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Applied Health Research Group 

The Audiology Clinic
The 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 Blissett
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 Russell

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 Health
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 Claire Farrow
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