Prior to starting her PhD within the University of Cambridge Primary Care and Public Health department, Karen attained an undergraduate degree in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences and an Msc in Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham. During her undergraduate degree, she worked with Professor Neil Walsh developing a novel non-invasive biomarker of immunity, studying the effect that a period of sustained exercise training would have upon it. Her masters research followed on from her growing interest in clinical neurological populations, carrying out a pilot study utilising aquatic treadmill training in community dwelling stroke survivors, specifically studying the effects on cerebrovascular responsiveness and gait functioning. She completed her PhD studies under Professor Jonathan Mant, Head of the PCU Cardiovascular Group, investigating stroke survivor and clinicians management of post stroke fatigue. She is continuing to conduct research in this area alongside her clinical role.
Karen is interested in expanding the current research base, examining the long term needs of stroke survivors dwelling in the community, identifying the under developed areas of patient care that patients place value upon. Through engaging with health care professionals, patients and their families she hopes to provide a holistic understanding which could inform future primary care practice.
Karen was successful in attaining the Malati Kanbur Studentship in Stroke and the Elderly for her PhD research, associated with membership of Lucy Cavendish College.