Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics



+44 (0)20 7594 2972a.mcgregor




Room 202ABuilding E - Sir Michael UrenWhite City Campus





Alison McGregor is a Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics in the Department of Surgery and Cancer, where she manages the Human Performance Group. She trained as a physiotherapist at King’s College Hospital qualifying in 1989 and then went on to study Biomedical Engineering at Surrey University which led to a PhD project in spinal mechanics and low back pain at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. 


Her research focuses on the musculoskeletal system with respect to:

  • mechanisms of injury;
  •  effects of injury on function and
  • injury management.

To date her work has largely focused on the lumbar spine by considering its function to be a composite of interacting systems including a:

  • passive or skeletal system which permits segmental joint motion;
  • muscular system which provides the muscles to create motion these body segments;
  • control system (the central nervous system) which co-ordinates the muscles and body segments to produce function with a variety of projects in these areas.

She has also investigated aspects of management and surgical care including:

  • surveys of practice,
  • clinical cohort studies,
  • development of evidenced-based information []
  • a  large randomised controlled multi-centre clinical trial investigating optimal post-operative management  

She has also led with Professor Anthony Bull a programme of research into rowing performance, with a focus on rowing kinematics and mechanisms of injury.  This work has been in association with the GB Rowing team and contributed to the Team’s success at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She also represented College as a Torch Runner for the London 2012 Games.

Alison is one of the investigators in the Medical Engineering Solutions in Osteoarthritis Centre of Excellence Funded by the Wellcome Trust and the EPSRC led by Professor Ross Ethier where she leads an initiative into the use of technology to further rehabilitation of this common disease process []. 


  • Director of Educational Strategy & Quality for Department of Surgery & Cancer
  • Director of Undergraduate Science, Faculty of Medicine
  • Course Director for the BSc Pathway in Surgery and Anaesthesia
  • Head of Year 4
  • Campus Director (Charing Cross)

External Interests

As a result of her work in the field of back pain she currently has served as President and Secretary of the Society for Back Pain Research [] and has served on the executive of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine [].  She currently sits on the scientific panel for the Charity DISCS and the Physiotherapy Research Foundation. She is an external examiner at both Leeds University and the British School of Osteopathy in London


Better, stronger, faster

medicine, CPSSQ



Deane JA, Lim AKP, McGregor AH, et al., 2021, Understanding the impact of lumbar disc degeneration and chronic low back pain: a cross-sectional electromyographic analysis of postural strategy during predicted and unpredicted postural perturbations., Plos One, ISSN:1932-6203

Deane J, Lim A, Phillips A, et al., 2021, Symptomatic individuals with lumbar disc degeneration use different anticipatory and compensatory kinematic strategies to asymptomatic controls in response to postural perturbation, Gait and Posture, ISSN:0966-6362

Wilson F, Thornton JS, Wilkie K, et al., 2021, 2021 consensus statement for preventing and managing low back pain in elite and subelite adult rowers., Br J Sports Med

Favier C, Finnegan M, Quest R, et al., 2021, An open-source musculoskeletal model of the lumbar spine and lower limbs: a validation for movements of the lumbar spine., Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, ISSN:1025-5842

Bates A, McGregor A, Alexander C, 2021, Adaptation of balance reactions following anterior perturbations in people with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Bmc Musculoskeletal Disorders, Vol:22, ISSN:1471-2474

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