About Us

Welcome to the Clinical Research Group (CRG) at the University of East London. The CRG is a core of health and bioscience expertise in translational and interdisciplinary research into the impact and alleviation of human chronic disease. The CRG organises our clinical research base in our School of Health Sport and Bioscience (HSB) and fosters collaboration to potentiate clinical practice for a variety of chronic conditions that detract from a healthy physical life and wellbeing.

The CRG has expertise in pipeline development of research from lab to clinic to home. This includes physiological assessment, innovation and development of medical devices and repurposing of existing treatments and interventions to offer new therapeutic solutions, as well as community-based initiatives. Research in this group is inclusive of diverse methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods as well as participatory methodologies including participatory action research and community-led research.

Clinical research skills of the group reflect those of the professions allied to Bioscience, Health and Medicine that our School excels in and contributed to the University being the highest REF2014 ranked of the Million-Plus Universities: Physiotherapy and Podiatric Medicine, with Medical Physiology, Biochemical analytics, Biomedical Science and Health Promotion and Management. This now includes Nursing and preclinical Medicine.

Key Research Staff

Julie Botticello, MA, PhD, FHEA

Dr Botticello is an anthropologist and founding member of the Diabetes Research Group (DRG) at UEL. She brings expertise in qualitative methods, including ethnographic practice and community-led research, to the team. Her PhD addressed the wellbeing of Yoruba-Nigerian émigrés to the UK. Her current research addresses the social determinants of health, with respect to migrant and otherwise marginalised groups. Since 2015, she has collaborated with colleagues from Imperial College London, Public Health England, the National Health Service and community-based organisations in developing research and delivering health promotion projects.

From 2021, Dr Botticello is serving as an academic mentor for the Centre for Gender Equity at the University for Global Health Equity in Rwanda. She is currently Director of Studies for a PhD student researching the impact of participatory budgeting for improving the health and wellbeing of hard-to-reach groups in North London. This work is co-supervised by Dr Richard Buscombe and Professor Gail Findlay. Together with Dr Paul Watts at UEL, Dr Botticello has previously supervised a PhD student on the impact of migration of diet and physical activity among Iranian migrants to the UK.

Roger Carpenter MSc PhD FHEA

Dr Carpenter is currently director of the CRG at UEL. His research interest is the impact of positive interventions (e.g., exercise) and negative factors (e.g., stress) on physiological indices of health and wellbeing in clinical and non-clinical groups. He has previously published work in collaboration with Professor Seed and Professor Corcoran at UEL and the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Kent, the University of Northumbria, University of York, University of Winchester and associated NHS trusts (e.g., Guy's and St Thomas’ and Barts). He is currently co-supervising a PhD student in collaboration with Drs’ Meah, Morgan and Ruchaya at UEL, on a project looking at the effect of types of smoking on autonomic control and damage of cardiopulmonary function at rest and exercise.

Kellie Gallagher (nee Gibson) PhD

Dr Gallagher has previously investigated the impact of bespoke foot orthoses in rheumatoid patients (FOCOS trial) a Dr William Scholl Endowment Fund funded RCT in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University, and with Dr Izod and Professor Seed on the lower limb kinematics of early rheumatoid disease (Dr William Scholl Endowment Fund) in collaboration with Whipps Cross University and Newham General Hospitals. The former study showed that bespoke orthoses have a significantly better impact than prefabricated fittings, and the latter study that early RA impacts directly on the foot to alter the kinematic chin up the lower limb, and that this is resistant to treatment. Dr Gallagher and Stephanie Messner at UEL are undertaking epidemiological studies on osteoarthritis and the lower limb.

Dr Gallagher is currently publishing her post doc work using a randomised control trial to compare the effectiveness of custom versus ‘off the shelf’ foot orthoses in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. She has recently published a journal in ‘Arthritis Care and Research’ which was the development of a patient reported outcome measure for active foot disease in early RA.

Alexander Izod PhD

Dr Izod’s primary research interests have been built upon his clinical expertise in podiatric biomechanics. Supported by a grant awarded by the Dr William M Scholl Podiatric Research and Development Fund, these have focused on the use of three-dimensional (3D) motion capture to study the impact of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on lower limb biomechanics. Dr Izod is interested in developing protocols for the use of 3D motion capture to further extend research in this area, as well as the application of this technology in the analysis of age-related degenerative changes of the lower limb.

Mohammed Meah MSc PhD

Dr Meah is currently investigating how risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as stress, cause nervous system autonomic imbalance (high sympathetic and low parasympathetic responses) and its link to heart rate variability (a measure of autonomic activity). Humans produce different stress responses based on gender, ethnicity, age and duration of stress, so autonomic imbalance could be playing a role in different responses and thus be increasing cardiovascular risk.

He is currently director of studies for Amel Al-Hashimi (Co-supervised by Drs' Morgan, Carpenter and Ruchaya) who is undertaking a PhD project on the effect of types of smoking (cigarette, water pipe and electronic) on autonomic control and damage of cardiopulmonary function at rest and exercise.

