Salford Institute for Dementia

Who we are

An internationally unique cluster of professions and disciplines at the University of Salford are being brought to bear on the challenge of enabling positive and supportive environments for people living with dementia and for their carers, including: the built environment; robotics, virtual reality, health and digital technologies; arts, music and design; health and social care professions; social sciences.

Salford Institute for Dementia Team

Picture of Dr Anya Ahmed

Dr Anya Ahmed

Dr Anya Ahmed is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and lead for diversity and inclusiveness at the University of Salford Dementia Institute.

Her research interests include belonging and different forms of community, social exclusion, identity, migration, welfare and housing.

She has a led a range of externally funded projects focusing on the needs and experiences of various minority communities in the UK and EU. She is currently leading the ‘Somali Dementia Aware Project' in Camden, London. Anya previously worked as a housing practitioner in the statutory and voluntary sectors in Merseyside working with migrant communities.

She has also previously been employed as a consultant for HQN Limited and the Housing Diversity Network, primarily in the roles of trainer and equality and diversity adviser. Anya's teaching covers social exclusion, housing and social policy, theory, ideology and practice. Her PhD focused on the migratory and welfare experiences older British citizens to Europe.

Robert Broadley

Robert Broadley

Robert’s research aims to develop new techniques to detect falls using wearable devices. The novel approach uses activity monitoring technology to detect falls as a change from a normal everyday posture to an on-the-floor posture.

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Dr Ipek Caliskanelli

Ipek received a PhD award from the University of York and she is a research fellow at the Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics Group of the University of Salford.

Her research interests largely focus around distributed embedded systems, and include: robotics, wireless sensor networks, real-time systems, bio-inspired techniques, load balancing, simulations of realtime embedded systems, energy-efficient heuristics, optimisation techniques, and artificial intelligence. Some of Ipek's research focused on Bio-Inspired and Dynamic Resource Allocation and the ways in which these paradigms can be combined to tackle problems found in all aspects of optimisation in the Wireless Sensor Network domain.

Ipek also had previous projects focusing on coordination and cooperation principles, and learning techniques for autonomous multi-agent systems.

Ipek is currently involved in a healthcare project with Salford Royal Hospital which requires data aggregation of heterogeneous sensor networks and human-robot interaction using AI techniques in order to identify those who are at the risk of developing neurological disorders, encourage active aging and improve social aspects of aging such as isolation.

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Dr Andrew Clark

Andrew is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the College of Health & Social Care. At the heart of his work is a commitment to inter- and trans-disciplinary research activity and the benefits this can bring to understanding real world problems and issues.

Recent theoretically informed empirical research has addressed issues of: spatial inequality; public space use; sustainable energy futures; perceptions of fire-risk; university leadership and academic enterprise; and intergenerational neighbourhoods.

Andrew is currently part of an international team working on a 5-year ‘Neighbourhoods and Dementia' mixed methods study lead by Prof John Keady (University of Manchester). Working with Dr Richard Ward (University of Stirling), Sarah Campbell (University of Manchester) and colleagues at the University of Linkoping (Sweden), Andrew's research is exploring how neighbourhoods support the wellbeing and everyday lives of people with dementia and their care partners.

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Dr Elizabeth Collier

I am employed as a Lecturer in mental health at the University of Salford. I trained as a mental health nurse at Prestwich Hospital in Salford and qualified in 1989 and continue to be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Prior to this I had completed a BSc degree in Mathematics and Psychology at Lancashire Polytechnic.

Once qualified I worked as a staff nurse with people experiencing severe dementia. My practice experience also includes working as a staff nurse on an assessment ward for older people, as a research nurse, a ward manager on an acute unit for younger and older people and as a Lecturer Practitioner. During this time I achieved an MSc in Nursing at Manchester Victoria University and a post-graduate certificate in education at Salford University. I have also completed a Ph.D at Salford University with a study entitled 'A biographical narrative study exploring mental ill health through the life course'.

I am interested in contemporary recovery concepts, ageing and mental illness, evidence based practice, mental health and ill health in later life, long term mental ill health and dementia. I am an active member of the Salford Institute for dementia, working towards becoming a dementia friendly university.Inaddition, I deliver continuing professional development workshops on dementia to a variety of groups for example, emergency services, housing as well as health and social care staff. I am also currently involved in a dementia Knowledge Transfer Partnership for teaching 'emPowered conversations' alongside the social enterprise Six Degrees. As well as writing academic papers and presenting at conferences based on my work, I also enjoy various roles such as personal tutor & academic supervisor for both pre-registration and post-graduate students. In addition, I lead various modules at Masters level (level 7) and am involved in development of ourpre-registration MA programme in nursing.

I teach across a variety of programmes, subjects and academic levels including doctoral supervision. My work also includes involvement in our service user/carer group which won the Harold Riley award for community engagement (2016). I am also an honorary associate of blue SCI, a cultural and wellbeing centre practicing recovery values in Trafford.

