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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Samantha Harrison graduated from Northumbria University in 2006 with a joint-BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Sport Science and completed an MSc (pre-registration) in Physiotherapy in 2009 at Leeds Beckett University. The same year she began working at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester in the pulmonary rehabilitation department where her time was split between research and the clinical service.

She was awarded her PhD in 2014 from the School of Psychology, University of Leicester which comprised of a mixed-methods study exploring illness perceptions following an acute exacerbation of COPD to inform tailored strategies to enhance pulmonary rehabilitation.

In 2013 Samantha moved to Toronto, Canada to complete her international post-doctoral training in respiratory medicine and pulmonary rehabilitation, at West Park Healthcare Center. She also delivered teaching in cardio-respiratory in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.

In September 2015 she returned to the UK to commence her position as a Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences at Teesside University. She was awarded her Readership in Respiratory Rehabilitation in 2018. 

Samantha has over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has secured in excess of £3 million in external funding and £100k as the principal applicant. She is a peer reviewer for several renowned journals such as; Thorax, Chest, European Respiratory Journal and Chronic Respiratory Disease. She has been an invited speaker at a number of international meetings including; the Canadian Respiratory Conference (2014, 2015), the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Congress (2015) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress (2016, 2019).

She is the co-lead for the Council for Allied Health Professionals Research Network North East of England hub and is an executive committee member for the Physiotherapy Research Society. 

Summary of Research Interests

Samantha’s research interests are primarily in the area of respiratory medicine, specifically COPD and cardio-thoracic surgery. She is interested in exploring the extra-pulmonary (pain and impaired balance) and psychological effects of COPD and developing interventions to compliment pulmonary rehabilitation. She is working with the cardio-thoracic surgery team at James Cook University hospital to develop and refine an enhanced recovery service.

Samantha has experience in conducting both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and systematic reviewing.

Current Projects

Pre-habilitation in elderly patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Collaborator with Mr Enoch Akowuah (lead), Dr Adetayo Kasim, Professor Helen Hancock and Mrs Rebecca Maier.

Dance for people with chronic breathlessness. Co-applicant with Professor Jane Mcnaughton (lead) and the Life of Breath.

Virtual Reality for rehabilitation. Co-applicant with Saint Martinclinic (lead), Teesside University (Professor Denis Martin, lead), Europen Association of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, St Maritius Terapielinik, Royal Free London NHS Trust, Universite de Lille 1-Sciences et Technoligies, Games for Health Europe.

Balance training in indivdiuals with COPD: impact on falls. Site lead with Professor Dina Brooks, Professor Roger Goldstein, Dr Marla Beauchamp (leads).

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery for lung cancer (ROSE). Lead applicant with Mr Joel Dunning, Mr Sasha Stamenkovic and Professor Alan Batterham. 




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