ARCHA Researchers

ARCHA's research is broadly organised into five domains (Biological research, Psychological research, Engineering/Biomedical engineering research, Clinical research and research that supports Ageing Lives) and within these domains are included numerous  areas of research expertise and researchers that collectively offer extensive knowledge and expertise in ageing and age-related issues.

The ARCHA Biology group work on a range of studies including fundamental biological mechanisms of ageing, cell-based systems to model age-related diseases and population based studies in healthy cohorts to identify and understand factors that influence the ageing process.

Dr Cathy Slack (Lead) – Dr Slacks' research includes understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern how an animal ages using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system.

Professor Andrew Devitt – Professor Devitt's research includes work on defining the functional surface of extracellular vesicles and inflammation  in dementia.

Dr James Brown – Dr Brown works on frailty and metabolism in ageing, and trying to understand the links betyween body composition and successful ageing.

Dr Eric Hill – Dr Hill's research include the development of tissue engineering strategies to model stem cell behaviour in the development of neuronal networks and also during neurodegeneration.

Professor Roslyn Bill – Professor Bill's research includes the study of water balance throughout the life course and the use of yeast as a model of ageing.

Professor Anthony Hilton – Professor Hilton's research interests include applied microbiolgy including industrial microbiology and antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Iru Dias – Dr Dias's research includes investigating the role of oxidative stress  in chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Jill Johnson - Dr Johnson's research includes understanding how ageing stem cells contribute to the structure and function of the lungs.

Dr Zita Balkava - Dr Balklava researches how cell signalling and vesicular trafficking crosstalk by regulating each other. This includes decoding the trafficking and downstream signalling of Amyloid Precursor Protein, which plays a key role in Alzheimer’s disease. Her is carried out in the model organism C. elegans.

Dr Alan Hipkiss - Dr Hipkiss is a Visiting Professor whose research interests include glycation and its role in the ageing process.

Dr Phil Kitchen – Dr Kitchen is an Aston 50th Anniversary Research Fellow. He studies the molecular mechanisms of how water enters the brain and spinal cord following head injury or stroke.

The Psychology group includes researchers who investigate a wide range of psychosocial issues relevant to the lives of older adults.

Andrew Schofield (Lead) - Dr Schofield studies the effects of healthy ageing on visual perception with an emphasis on object appearance and how visual cues can be manipulated to increase toe clearance when navigating uneven surfaces and climbing steps

Professor Klaus Kessler - Professor Kessler employs MEG and EEG experiments as well as behavioural studies to investigate visual working memory, selective attention, the mirror system, and embodied (social) cognition

Dr Gemma Mansell - Dr Mansell studies persistent musculoskeletal pain populations, and specifically investigates how behaviour change interventions for persistent pain work 

Dr Nathan Rideout - Dr Rideout's research includes investigating changes in memory, particularly autobiographical memory, and examining age-related changes in social cognition

Professor Richard Tunney - Professor Tunney's research is conducted with older adults particularly in the context of surrogate medical decision making and end of life care.

Professor Adrian Burgess - Professor Burgess's research includes performing neuropsychological assessments on patients with suspected cognitive impairment including early detection of dementia

Dr Charlotte Hartwright - Dr Hartwright is interested in social cognition – our ability to understand and negotiate the social world. Her current work is centred on understanding how social cognitive function changes across the lifespan, using psychological experiments and neuroimaging

Dr Claire Farrow - Dr Farrow's research interests include the eating behaviours of older adults.

The engineering/biomedical engineering group includes a wide range of research expertise that seeks to understand how developing novel technological devices or materials can help us understand the ageing process or support the lives of older adults.

Dr Richard Martin (Lead) – Dr Martin's research includes the use of novel biomaterials in the development of devices to support healthy ageing

Dr Laura Leslie - Dr Leslie researches into biomaterials and how they can be used to develope new artificial implants for the human body

Dr Patrick Geoghegan - Dr Geoghegan’s interest lie in the area of biofluids concentrating on cardiovascular diseases and understanding how medical devices integrate with the cardiovascular system.

