Paul is a Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology and runs the Nick Davey Laboratory within the MSk lab in the department of Surgery and Cancer. He received his BSc in Neuroscience and PhD in Physiology from King’s College London before taking up a post-doctoral position with Alison McGregor (Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics, Surgery & Cancer) and the late Dr Nick Davey (Neuroscience) at Imperial College London investigating the central nervous system control of muscles in patients with low back pain. In 2003 he became the Principal’s Lecturer in Anatomy and in 2009 a Senior Lecturer in Neurophysiology.
His research interests include investigation of the neural control of the trunk using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) under normal and pathological conditions such as spinal cord injury and low back pain.
Recent work showed that contractions of the upper limb muscles could increase the excitability of the voluntary movement pathways controlling the trunk muscles
This work led to a grant from the INSPIRE foundation to study these interactions in people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and this work showed that these interactions correlated with trunk function in SCI subjects.
The results of this work led to a further grant (in collaboration with Dr Chloe Chiou at the University of Birmingham) from the INSPIRE foundation to investigate how these arm movements might improve function of the trunk as part of rehabilitation.
Paul is also involved in a pioneering research project with clinicians and scientists in Poland developing a treatment to cure paralysis using transplantation of patients' own olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) into the spinal cord.
His group's work on imaging of compressed spinal nerves in patients with sciatica, funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, revealed that the metrics derived from the novel imagine technique correlated with clinical symptoms and the information gained from this technique will help to improve the diagnosis and predict the outcome of spinal surgery.
Paul also studied endogenous analgesic processes in human surrogate pain models with post-doc Dr Sam Hughes (now lecturer in neuroscience at Plymouth). As part of this programme of work, they demonstrated that virtual reality and non-invasive brain stimulation can modulate perceptual correlates of endogenous analgesia in healthy participants. They were recently awarded a grant from the Pain Relief Foundation to study the effects non-invasive brain stimulation on pain in patients with sciatica.
He is currently a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Physiological Society, the Anatomical Society of Great Britain & Ireland and is on the National Scientific Committee of the INSPIRE foundation. He served on the Executive committee of the Society for Back Pain Research.
Paul teaches anatomy and neuroscience for the undergraduate MBBS degree, Medical Biosciences BSc and various post-graduate courses. He supervises PhD, BSc, MSc and MRes project students.
He was the Director of Projects for the BSc in Surgery & Anaesthesia and the Course Lead for Anatomy of the Thorax (year 1 MBBS) and course co-lead for Anatomy of the Head, Neck and Spine (year 2 MBBS) and Neuroscience and Mental Health (year 2 MBBS).
He now leads Neurology and Neuroscience topic for the Bioregulatory Systems module in the MBBS course for phases 1a and 1b and leads the Integrative Body Systems module on the Medical Biosciences BSc.
He is an academic tutor for the MBBS and Medical Biosciences degrees.
et al., 2021, Exposure to an Immersive Virtual Reality Environment can Modulate Perceptual Correlates of Endogenous Analgesia and Central Sensitization in Healthy Volunteers, Journal of Pain, Vol:22, ISSN:1526-5900, Pages:707-714
et al., 2021, Vestibulo-perceptual influences upon the vestibulo-spinal reflex, Experimental Brain Research, Vol:239, ISSN:0014-4819, Pages:2141-2149
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, Vol:16, ISSN:1932-6203
et al., 2021, Development of a Virtual Three-Dimensional Assessment Scenario for Anatomical Education, Anatomical Sciences Education, Vol:14, ISSN:1935-9772, Pages:385-393
et al., 2021, Capsaicin-Induced Changes in Electrical Pain Perception Threshold Can Be Used to Assess the Magnitude of Secondary Hyperalgesia in Humans (vol 21, pg 2830, 2020), Pain Medicine, Vol:22, ISSN:1526-2375, Pages:237-237