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Gwen Sascha Fernandes

Arthritis & Football Study Principal Investigator; Knee Pain In the Community Study Co-Investigator, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Arthritis & Football Study: My research is establishing the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis in former professional footballers and identify associated risk factors of pain, structural degeneration, total joint replacement and other biomarkers. I am funded by the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis to work on a five year project (2013-2017) in former professional footballers which has involved the largest database of professional footballers in the UK and worldwide (n=1200) and men from the general population (n=4000) as comparators. We have also secured external funding from FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre (FMARC), the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), SPIRE Healthcare, Arthritis Research UK (conference award) and FIFA (travel award). As the primary research lead for this project, I also supervised our research team (PhD studentship, research intern, metrologists and admin support) and part of this work has been submitted as a thesis that was successfully defend by Dr Sanjay Parekh (Feb 2017). Our current work is focused on the prevalence of foot and ankle pain and osteoarthritis, associated risk factors and the prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases in former players compared to general population controls (2018-2020).

Knee Pain in the Community Study (KPIC): I am a co-investigator, database manager and sit on the management committee for KPIC alongside my colleagues Professor Michael Doherty, Professor Weiya Zhang, Professor David Walsh and Dr Ana Valdes. Since 2014, we have established a cohort of 9500 men and women from the East Midlands region and have conducted biomechanical and gait assessments, muscle strength, radiographic assessment, quantitative sensory testing and biomarker profiling from bloods and urine samples. I have been involved from research ethics applications and am currently responsible for data acquisition, data management and analysis. My current work is focused on pain profiling and subsequent management with an emphasis on neuropathic pain and associated risk factors.

Other Research Interests: I am currently a part of several projects related to safety and efficacy of topical NSAIDs, capsaicin and paracetamol. I supervise Dr Jaspreet Kaur on her PhD project which includes a systematic review and meta-analysis of paracetamol and will include the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) on the adverse events related to its prescription (2017-2020).

PhD Research: My PhD was focused on the biomechanics (kinetics and kinematics) and patient centred outcome scores of patients with medial knee osteoarthritis (2009-2012). As part of my PhD, I conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) which evaluated the effectiveness of laterally wedged orthoses and footwear in 105 patients with medial knee OA. My PhD was fully funded by the Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC, Welsh Assembly) and she is an alumni of the RCBC Community of Scholars.

Teaching Summary

Gwen is a qualified Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has previously lectured on the BSc (hons) Podiatry Gerontology and Musculoskeletal Studies Modules; BSc (hons) Sports, Biomedicine and… read more

Recent Publications

Arthritis & Football Press articles:

Arthritis & Football Study promotion with Reading FC:

Arthritis & Football Study promotion with the PFA:

Presentation recap from SPINEweek FIFA session (Singapore 2016):

Contributor to Alan Gernon's book on former footballers:

Gwen is a qualified Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has previously lectured on the BSc (hons) Podiatry Gerontology and Musculoskeletal Studies Modules; BSc (hons) Sports, Biomedicine and Nutrition Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics Modules and MSc (Musculoskeletal Studies) on Pathomechanics at Cardiff Metropolitan University (2010-2013).

Currently, she is involved in delivering sessions on osteoarthritis, research methods and epidemiology at seminars and workshops for postgraduates, researchers and clinicians in Rheumatology, Orthopaedics and Dermatology at the University.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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