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Dr Tracy Collins

Tracy graduated with a BSc in Occupational Therapy from Leicester University in 1996. She has an MA in Sociology from The University of Memphis, which she studied part-time while working as an Occupational Therapist in the USA. After returning to the UK, she continued to study part-time at Keele University while working as an Occupational Therapist in the NHS, she completed her PhD in 2011.

In 2006 she took an academic post at the University of Salford in the School of Health Sciences. She currently teaches on the Occupational Therapy undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and the Dementia postgraduate programme.

Tracy has long-standing research interests in social capital, personal communities and social gerontology. She is currently conducting postdoctoral research with older widowers building on her doctoral research with older widows. This research is supported by the Vice Chancellor's Early Career Research Scholarship. Tracy is also conducting evaluative research of a community Christmas event for older people living with dementia supported by the Wellcome Trust. As a result of her doctoral and postdoctoral research with older people she is an invited member of the Campaign to End Loneliness Research Hub.

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Malcolm Granat

Malcolm Granat is Professor of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Salford.

He is engaged in research looking at the quantification of free-living physical behaviour. Malcolm’s interest in activity monitoring, using accelerometer based systems, stems from his early work in the development of novel instrumentation for ambulatory monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of neuroprosthetic devices.

The focus of his research is the development of outcomes measures, based on physical activity patterns, to quantify the effectiveness of interventions in a range of populations and clinical groups (e.g. stroke, OA, intermittent claudication, heart failure, the older person etc.).

He is also applying these techniques to enhance our understanding of how physical behaviours are affected by environmental and social factors.

Malcolm been involved in setting up the new International Scientific Society for the Measurement of Physical Behaviours (ISMPB), at present he is the Society’s Vice President.

Malcolm is also co-inventor of the activPAL, an accelerometer based physical activity monitoring instrument, which has been widely deployed in many studies worldwide.

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Director: Professor Anthea Innes

An accomplished academic with a long history of leading research into dementia care has been given the role of the University of Salford's first Professor of Dementia.

Professor Anthea Innes has also taken up the role as the Coles-Medlock Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia, which brings together innovative research to find ways of helping people live with the condition.

Scottish-born Prof Innes studied at the University of Stirling before moving to work at the University of Bradford as a Research Project Officer with the Bradford Dementia Group, where she completed her PhD.

She also worked as a Research Fellow and then Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling, before becoming a Professor at Bournemouth University in 2011, where she launched the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI), of which she served as director until last year. Prof Innes is a renowned leader in rural dementia care research and has led numerous public engagement and dementia awareness projects including the (Don't) Mention Dementia social art project, and the BUDI Orchestra – both of which have been recognised by the Academy of Social Science. She was a member of the groups advising the Prime Minister on rural dementia care and dementia friendly technology, while she also introduced the first worldwide postgraduate online programme in Dementia Studies in Stirling.

In addition, Prof Innes is an extensively published author and has secured numerous high value grants for her research work.

Dr Gemma Lace-Costigan

Dr Gemma Lace-Costigan

Dr Gemma Lace-Costigan is a Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences in the School of Environment and Life Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding the underlying cellular mechanisms that lead to brain cell death in dementia. Gemma obtained a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience at the University of Leeds and then completed a PhD at the University of Sheffield where she investigated the role of abnormal tau protein deposits in ageing and dementia. After spending a number of years at Sheffield researching various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease,Gemma joined the University of Salford in 2011.

Over the last 3 years Gemma has secured £90,000 of external funding to set up a dementia research team. This group uses human brain tissue from the Manchester Brain Bank based at Salford Royal, as well as cellular based models to explore abnormalities in brain waste disposal systems and the factors that lead to the accumulation of damaging proteins in dementia. The team aims to identify new drug targets to enhance the clearance or prevent the build of toxic proteins, thus protecting brain cells in a range of dementing diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

Gemma is passionate about public engagement and raising awareness about dementia and has led sessions at the Manchester Science Festival, ‘The Brain Box 2016’ and at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. She is also an active dementia charity fundraiser and dedicated teacher, contributing to a variety of modules of the BSC (Hons) Biomedical Science (IBMS) and MSc Biomedical Science programmes.

Claire Marrett

Claire Marrett

Claire is working as a part-time Engagement worker for the Salford Institute for Dementia. The main part of the role has been working with the group of Dementia Associates, people living with dementia and carers who guide the work of the Institute. Claire has supported individuals from the Associates group to speak at conferences, be involved in teaching sessions, and run co-production events such as the “The Good Life Festival – Dementia , our challenges and our adventures” in March 2016. Also the running of a monthly Dementia Café at the Old Fire Station which provides an enabling environment for people to come, meet new people, participate in peer-led talks and activities.

