Preston academic is one of the best in the world

UCLan's Prof James Selfe

UCLan's Prof James Selfe

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A Preston academic has become the first physiotherapist in the west- and possibly only the second in the world - to receive an elite educational title.

University of Central Lancashire Professor James Selfe is believed to be only the second physio in the world to be awarded a Doctorate of Science.

Prof Selfe, from the School of Health Sciences, has a special interest in the management of musculoskeletal disorders, in particular the kneecap (patellofemoral joint).

His expertise in this field is widely recognised and has led to a huge portfolio of publications and a wide range of international activities.

He said: “As far as I can tell there is only one other physiotherapist in the world who has one of these and he is in Australia.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way.”

Professor Selfe had to submit a portfolio of all his research papers along with a synoptic commentary explaining how they all fitted together into a coherent body of work.

This was assessed by two eminent external examiners, who recommended the award.

During his career at UCLan he has worked with international colleagues across the globe.

He has worked with a group in Finland for the past 20 years and is currently involved in research with fellow academics in Belgium, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Prof Selfe’s current research is focussed on understanding sub groups within the kneecap pain population and developing specific treatments for these groups.

A paper highlighting this research is due to be published shortly in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

He was also responsible for the development and leadership of the National Physiotherapy Research Network Cumbria and Lancashire Hub.

This resulted in the launch of an Allied Health Professions Research Hub for Cumbria and Lancashire.