vitro cell based models and in silico predictive pharmacokinetics.

Novel formulation development covers solid dosage forms including specialist formulations such as orally disintegrating tablets, solid dispersions, 3D printed tablets, particle engineering to enhance solubility and modify surface particle properties. 

Cell culture capabilities include primary and secondary cell lines to study drug delivery to the brain, taste assessment, GIT and buccal absorption. In silico predictive pharmacokinetic modelling and simulation includes cutting edge computational software (NONMEM, Simcyp, WinnonLin, Matlab, Monolix). 

For more information about Pharmaceutics research at Aston please click here.


Staff members:
 Dr Raj Singh Badhan
 Dr Chi Huynh
 Dr Affiong Iyire
 Dr Ali Al-Khattawi
 Dr Dan Kirby
 Professor Afzal Mohammed
 Dr Craig Russel

Pharmacy Practice research at Aston examines how pharmacists can better use medicines and pharmaceutical services to improve patient care. 

Working within both the community and hospital sectors, pharmacy practice research at Aston investigates how patients access pharmacy healthcare services and how best these services can be developed to enhance further pharmaceutical patient care. 

Research undertaken within this area includes that examining and developing national pharmacy educational policy, research mapping medication adherence patterns among inner-city populations, and activity quantifying the healthcare benefits of front-line pharmaceutical care and public health services. 

Specific projects have included the Aston Medication Adherence Study (AMAS) and the Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Study

For more information about Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy research at Aston please click here


Staff members:
 Dr Joe Bush
 Dr Chi Huynh
 Professor Chris Langley
 Dr Ian Maidment
 Dr David Terry
 Dr Raj Singh Badhan

The Phenomenology of Health and Relationships group generally includes staff and postgraduates from Aston and further afield (we are often joined by collaborators from Birmingham, the London School of Economics, and London South Bank). We are an interdisciplinary group (Psychology, Philosophy and Social Policy) and we meet fortnightly to share and develop concepts and methods for understanding the role of relationships in health, via the lens of phenomenological inquiry.

Staff members:
 Dr Gemma Heath
 Dr Michael Larkin
 Professor Helen Pattison
 Dr Rachel Shaw
 Dr Dan Shepperd
 Mr William Day

The PEACh research group investigate the behavioural and cognitive aspects underpinning human eating behaviour from the earliest stages of life, through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood.
Our work examines biopsychological, affective, psychopharmacological, cognitive, and social influences on eating behaviour and adiposity. 

Projects exploit a wide range of methods, including experimental studies of responses to food stimuli and manipulations of eating behaviour, longitudinal designs, observational methods and intervention design and evaluation. We study pregnant women, the fetus, infants, children, adolescents, young and older adults, and our studies include healthy and clinical populations (e.g. obesity, autism, diabetes, mental health problems). 

Our interests span from basic physiological processes involved in eating (e.g. taste perception, neural mechanisms of appetite regulation and food choice), cognitive processes (e.g. biases of memory and attention), to social influences on food selection and intake (e.g. parent feeding practices, social norms, cultural effects). 

Our interventions are diverse, ranging from those based in community settings to e-health and apps. Our work has been funded by NIHR, ESRC, BBSRC, MRC, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, industry and charities, and we are very active in public engagement in science.

Staff members:
 Professor Jackie Blissett
 Dr Chi Huynh
 Dr Rob Nash
 Dr Jason Thomas
 Miss Nikki Salmon

Our overall strategy focuses on exploring the lived experience of people with hearing and balance conditions across the lifespan. We aim to improve healthcare for people with hearing and balance conditions through community-based, clinically-based and population health research.

We research the experiences of people living with hearing and balance conditions, and use qualitative methods to understand what it’s like to live with conditions such as tinnitus or hearing loss. At the population level, we work with cohort studies to research the impact of hearing and balance conditions on a range of outcomes, such as health and education. We also research how service users access, interact with and are supported by clinical services. We develop, evaluate and implement interventions to improve access and shared decision making in clinical services. 

Staff members:
 Dr Amanda Hall
 Dr Helen Pryce

 

For currently available PhD research projects in the Applied Health Research Group, see HERE