Through experience gained whilst working with a local charity where Claire still works, Claire was involved in the setting up of peer-support groups around Salford Neighbourhoods for people living with dementia with the focus being on friendship, maintaining independence and learning new skills. From this Claire gained much experience working with people living with dementia and carers.

Claire has achieved a Post-graduate certificate in Dementia and the Enabling Environment whilst working at the University. Claire really enjoys the multi-disciplinary approach of the Institute and feels fortunate to be working with such a mix of research expertise, the Dementia Associates and people who attend thecafé and other community activities we run who give our work and projects real meaning and purpose.

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Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani

Samia Nefti-Meziani is a Professor of Intelligent Systems and Robotics in School of Computing, Science and Engineering. She is a leading expert internationally in intelligent systems and has more than 20 years of experience in research on artificial cognitive models for robotics systems of complex andnon-linear systems, and has published and edited extensively in leading academic journals and books.

She has extensive leadership experience as the Head of the Autonomous Systems & Advanced Robotics Research Centre and the former Director of the doctoral school of the 6* IRIS Research Institute where she nurtured a strong research culture and environment, which received the highest award for research environment (4*) in the 2008 (RAE).

She has successfully supervised and graduated more than 20 PhD students and has extensive experience running very successful industrial sponsored robotics PG programmes at national and international level. She has led several UK (TSB, EPSRC), European Union, and industrial research projects and has attracted more than£5M funding in the last three years.

She is the Vice Chairman of IEEE Robotics and Automation UK & RI, Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems and is a Chartered Member of BCS. She is the co-organiser of the Northern Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network and a member of the advisory board of the National EPSRC Centre in Intelligent Automation.

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Chris Pickford

Dr Chris Pickford is a Research Assistant in Digital and Robotic Technologies for Dementia. His interest in dementia stemmed from his previous experience in helping to care for three grandparents with dementia. Prior to his appointment at the Institute for Dementia, Chris completed a PhD in Systems Neuroscience, an MSc in Robotics and Automation and a BSc in Microbiology with Biotechnology. His interests are in the connection between technology and biological systems, and how the two complement each other.

Chris is currently working in the area of fall prediction using body worn sensors that collect data about how the user moves and can be used to learn about their daily behaviours. This information can eventually be used to identify subtle changes in behaviour and physical movement that would indicate that a fall is imminent.

Chris has worked previously in the area of upper limb stroke rehabilitation, contributing to the development of an intuitive user interface for clinical staff and patients to use with specialist functional electrical stimulation hardware. This gave Chris experience in software development and liaisons with clinical users and strokepatients

Chris's PhD included a variety of electronics, genetics, mathematical modelling and programming methodology. The techniques that Chris has learned throughout his academic career have provided him with a strong biological and engineering background that gives a unique perspective to the field of dementia.

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Luisa Rabanal

Luisa is a Research Fellow in Young Onset Dementia at the Salford Institute for Dementia. She was appointed at the end of April 2015 to work on a three-year landmark study in collaboration with Salford City Council looking at the needs of younger people living with dementia using participatory actionresearch.Thefindings will be used to develop best practice in Salford and facilitate the development of support services for people living with young onset dementia.

Luisa has a diverse research background, including seven years studying primates in central Africa. She developed a passion for improving dementia care following a career change where she worked in residential homes as a carer for older people living with dementia. Luisa has three years of experience supporting a wide range of people living with dementia in different health care settings, including an NHS dementia-specialist residential nursing home for patients with complex care needs. Luisa is a registered Occupational Therapist and has previously conducted qualitative research using interviews to capture the occupational and social needs of younger people living with dementia. Luisa is particularly interested in how to increase engagement in meaningful occupation for people living with dementia and the development of creative methods to include them in research.

Dr Sathish Sankarpandi

Dr Sathish Sankarpandi

Sathish Sankarpandi is a Research Fellow at the centre for health sciences research. Sathish completed his PhD on falls prediction of older adults using the body-worn sensor from Newcastle University and a bachelor degree in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering. Sathish is currently, working on the area of falls detection and prediction through quantification and measurement of free-living physical behaviours using body-worn inertial sensors. His research focuses on the continuous monitoring of older adults living in care home environments.Prior to this, he successfully carried out the clinical translation of wearable sensors for assessment and screening of Gait and Balance of individuals with vestibular impairments and thereby predicting falls. Sathish area of interests include falls prediction, mining and understanding activity patterns from free-living behaviour, applied machine learning,software development.

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Monika Sharma

Monika is Research Assistant in the Salford Institute for Dementia and has expertise in environmental architecture design quality and its evaluation related to issues that affect and are especially important to older people. She is an Architect and Planner holding a Bachelor's degree in Architecture, she has PgDip and MAin Spatial Planning from Birmingham City University and has a Masters in Technology in Urban Planning.

