Ageing research within the University is led by the Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR) - a formally recognised Lancaster Research Centre that involves researchers from across the University. The Centre aims to promote and conduct high quality interdisciplinary research and research-led teaching around ageing, older people and age-related disease, establishing Lancaster University as a leading regional, national and international centre of excellence for ageing research. The Centre brings together the work of over forty academics from seventeen different departments across the University, highlighting Lancaster's interdisciplinary strength in ageing research.

The International Observatory for End of Life Care also plays a key role in research around ageing and end of life care within the Faculty. The Observatory is internationally recognised for its high quality research, evaluation, education, advocacy and consultancy designed to improve palliative and end of life care for patients and family carers.

The Centre for Ageing Research and the The International Observatory for End of Life Care work closely with the health and social care communities and have well established partnerships and research collaborations with industry and the third sector.

The Ageing and Neurodegenerative Disease research group also contribute to the cross-faculty research theme on Ageing. This research group performs basic research on mechanisms of healthy ageing using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and research into a range of age-related diseases. This is aimed at finding improved biomarkers for diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, as well as drug discovery and clinical trials for these diseases, and preclinical research into schizophrenia.

Research areas

Particular research areas within the ageing theme include:

  • Mechanisms of normal ageing using Drosophila as a model system
  • Age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative, joint and eye diseases
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Place, health and well-being of ageing populations
  • Technologies for healthy ageing

Research successes

Notable research successes include:

  • Development of retro-inverted peptides as inhibitors of β-amyloid aggregation for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease
  • Development of α-synuclein as a biomarker for Parkinson's disease
  • Adoption of an ethical framework for good practice in telecare implementation by Age UK
  • Major revisions made to WHO policy document "Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances. Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines", arising from ATOME project. Document published free in 15 languages and distributed worldwide
  • Co-ordination of research and development at governmental level in 12 resource-poor countries in central and eastern Europe to remove barriers to adequate pain control
  • Cochrane Review on case management approaches to home support for people with dementia (Protocol)

Research grants

Current major research grants include:

  • Innovation for Sustainable Living: creating virtuous cycles of wellbeing through older age, funded by N8 including the Universities of Leeds and Liverpool
  • ATOME: Access of Opioid Medication in Europe funded by EC FP7 2009-2014, a major programme of research and development in 12 resource poor countries in central and eastern Europe, in collaboration with Professor Lukas Radbruch, University of Bonn and WHO
  • EURO IMPACT: Marie Curie mobility and training initiative funded by EC FP7 2010-2014, which has training 12 PhD students and 4 post-doctoral researchers in palliative care, in collaboration with Professor Luc Deliens, VBU, Brussels and other consortium members
  • InSuP-C: Patient-centred palliative care pathways in advanced cancer and chronic disease funded by EC FP7 2012-2016, in collaboration with Professor Jeroen Hasselaar, University of Nijmegen and WHO
  • ACTION: Cluster randomised control trial of advance care planning intervention in lung and colo-rectal cancer patients funded by EC FP7 2013-2017, in collaboration with Professor Agnes van der Heide, Erasmus University Rotterdam and others
  • PACE: Improving palliative care to older people living in nursing homes using action research funded by EC FP7 2014-2018, in collaboration with Professor Lieve van der Block, VUB, Brussels and others
  • EPSRC Critical Mass Grant 'Towards disease diagnosis through spectrochemical imaging of tissue architecture' (D. Allsop with P. Weightman (PI), and others from Liverpool, Cardiff and Manchester), 2013-2016
  • Neighbourhood and Dementia: a mixed methods study. Funded by ESRC/NIHR 2013-2016 (Siobhan Reilly with Prof John Keady, (PI) University of Manchester) and others


Researchers in the Faculty of Health and Medicine working in this area, together with a short description of their research interests, are listed below.

  • Professor David Allsop: Amyloid proteins; Alzheimer's Disease; Parkinson's Disease
  • Dr Amanda Bingley: active ageing and place, volunteerism, gender and ageing, social perspectives on dementia, end of life care
  • Dr Sarah Brearley: end of life care, systematic reviews of PROMS, complex symptom management
  • Dr Sue Broughton: Drosophila Models of Human Ageing; Insulin/IGF-like signaling
  • Dr David Clancy: Drosophila Models of Human Ageing; Predictive Biomarkers of Ageing
  • Dr Neil Dawson: Basic biology of neurodegenerative disease
  • Dr Ian Fletcher: Clinical psychology perspectives on ageing and dementia; elder abuse
  • Dr Katherine Froggatt: care of older people and palliative care; residential care, social aspects of dementia; participatory methods
  • Dr Nigel Fullwood: Stem Cell Therapies for Eye Disease; Artificial Corneas
  • Professor Tony Gatrell: Place, health and ageing
  • Dr Anne Grinyer: end of life, cancer in children and young people
  • Professor Christian Holscher: Alzheimer's Disease
  • Dr Bob Lauder: Age and pathology related free radical damage; molecular biomarkers of osteoarthritis
  • Dr Thomas Lynch: end of life care, international mapping, evaluation of international palliative care models
  • Professor Christine Milligan: active ageing; ageing and technology; place and care of older people; gender; social perspectives on dementia
  • Dr Hazel Morbey: Later life & experience of ageing, health & social care provision in later life, end of life care, gender and power, care homes & institutional living
  • Dr Sara Morris: end of life care, volunteers and management in hospices
  • Dr Edward Parkin: Proteolysis in Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Professor Sheila Payne: end of life care, international evaluation of service models, experiences of family carers, cancer and non-cancer palliative care
  • Dr Nancy Preston: end of life care, systematic reviews of PROMS, clinical aspects of palliative care, ascites management, research methodologies in EoL
  • Dr Siobhan Reilly: dementias
  • Dr Jane Simpson: clinical psychology perspectives on dementias and Parkinson' disease
  • Dr Mary Turner: end of life care, family carers experiences, palliative care in prisons
  • Dr Sandra Varey: ageing and technology; learning in later life
  • Dr Catherine Walshe: end of life care, community palliative care


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