Pain research: Members

Professor Anthony Jones

Image: Professor Anthony Jones

Group Leader
tel: +44 (0)161 206 4266

Anthony Jones is professor of Neuro-rheumatology at the University of Manchester and leads the Human Pain Research Group.  Whilst at the Hammersmith Hospital he pioneered the development of techniques to image neurochemical and metabolic brain responses to pain using Positron Emission Tomography.  Over the last thirty five years he has used a number of functional brain imaging techniques to understand the normal and abnormal mechanisms of pain perception.  There is now the exciting prospect of using some of the insights gained in these studies to develop new approaches to pharmacological and cognitive interventions for chronic pain. 

His main current goals are to use the understanding of brain mechanisms of pain perception to encourage more rational use of current therapies and to develop new therapies. As part of this process he has been putting a lot of energy in to public understanding of science activities including a recent North West tour of a show about pain called ‘Pain, The Brain and a little bit of Magic’.


Image: Professor Wael El-Deredy

Professor Wael El-Deredy

Senior Lecturer
tel: +44 (0)161 206 4528
Wael is Professor of Computational Neuroscience, co-director of the Brain Dynamics Lab [BrainDynamicsLab.Org], and Director of the “Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ingeniería en Salud” at the University of Valparaiso, Chile. He collaborates with the group on the development of signal processing tools for the analysis of brain dynamics in neuroimaging data


Image: Nelson Trujillo-Barreto

Dr Nelson Trujillo-Barreto

Research Fellow in Electromagnetic Tomography

Nelson recieved a B.Sc. with honours in Nuclear Physics from the Higher Institute for Nuclear Sciences & Technology in 1995 and a PhD in Physical Sciences from the Havana University in 2006. Since 1995 until 2014 Nelson worked at the Cuban Neuroscience Centre where he was Head of the Department for Brain Dynamics. Currently he is an EPSCR Research Fellow at the Division of Neuroscience & Experimental Psychology at the University of Manchester.


Image: Christopher brown

Dr Christopher Brown

Honorary Research Associate
tel: +44 (0)161 206 4528
Christopher is being funded by the MRC to research the role of the brain's natural painkillers (opioids) in chronic pain. He has recently investigated the therapeutic effects and brain correlates of a mindfulness-based pain management programme in chronic pain. He is also interested in anticipation of pain the role of expectations and attention have on how pain is experienced in patients and healthy volunteers.


Image: Andrea Power

Dr Andrea Power

Honorary Research Associate
tel: +44 (0)161 206 4259

Andrea's research interests include examining the effects of molecules such as serotonin and cannabinoids on human pain processing


Image: Tim Rainey

Tim Rainey

Research Technician
tel: +44 (0)161 206 0205


Image: Vishal Aggarwal

Dr Vishal Aggarwal

Honorary Research Associate
tel: +44 (0)161 206 4529
Vishal completed his undergraduate studies in dentistry in 1998 following which he embarked on a 2 year general professional training scheme involving rotations within general practice, maxillofacial surgery and clinics at the Manchester dental hospital. Having encountered inadequacies in the management of chronic oro-facial pain he was successful in obtaining Wellcome  fellowships to undertake an epidemiological investigation to classify the condition and identify risk factors. He obtained his PhD in 2006 and has since been successful in obtaining a 5 year NIHR clinician scientist award to translate his epidemiological findings into evidence based complex intervention for chronic oro-facial pain. His clinical role is as a general dental practitioner.


Image: Richard Brown

Dr Richard Brown

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
Division of Clinical Psychology
tel: +44 (0)161 306 0424
View: Dr Richard Brown: staff profile

Richard's primary research interests are in medically unexplained illness, particularly the somatoform and dissociative disorders. His main focus is the cognitive basis of somatization and dissociation, as well as the development and assessment of treatment techniques in this area. He is also interested in the cognitive basis of emotional disturbance more generally, particularly the role of attentional bias and dysfunction, worry and cognitive avoidance (e.g. motivated forgetting, thought suppression etc). In addition, he retains active interests in consciousness, executive function, hypnosis and suggestion.


Dr Manoj Sivan

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Manoj graduated in Medicine in 1999. He was the UK's first NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Rehabilitation Medicine (and Musculoskeletal Medicine) and completed his MD (research) in rehabilitation robotics in Leeds.  His research was awarded the prestigious European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine Prize and Philips Nichols Prize. He was appointed as Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in 2012 and joined the Human Pain Research Group as Honorary Senior Lecturer.  He was appointed as Associate Clinical Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine in University of Leeds and Leeds NHS Hospitals in 2017. He has authored several peer-reviewed articles in areas of musculoskeletal medicine, chronic pain, outcome measurement, trauma and neuro-rehabilitation. His research interests are neuro-musculoskeletal medicine, pain physiology and use of rehabilitation technologies to improve function in chronic disability.



Dr Laura Arendsen

Research associate
tel: +44 (0)161 206 4528

Laura Arendsen is a research associate in clinical neuroscience at the University of Manchester. She obtained her PhD at the University of Leeds investigating the role of alpha brain activity in pain experience using non-pharmacological interventions that target alpha activity, including transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). In the Human Pain Research Group, Laura is currently involved in the Neuro-Therapeutics for Pain (NTIP) project, investigating the potential of neuro-therapies targeting alpha activity (including visual and sound stimulation) to reduce chronic pain.


Dr James Henshaw

Research Associate

Tel: +44 (0)161 206 4528


James is a Research Associate in Signal Processing, and is currently investigating the effect of EEG neurofeedback on pain resilience. His research interests include: signal processing, EEG, chronic pain, machine learning, and brain-computer interfaces.



Alex Casson

Research Professor

Tel: +44 (0)161 306 4801


Dr Alex Casson is a Reader (Associate Professor) in the Materials, Devices and Systems division of the school of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on non-invasive bioelectronics interfaces: the design and application of wearable sensors, and 'conformal sensors', for human body monitoring and data analysis from highly artefact prone naturalistic situations. This work is highly multi-disciplinary and he has research expertise in:

  • Ulta low power microelectronic circuit design (at the discrete and fully custom microchip levels)
  • Sensor signal processing for power constrained motion artefact rich environments
  • Personalised devide manufactur using 3D printing and inkjet printing


Image: Professor Anthony Jones

Dr Jason Taylor

Tel: +44 (0)161 306 0454

I study human memory (episodic and semantic) using the complementary approaches of neuroimaging (MRI, fMRI), magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG, EEG), and cognitive neuropsychological studies of impaired memory due to neurological disorders or dementia. I'm also interested in how changes in the ageing brain relate to changes in cognition over the adult lifespan, and how neuroimaging and statistical methods can be optimised to investigate these issues.


Dr Monty Silverdale

Honorary Senior Lecturer

email: monty'

Monty is a Consultant Neurologist at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience at Manchester University. He jointly runs the Salford Royal Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders service and is lead Neurologist on the Greater Manchester Deep Brain Stimulation Programme. He is Neurodegeneration lead for Greater Manchester and is Chair of the UK Parkinson’s disease Clinical Studies group, which develops Parkinson’s disease research throughout the UK. His research interests include pain in Parkinson’s disease, biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease, and Deep Brain Stimulation. Monty runs the UK Parkinson's Pain Study which is the largest ever study of pain in Parkinson’s disease. He also runs several EEG studies aiming to understand the mechanisms of pain perception and how these become altered in Parkinson’s disease.  These studies will pave the way for improved treatments.