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Teesside University academic to speak at one of Europe's largest science festivals

21 March 2019


Teesside University academic Dr Cormac Ryan has been invited to speak at one of Europe’s largest science festivals.

Dr Cormac Ryan
Dr Cormac Ryan

Dr Ryan, Reader in Physiotherapy in the University’s School of Health & Social Care, will give a presentation at a special event taking place during the Edinburgh Science Festival 2019.

The Edinburgh Science Festival, held from 6 to 21 April, was launched in 1989 as the world’s first public celebration of science and technology.

Still one of Europe’s largest, this year’s event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings with an overall theme of Frontiers - celebrating the frontiers of knowledge and the spirit of adventure and enquiry that drives science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). As part of the festival’s Healthcare Frontiers sub-theme is an event focused on pain, titled Everybody Hurts, which will explore how and why we experience pain. Chronic pain, which is said to be experienced by one in five people, is a major problem which can't always be treated by a pill.

Dr Ryan will join a panel of experts who will discuss and examine why we hurt and how we can treat it. Each of the panellists will also present a short talk on their particular topic, before taking questions from the audience.

He said: 'The title of my talk is to be ‘is pain all in the head’ which is about how pain can be viewed as a marker of perceived threat, rather than a true reflection of the state of the tissues.'

I am delighted to have been invited to present them to a national audience, widening the impact of our work here at Teesside University.

Dr Cormac Ryan

Dr Ryan’s talk is adapted from previous public lectures given as part of Teesside University’s Spoonful of Knowledge programme, which sees academics and researchers talk about their work in off-campus venues such as coffee shops.

He said 'My previous local public lectures on this topic have been really well received and I am delighted to have been invited to present them to a national audience, widening the impact of our work here at Teesside University.'

Dr Ryan is a member of the Centre for Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (CRESS) within Teesside University. His research is primarily within the field of chronic pain, its impact on patients and interventions to manage the condition. He has a particular interest in how education, using current understanding of pain neuroscience, can be used to help patients better manage their long-term pain condition.

The Everything Hurts event will be held during the conference at 2pm on Saturday 13 April at The Pleasance in Edinburgh. More details on Edinburgh Science Festival.

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