Dr Manousos Klados - Dr Klados's research includes understanding normal ageing by studying the normal development of brain networks as well as in pathological ageing, such as in dementia.

Dr Claire Conway - Dr Conway’s research is motivated by the increasing burden of heart disease in aging populations. She studies the effectiveness of structural implants such as prosthetic heart valves and coronary stents on heart disease using numerical and experimental techniques.

Dr Francesco Menduni - Dr Menduni has a strong research interest in the ex-vivo modelling of ocular tissues for studying the destabilisation of the ageing tear film resulting in dry eye

Dr Antonio Fratini - Dr Fratini has  has over 10 years’ experience of research on signal processing and medical electronics, in particular sensors and instrumentation for electrophysiology and neuromuscular rehabilitation in healthy and pathological subjects.

The Clinical Research group has a broad remit and includes wide expertise from across Aston University. This includes researchers from the fields of optometry, audiology, pharmacy and Aston Medical School. 


Dr Sri Bellary (Lead) – Dr Bellary is a consultant physician at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and runs clinical trials into  frailty in type 2 diabetes and research to understand type 2 diabetes in older adults

Professor Leon Davies – Professor Davies's research interests includes several aspects of vision associated with the ageing eye

Dr Valia Rodriguez - Dr Rodriguez works in clinical neurophysiology, and is interested in balance problems in older adults/frailty, small vessel disease (SVD) and stroke

Professor James Wolffsohn - Professor Wolffsohn has  a history of research on the ageing eye, in particular the loss of eye focus that occurs with age, the destabilisation of the tear film resulting in dry eye and rehabilitation of those with damaged vision

Dr Raj Badhan - Dr Badhan's research includes studies into into clinical pharmacokinetics, clinical trials design, medicine optimisation (clinical) in special populations (entire age spectrum), precision medicine (CNS specialism, tropical medicine specialism, mental health specialism)

Dr Amanda Hall - Dr Hall works on the impact of hearing conditions in older adults and improving audiology clinical provision

Dr Rebekka Heitmarr - Dr Heitmarr's research is focussed on retinal structural and vascular imaging to gain a better understanding of how age and systemic pathology impacts on the ocular function and circulation and its role in disease progression.

The Ageing Lives group gathers together researchers from Aston Business School and the School of Languages and Social Sciences whose research has a direct impact on the lives of older adults. 

Dr Raquel Medina (Lead) - Dr Medina's research focusses on cultural representations of ageing and dementia.

Professor Ben Clegg – Professor Clegg's research into improvement of operations management practice includes development of an application to support rail use for people with dementia

Dr Donato Masi - Dr Masi's reserach includes work on occupational safety and health in older adults

Dr Eline Meliou - Dr Meliou's research lies in the area of diversity and inclusion and focuses on exploring the ways age and ageing shape individuals' access in the labour market'

Dr Abigail Boucher - Dr Boucher is I'm a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, and works on representations of menopause in popular culture. Her work seeks to investigate how literary and artistic portrayals of ageing shape medical discourse and policy, and vice versa

Dr Edina Harbinja - Dr Harbinja's research interests include technology law. In particular, she looks at digital legacy issues, and digital death from legal perspective. This includes issues such as property, contract, IP, wills and post-mortem privacy online

Professor Prasanta Day – Professor Dey works in healthcare management and delivered workshops for healthcare professionals in EU countries

Dr Wlad Rivkin - Dr Rivkin researches into age diversity in teams and has developed and piloted some interventions (i.e., individual cognitive training, leadership development programmes) to facilitate well-being and innovation.

Dr Stella  Despoudi - Dr Despoudi's research includes work on food supply chain management, buyer-supplier relationships, operations management, food sustainability, and food supply chain resilience and how this relates to an ageing society.

Dr Stephen Fay
Dr Fay researches the theory and practice of narrative therapy for people with dementia in Latin America and the UK.


August 2016