Dr Lisa Bunn

Dr Lisa Bunn

Lecturer in Clinical Research

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health and Human Sciences)


Lecturer of Clinical Research


Lisa currently programme leads the Masters of Clinical Research (MClinRes) and module leads 'Project Design for Research' within the School of Health Profession's postgraduate education. Alongside a team of interdisciplinary colleagues, Lisa principally teaches allied health, medical and nursing professionals on a range of postgraduate study modules.

Lisa Bunn joined the Rehabilitation Research Group (Faculty of Health and Human Sciences) as a post-doctoral fellow and physiotherapy lecturer in April 2011.  Lisa has previously extensively taught on the undergraduate neurological, musculoskeletal and research physiotherapy modules and on the advanced professional practice and neurological rehabilitation MSc programmes.  She has module-led the second and final year undergraduate neurological physiotherapy modules concerned with management of individuals with complex multi-pathologies, acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, guillain barre-syndrome and cerebral palsy. 

Since joining the school Lisa has collaborated with staff members and external researchers and charities in order to investigate  (i) Assessment of ataxia in children with posterior-fossa tumour resection, (ii) Assessment of inherited ataxias (iii) An Oculomotor Pilot Therapy for Improving Movement of the Eyes in Multiple Sclerosis (OptimEYEs MS), (iv) the effects of localised temperature changes on muscle stiffness for people with Multiple Sclerosis and Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis, (v) standing balance impairments in young people with Down Syndrome, (vi) the effect of cataract surgery on balance and (vii) use of widely available commercial devices as an option for clinically measuring balance in children with balance impairment. 

Lisa actively promotes continuous professional development (CPD) activity, has  investigated factors affecting accessibility to CPD  and has championed this in past roles held with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (research and development committee) and ACPIN (national and exectutive committee member plus local ACPIN chair).

Previously based in Prof Brian Day's 'Sensori-motor Control Group' in Queen Square (University College London), Lisa undertook a PhD investigating sensory mechansims of balance control in cerebellar disease. Lisa was funded by Ataxia UK to undertake a three year study of neurophysiology for balance in persons with SCA (spino-cerebellar ataxias). Ataxia UK later funded a short post-doctoral study where the feasibility of a novel design of home-based therapy was evaluated. These studies were in collaboration with the Specialist Ataxia Centre at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery (lead clinician Dr Paola Giunti).

In her clinical career Lisa worked in the Specialist Ataxia Centre of UCLH, as a physiotherapist at Frenchay Hospital (North Bristol) and Stoke Mandeville Hospital and National Spinal Injuries Centre (Buckinghamshire).

In 2012 Lisa won the Gordon Holme's prize for Clinical Neuroscience from the Royal Society of Medicine and in 2016 Lisa was nominated a student elected SSTAR award for 'Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods'.

Professional membership

  • HCPC registered 'Physiotherapist'
  • Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • Member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology (ACPIN)
  • Member of the Physiotherapy Research Foundation
  • Member of the Movement Disorders Society
  • Member of the International Society of Posture and Gait Research
  • Member of the Plymouth University Rehabilitation Research Group (Institute of Health and Community)

Roles on external bodies

Member of the research advisory committee for Action for AT (ataxia telangiectasia).

Teaching interests

Currently involved with teaching undergraduate physiotherapists and postgraduate therapists. Teaching methods include lecturing, conducting practical sessions aligning with the faculty's emphasis on ultilising a problem-based learning approach.

  • Specialist areas:
  • Ataxia and cerebellar disease.
  • Neuro-rehabilitation and research methods.
  • Quantitative measurement of balance and neuro-physiology.

Research interests

Neurorehabilitation: targeting therapies through exploration of disease patho-physiology.

  • Quantitative measurement of balance.
  • Sensori-motor control.
  • Movement disorders.
  • Cerebellar disease.
  • Falls in neurological disorders.
  • The role of vision for balance and visually guided movement.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

·         PhD student, Helen Hartley, NIHRfellowship, ASPECT Study : The ASsessment and Physiotherapy managEment of ataxia in Childrenfollowing surgical resection of posterior fossa Tumour", ref:ICA-CDRF-2016-02-065 for an ICA Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship, HealthEducation England. £223,377.00 Children following surgical resection ofposterior fossa Tumour

Grants & contracts

2010-2011       MRC and Ataxia UK funded, University College London
UCL School: Biomedical sciences (Institute of Neurology, Sobell Department, Whole-body sensori-motor group).

2006-2010       Ataxia UK funded, UCL/NHNN, London
UCL School: Biomedical sciences (Institute of Neurology, Sobell Department, Whole-body sensori-motor group). Supervisors: Prof Brian Day, Prof Jonathan Marsden, Dr Paola Giunti.

2004-2006       Senior 2 physiotherapist, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol

2003-2004       Physiotherapist, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury