Susan graduated with a BSc in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 1994. She then worked in clinical practice in the USA and Ireland predominantly in the area of neurological rehabilitation. She was a research assistant and PhD student at TCD from 2001 – 2003. She was appointed as Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Limerick in 2003 and since then has been teaching and researching in the area of neurological rehabilitation. She currently leads the MS Research at UL group and is a member of the Centre for Physical Activity and Health Research.
"My research interests focus on optimising physiotherapy and exercise interventions for people with neurological conditions living in the community.
My programme of work explores the following key issues; what is the optimal exercise programme for the various mobility levels and symptoms for people with MS? How can exercise programmes be delivered in a way that optimises behaviour change and long term adoption of physical activity? How can technology be used to augment exercise? How can exercise programmes reduce the risk of falls? And with engagement with all key stakeholders, how can these research findings be translated to routine clinical practice?
I work in close collaboration with Multiple Sclerosis Ireland, with whom UL formalised a memorandum of understanding in 2011. Collaborations with Prof Alan Donnelly and Prof Phil Jakeman (UL Sports Science), Dr Stephen Gallagher (UL Psychology) and Prof Rob Motl (USA, Kinesiology) and Prof Marcia Finlayson (Canada, OT) allow a convergent and multidisciplinary approach to the pertinent issues. This work is supported by my involvement in RIMS (Rehabilitation in MS, the European Network for Research and Best Practice) and through the PIMS (Physiotherapists Interested in MS) group that I founded and chair."
Type of student I am looking for:
I am looking for a student with a background in exercise science, physiotherapy, rehabilitation or health psychology who is interested in working with my team to pursue the above research streams. While our current focus is on MS, the expansion of these questions to other neurological conditions is possible.