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Physio beats medics and scientists to win neuro award

A physiotherapist has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society of Medicine for her research on neurorehabilitation.

The Gordon Holmes Clinical Neuroscience award was presented to Dr Lisa Bunn, a physiotherapy lecturer and post doctoral research fellow at Plymouth University, on 1 March.

Dr Bunn's research described her investigation of novel ways of improving balance control in people with brain dysfunctions, specifically those occurring in the cerebellum.

'I am delighted that the improved understanding of sensory control for balance in patients with cerebellar disease has led so directly on to development of a novel therapy, as well as the development of outcome measures ready to measure the effect of future interventions.

'This is an important achievement, given that no pharmaceutical therapies currently exist as treatment for this group and the evidence base for conventional physiotherapy remains weak,' said Dr Bunn.

She was the only physiotherapist shortlisted for the award and faced tough competition from other nominees, who were all neurologists and neurosurgeons.

Dr Bunn added that she felt particularly honoured to win the prize given that it was named after Sir Gordon Holmes, a pioneering neuroscientist and neurologist whose work in world war one described how discrete, low velocity gunshot wounds to the cerebellum affected function.

'His work was an inspiration to those of us in the field and I hope that many more physiotherapists will join this growing field of translating clinical neuroscience from the laboratory to the living room.'


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