Prashant Ruchaya PhD

Dr Ruchaya focuses his research on cardiovascular disease and stem cell therapy. His main expertise is in pre-clinical in-vivo physiology. Currently, Dr. Ruchaya is investigating mechanisms of how (1) the ageing process predisposes individuals to cardiovascular disease and (2) how ageing negatively influences stem cell efficacy as a therapeutic intervention.

Dr. Ruchaya has active collaborators at Queen Mary University London and King’s College London, where he is co-supervising two PhD students (in collaboration with Prof. Ellison-Hughes and Dr. Clark). These projects aim to investigate; (1) how to enhance stem cell engraftment in an in vivo model of left ventricular heart failure, using PET/MRI imaging and (2) the mechanisms of how ageing induces cardiomyocyte damage, using in vivo and in vitro based assays. At the University of East London, Dr. Ruchaya is co-supervising 2 PhD students; in collaboration with Dr. Meah, Dr. Morgan and Dr. Carpenter, one project focuses on the effect of types of smoking (cigarette, water pipe and electronic) on autonomic control and damage of cardiopulmonary function at rest and exercise. In collaboration with Dr. Bringloe and Dr. Rallis, the second project focuses on mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction in ageing.

Internationally, Dr. Ruchaya actively collaborates on integrative research projects with the Federal University of Goias, Brazil and the Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, Greece. Currently, Dr. Ruchaya has two active grants based on ageing and the efficacy of second-generation stem cell therapy. His laboratory actively supports inquiries into collaboration and PhD studentships and can be contacted on p.j.ruchaya@uel.ac.uk or 020 8223 4539.

Michael Seed PhD FRSB FBPhS SFHE

Professor Seed is Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at the University of East London. He previously worked at Queen Mary University of London, including Barts and the London school of medicine and dentistry as a Senior Lecturer and William Harvey Inflammation Research Fellow. His key interests are; in-vivo modelling of immunity, inflammation, and arthritis for drug discovery and dissociated steroids, heparinoids, p38 inhibitors and Ayurveda medicines, and he also has a special interest in animal welfare and ethics in rheumatology research. His current research focus is Loin Pain Haematuria Syndrome (LPHS).

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, British Pharmacological Society, Royal Society Medicine Committee and British Inflammation Research Association.

Patricia Smith, MSc, PhD, MCSP, FHEA

Dr Smith is the director of the Diabetes Research Group (DRG) at UEL. The DRG is an interdisciplinary sub-group of the CRG focussing on the personal, social, cultural and health impacts of diabetes worldwide. It brings together diverse perspectives on one of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases of our time. A physiotherapist by background, Dr Smith has worked in health for more than 30 years and has taught professional health sciences and research methods for over two decades. She is a qualitative researcher and her area of interest is community-based rehabilitation, where her expertise focuses on physical disability, community involvement and community development. She has worked on community physiotherapy projects in Jamaica, mainly with families living with disabled children, and on community-based projects in the UK, including diabetic groups and migrant groups, in the London borough of Newham. Her book, Disability and Culture: an International and Inter-professional perspective, published in 2015, considers how disability is culturally placed and contextualized in different societies. She is currently Director of Studies for a PhD student undertaking a mixed-methods research study on the prevalence of stroke in a small community in Nigeria and how stroke impacts on the quality of life for survivors. This work is co-supervised by Professor Rachel Tribe and Dr Folashade Alloh.


Our School hosts the East London NHS Foundation Trust Foot Health Clinic and has a Clinical Education building on the Stratford campus that contains a bespoke first-in-class podiatric medicine consulting suite, consulting rooms, patient changing and showers and a new nursing training facility with state-of-the-art simulation labs, including augmented and virtual reality technologies. We also have a large refurbished human physiology laboratory with adjoining wet lab containing sophisticated body composition, metabolic analysis and a body-motion sensor system. Our School has invested substantially in the analytics research environment, with a £5m HEFCE/UEL funded refurbishment and re-equipment of the laboratories and infrastructure. For example, genomic/proteomic and cellular and ion channel electrophysiological equipment (e.g., BD Celesta and Accuri C6 FACS, capillary DNA sequencer, gel documentation system, Flow cytometry, RT-PCRCFlow, Agilent qPCR, Electrophysiology work station, LC-DAD and LC-ESI-MS systems, Latach QC8500 analyser). This close apposition of clinical and analytical resources, coupled with the substantive collaborations with UCL Partners as well as Barts Health and Guy’s & St Thomas’, Newham NHS Trust, and St George's University of London (GCP Analytics), provides a powerful resource for HSB Clinical Research.


