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Health researchers recognised with University of the Highlands and Islands titles

By Andrew Dixon

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Professor Trish Gorely.
Professor Trish Gorely.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has awarded two leading health researchers new academic titles.

Trish Gorely from Inverness has received the title of professor while Mary Doherty from Kirkcaldy has received the title of reader.

Prof Gorely is a senior lecturer in the university’s department of nursing and midwifery at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness. With a background in sport science and psychology, her expertise focuses on factors and interventions which promote physically active lifestyles.

An experienced researcher, Prof Gorely has authored and co-authored more than 80 papers on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, contributed to several books on the subject and has presented at numerous conferences around the world.

Prof Gorely’s work has included national and international collaborations and has helped to inform government policy. She has worked in teams designing and evaluating interventions promoting active lifestyles in schools, community groups and clinical populations. In recent work, she has been involved in exploring the impact and delivery of running programmes such as the daily mile and marathon kids in primary schools.

She said: “I am delighted to have been awarded a personal chair in physical activity for health at such an exciting time for the university as we work to establish an active health centre. I have been privileged to work with many great people over the years and their efforts and support have contributed to my success.”

Dr Doherty is a senior lecturer in mass spectrometry in the university’s division of biomedical sciences. Also based at the Centre for Health Science, Dr Doherty’s research specialises in proteins and their role in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and stress.

Her work has been published in international journals and presented at conferences around the world. In 2018, she was selected as a finalist in the Converge Challenge KickStart competition for her work on the AquaOmics project which is exploring the use of fish as models of human disease in drug discovery programmes.

Dr Mary Doherty.
Dr Mary Doherty.

In addition to her teaching and research, Dr Doherty leads the university’s participation in the Athena SWAN Charter, an initiative which encourages commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. She was recently involved in a national working group to address some of the challenges in this area.

Dr Doherty is also head of postgraduate researcher development for the university partnership, working with students and staff to enhance the postgraduate experience.

Dr Doherty said: “I am delighted to receive this award from the university, especially as it recognises not only the scientific research that I undertake with my team, but also my work to promote equality for all staff and students, particularly in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine fields.”

Professor Clive Mulholland, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, said: “Professorships and readerships are reserved for academics with distinguished international reputations in their field. Trish and Mary have made significant contributions to health research and are a credit to our School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences. We are delighted to recognise their expertise and dedication in this way.”

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