Monika's PhD research into architectural design quality of sheltered housing outputs to date have been judged to be of internationally excellent quality and the Evaluation Tool that she has developed has been examined by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and it is now included on the website, as an instrument setting new standards indesign: A paper on the Evaluation Tool has been published in the Building Research and Information journal in 2013. The work has been discussed with the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) Working Commission W096 Architectural Management. An initial paper was presented at the World Congress, Salford in 2010, and the results were presented at the World Congress, Brisbane in 2013. Subsequently, CIB requested an Impact Statement about the Tool. The process underpinning its development and operation was awarded the position of finalist in the national Public Engagement Awards (2014).

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Andy Walker

Andy is a development worker on a landmark three-year action research study in collaboration with Salford City Council looking at the needs and preferences of how younger people diagnosed with dementia can live well. Andy has a unique role in research to develop a series of professional and social networks across Salford to help share best practice and develop services to reflect the findings of the study as they begin to emerge.

Andy first developed a passion for empowering vulnerable people to make positive change when he took up a position as a nursing assistant in a direct access alcohol detoxification unit in the centre of Manchester. He continued to develop his skills around person centred care by working in residential rehabilitation units where he supported individual's recovery by developing personalised care plans. He then began working with groups of vulnerable adults who were at risk of losing their homes to try to ensure that they could maintain their tenancies and find suitable accommodation to those that were already homeless.

Whilst working with this group of people Andy identified that he needed to develop himself as a practitioner by undertaking a professional qualification. He qualified from the University of Salford in 2006 after completing a four-year part-time Diploma in Social Work. He then went on to undertake statutory duties in the Court and Child Protection Team and as a Senior Alcohol Social Worker in Salford. It was during this role that Andy first developed an interest in dementia when he worked with people who had developed alcohol related dementia and the lack of appropriate care options for them.Andy was really excited at the opportunity to develop services to meet the needs of local people and joined the team in October 2015.

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Dr Tracey Williamson

Dr Tracey Williamson is a Reader in Public Involvement, Engagement and Experience in Research and has an expertise in relation to health and social care research concerning older adults including enhancement of their experience, health, wellbeing and independence throughout the life course.

She is active in dementia experience and environments related research as this builds on her clinical career and her interest in involvement of the public and especially older adults in research. Tracey is a participatory researcher and an evaluator and seeks projects that work in close partnership with the public and other stakeholders,often to work out a research focus and design collaboratively.

The impact of public involvement in research is a strong interest and a growing strand of her work is concerned with inclusive/co-design of assistive technology, which is demonstrated in her successes as a co-applicant in many large technology related projects. Tracey co-leads the Institute's current 3-year Young Onset Dementia study.

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Natalie Yates-Bolton

Natalie Yates-Bolton is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing, whose research interests are primarily in the area of the care of older people; this includes nursing home care, dementia care and human rights based care.

She is undertaking research exploring meaning and purpose in nursing home life, using appreciative inquiry methods. Natalie was Co-chair of the Dementia Design Group, the forerunner of the Institute for Dementia at the University. Natalie is co-chair of the EU funded intensive programme; HUROPEL, HumanRights: Older People and End of Life Care and leads an EU-funded project, Positive About Dementia (POSAEM) to develop a European Masters programme.

In 2011 Natalie was awarded a Florence Nightingale scholarship to study how non-pharmacological care can improve the quality of life of people living with dementia (2011).

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Dr John Zeisel, scientific advisor and visiting professor

Dr John Zeisel, author of I'm Still Here: a new philosophy of Alzheimer's care (Little Brown) and Inquiry by Design: Environment / Behaviour / Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, & Planning (W. W. Norton), is President of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care Ltd and the I'm Still Here Foundation.

His background includes sociology and architecture, having received his PhD from Columbia University and a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He teaches at the Sorbonne-Paris VI Université Pierre et Marie Curie-and has been on the faculty of Harvard University's Department of Architecture as well as Yale and McGill Universities.

Dr. Zeisel serves as an Expert Reviewer for the Helen Hamlyn Center at the Royal College of Art, is a member of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Board Member of ANFA, the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, and serves on the Advisory Board of the International Academy for Design & Health (IADH).

Before co-founding Hearthstone, John was a consultant to the housing industry for older people and has undertaken both basic and applied research into the housing and service needs of older people. He has been Principal Investigator on two major National Institute of Aging clinical trials, one to determine the relationship between Alzheimer's Special Care Unit (SCU) design and the health and well-being of residents; the other to develop an interactive improvisational drama program for persons with dementia-the Scripted-IMPROV Drama Box-aimed at reducing depression, while increasing engagement and quality of life for persons with dementia.

Dr Zeisel's research and practice has an international reputation, and he is acknowledged to be a thought leader in respect of policies, design and practice in enabling older people to live as well as possible.