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 Undergraduate Science, Faculty of Medicine
  • Phase 2 Lead for MBBS
  • Head of BSc Medical Biosciences

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 twice on the executive of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine [].  She has sat on the scientific panel for the Charity DISCS, the Physiotherapy Research Foundation, NIHR Research for Patient Benefit, Orthopaedic Research UK and Versus Arthritis. She has been an external examiner at several universities and including course examiner at Leeds University, the University of Hong Kong and the British School of Osteopathy in London


Better, stronger, faster

medicine, CPSSQ



Liu S, Amiri P, McGregor A, et al., 2023, Bilateral asymmetry in knee and hip musculoskeletal loading during stair ascending/descending in individuals with unilateral mild to moderate medial knee osteoarthritis, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol:51, ISSN:0090-6964, Pages:2490-2503

McMenemy L, Behan FP, Kaufmann J, et al., 2023, Association between combat-related traumatic injury and skeletal health: bone mineral density loss is localized and correlates with altered loading in amputees: the Armed Services Trauma Rehabilitation Outcome (ADVANCE) Study, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol:38, ISSN:0884-0431, Pages:1227-1233

Zhou T, Salman D, Mcgregor AH, 2023, What do we mean by self-management' for chronic low back pain? A narrative review, European Spine Journal, ISSN:0940-6719

Cowell I, McGregor A, O'Sullivan P, et al., 2023, Physiotherapists' perceptions on using a multidimensional clinical reasoning form during psychologically informed training for low back pain, Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, Vol:66, ISSN:2468-7812, Pages:1-7

Kent P, Haines T, O'Sullivan P, et al., 2023, Cognitive functional therapy with or without movement sensor biofeedback versus usual care for chronic, disabling low back pain (RESTORE): a randomised, controlled, three-arm, parallel group, phase 3, clinical trial, The Lancet, Vol:401, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:1866-1877

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