Journal articles (2012-present)

  • Exploring the physical activity of Iranian migrant women in the United Kingdom, a qualitative study, Soltani, N., Botticello, J. and Watts, P. (In press). International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health and Well-being.
  • Measuring inflammatory foot disease in rheumatoid arthritis: development and validation of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Disease Activity Index-5. Anika Hoque, Kellie Gallagher, Anne McEntegart, Duncan Porter, Martijn Steultjens, James Woodburn, Gordon J Hendry (2020). Arthritis Care and Research May 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.24259 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32433810/
  • Targeting Extracellular Vesicles to the Arthritic Joint Using a Damaged Cartilage-Specific Antibody (2020) Louise M Topping, Bethan Lynne Thomas, Michael Seed, Mathieu-Benoit Voisin. Frontiers in Immunology · February 2020 DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00010 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00010/full
  • Engaging with Communities and Civil Society on the Front-Line for Tackling TB in Migrants in England (2019), Berrocal, L., Botticello, J., Piotrowski, H., Kon, O-M., Lalvani, A., and Zenner, D. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 23 (5): 563–570. DOI: 10.5588/ijtld.18.0230. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iuatld/ijtld/2019/00000023/00000005/art00009;jsessionid=464itegmk8qid.x-ic-live-03
  • Affective and enjoyment responses to 12 weeks of high intensity interval training and moderate continuous training in adults with Crohn’s disease. Lindsay Bottoms, Dean Leighton, Roger Carpenter, Simon Anderson, Louise Langmead, John Ramage, James Faulkner, Elizabeth Coleman, Caroline Fairhurst, Michael Seed and Garry Tew (2019).PLOS ONE 14 (9) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0222060
  • High-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training in adults with Crohn’s disease: A pilot randomised controlled trial. Tew, G.A., Leighton, D., Carpenter, R., Anderson, S., Langmead, L., Ramage, J., Faulkner, J., Coleman, E., Caroline Fairhurst, C., Seed, M. and Bottoms, L. (2019) BMC Gastroenterology 19:19 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0222060
  • Feasibility of high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training in adults with inactive or mildly active Crohn’s Disease: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Tew, G.A., Carpenter, R., Seed, M., Anderson, S., Langmead, L., Fairhurst, C., and L. Bottoms (2017). Pilot and Feasibility Studies 3:17. DOI 10.1186/s40814-017-0133-z https://pilotfeasibilitystudies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40814-017-0133-z
  • Locomotor Muscle Fatigue Does Not Alter Oxygen Uptake Kinetics during High-Intensity Exercise. Hopker JG, Caporaso G, Azzalin A, Carpenter R, Marcora SM. Front Physiol. 2016 Oct 13;7:463. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5061996/
  • A Meta-analysis of the use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of multiple sclerosis – lack of clinical efficacy through insufficient cell numbers administered? H Godfray, M Seed. (2016) Proc Br Pharmacol Soc pA2-Online 13(3):400(P) http://www.pa2online.org/abstract/abstract.jsp?abid=32976&author=seed&cat=-1&period=-1
  • Does this case hold the answer to one of the worse types of pain in medicine - that of Loin Pain Haematuria Syndrome (LPHS). Russell AR, Chatterjee S, Seed MP (2015), BMJ Case Reports 2015: doi:10.1136/bcr-2014-209165 https://roar.uel.ac.uk/4222/
  • Dynamic plantar loading index detects altered foot function in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis but not changes due to orthotic use. Telfer S, Baeten E, Gibson KS, Steultjens MP, Turner DE, Woodburn J, Hendry GJ. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2014 Nov;29 (9):1027-31. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2014.08.009. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(14)00203-4/fulltext
  • Functionally optimized orthoses for early rheumatoid arthritis foot disease: a study of mechanisms and patient experience. Gibson KS, Woodburn J, Porter D, Telfer S. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Oct; 66 (10):  1456-64. doi: 10.1002/acr.22060. (Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acr.22060/abstract)
  • Evaluating the biomechanics of the paediatric foot in Turner syndrome: a case report. Morrison SC, Izod A, Mahaffey R. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2012 May-Jun; 102 (3): 259-63. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22659771

Conference proceedings

Book chapters

  • Introduction; The Nature of Disability in the UK and Multi-cultural influences; Community Based Rehabilitation and Post-Coloniality: The Jamaican Context; Cultural Imperatives within Community Based Rehabilitation: Narratives from families living with disability. P Smith, (2015) In: Disability and Culture: An International and Inter-professional Perspective, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing.
  • Yoruba-Nigerians, Cosmopolitan Food Cultures and Identity Practices on a London Market, Botticello, J. (2012) in P. Williams-Forson and C. Counihan (eds.) Taking Food Public, New York and London: Routledge, pp. 425-437.

Contact us

General enquiries to the Clinical Research Group can be made to:

Dr Roger Carpenter
Tel: +44 (0) 208 223 4481
Email: R.Carpenter@uel.ac.uk

School of Health, Sport and Bioscience
University of East London
Stratford Campus
Water Lane
E15 4LZ