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Professor Monica Busse

Professor Monica Busse

Director of Mind, Brain and Neuroscience Trials

School of Medicine

+44 (0)29 2068 7559
4th Floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd, Heath Park
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a chartered physiotherapist and trials methodologist in the Centre for Trials Research (CTR) at Cardiff University and Director of Health and Care Research Wales Faculty.

My undergraduate degree was in Physiotherapy. I have further post-graduate qualifications in Biomedical Sciences (Ergonomics) and Biomechanics. My PhD was in Human Movement Sciences and Neurology with much of my research focussing on clinical neurology and neuroscience setting applied to allied health and care research. I have a longstanding interest in research methodology. I was awarded an NIHR/HCRW post-doctoral fellowship in 2013. I used this opportunity to progress my formal training in trials methods and was awarded a Diploma in Clinical Trials from LSHTM in 2017. I completed core modules Fundamentals of Clinical Trials, Reporting and Reviewing clinical trials, Basic Statistics for Clinical Trials and Clinical Trials in Practice. I also completed advanced modules in Trial designs, Further statistical methods in clinical trials, Regulatory affairs, good clinical practice and ethics and Data monitoring and interim analyses. Alongside this, I completed the Oxford University Qualitative Methods Research Course (20 M-level credits) thus improving my ability and competency in planning detailed process evaluations as part of trials of complex interventions. 

I have a specific interest in the development and evaluation of complex interventions across the life span and developing in-depth understanding of intervention components (including that specific to physical activity behaviour change techniques) required to inform appropriate assessment of outcomes in complex health conditions and across clinical settings. Over the last 10 years, I have been and continue to be principal investigator in a series of multi-centre observational and interventional studies related to physical activity, cognitive training and mobility in Huntington’s Disease (HD) many of which informed the publication of the first evidenced based international physiotherapy clinical guidelines for HD. I have conducted studies of mobility and falls in muscular dystrophy, mobility assessments in Multiple Sclerosis and the role of neural feedback in people with Parkinson’s disease where my expertise in outcome measures and physical training is informing both intervention delivery and assessment of mobility. My expertise in applied biomechanics, functional and clinical assessment and the use of technology to assess community level activity is applied in trials in rare diseases (primarily Huntington’s Disease but more recently extending to a range of rare neurological diseases) and utilising relatively novel designs including trials within cohorts. I have a longstanding commitment to public and patient involvement and coproduction in research and established BRAIN Involve, the public involvement arm of the Wales Brain unit. I have active collaborations with researchers and clinicians working across a variety of health service settings (for example orthopaedics, critical care and autism spectrum disorder). My H-index (Scopus) is 22 and my life-time grant income is in the region of £18 000 000.00.



I was awarded my Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 1993 from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. After graduation, I worked clinically as well as in clinical supervision in university settings in South Africa, USA and UK for more than 10 years as well as undertaking further studies in Ergonomics and Biomechanics. I was awarded my BSc (Med) Hons. Ergonomics (first class) from the University of Cape Town) in December 1996 and my MSc (Med) Biomedical Sciences (distinction) from the University of Cape Town), South Africa in December 2001.

In 2002, I registered for a full time PhD at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff and was awarded my PhD in 2005. I have worked as a Lecturer, Senior lecturer, Reader and then Professor at Cardiff University since 2005.

I was awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (Kingston University) in July 2001, a Diploma in Research Methods (University of Wales College of Medicine) in May 2003, a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Statistics in Higher Education (Royal Statistical Society) in February 2005 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trials (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in July 2017.

Honours and awards

Fellow of Learned Society of Wales April 2021

Professional memberships

Registered Physiotherapist Health Professions Council PH 53577 January 1998

Member of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy January 1998

Fellow of Higher Education Institute July 2001

Academic positions

2022 ongoing Director Health and Care Research Wales Faculty.

2016 to 2022 Director Mind Brain Neuroscience Trials, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, UK.

2015 to 2016 Deputy Head of School of Healthcare Sciences: Research and Innovation, Cardiff University UK

2014 to 2016 Professor of Healthcare Sciences, Associate Director South East Wales Trials Unit

2010 to 2014 Senior Lecturer: School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK 

2005 to 2010 Lecturer: School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University, UK     

Speaking engagements

January 2022. Invited speaker ERN-RND & EPNS Winter school Neurorehabilitation. Budapest.

October 2021. Invited lecture Huntington Study Group of America. Physiotherapy in Huntington’s Disease.

October 2021 Invited faculty for MDS-ES & EHDN Joint Online Course Series: Huntington’s Disease: From Foundational Principles to Assessment and Treatment

September 2021. Session Chair EHDN Plenary Session. Digital Technologies to Advance Assessment and Care in Huntington’s Disease.

March 2021. University of Cork Trials Research and Methodologies Unit. Invited lecture. Registry Based Randomised Controlled Trials Workshop.

April 2021. World Physiotherapy Congress. Seminar on Trauma Informed Physiotherapy Interventions for Refugees and Asylum seekers.

October 2019. European Huntington Association Family conference. Bucharest. Lifestyle factors in managing impact of Huntington’s Disease. DOMINO-HD study.

September 2019. Huntington’s Disease Association of Northern Island. Family conference

April 2019. CNR. UCL Centre for Neurorehabilitation. Prospects for exercise and physical activity interventions in Huntington’s Disease (HD) – what next?

September 2018. EHDN meeting Plenary session III: Keeping Brain Cells Functioning – Can we

Slow Disease Progression Vienna, Austria.

November 2017. Huntington’s Disease Association Health Professionals Study Day. London

September 2017. Lifestyle Influence in Huntington’s Disease. European Huntington Association Conference. Sofia. Bulgaria.

January 2017. Welsh Exercise Medicine Symposium 2017

January 2017. New models and approaches in neurorehabilitation in Advances in neuropsychiatry – from science to practice conference. Llandough Hospital, Cardiff.

October 2016. Surviving a post-doctoral fellowship. Annual Meeting of the Welsh Health Economists Group (WHEG).

October 2016. Neurorehabilitation in movement disorders – a multi-disciplinary approach to the future. Physical Therapies for Neuronal Recovery and Repair in Huntington's Disease. Hallam Conference Centre, London

September 2016. EHDN 2016. Plenary Session VI. Hague, Netherlands. Recently completed clinical trials.

May 2016. Huntington’s Disease Association Professionals Course. A practice pathway to support physiotherapy clinical decision making in HD Liverpool.

April 2016. Wales Neurological Alliance Conference. From the lab to the living room: Co-production in research

March 2016. International Neurological Physical Therapy Association Conference, London: Huntington’s Disease: European Management Model

December 2015. Royal Society of Medicine (Clinical Neurosciences Section): Should we be exercising for Brain Health?

November 2015 Huntington’s Disease Association Health Professionals Study Day

September 2015 European Huntington Association conference 2015, Warsaw: How to cope with HD?"

September 2015 Scottish Huntington’s Disease Association Edinburgh Chapter: Exercise, Physical Activity and HD: Shared Experiences

Committees and reviewing

Future Leaders Fellows Development Networks’ Mentor 2021/22 cycle

Member of the STEMM1 (Medicine and Medical Sciences) Learned Society Scrutiny committee

Member of Cardiff University peer review college RWIF Innovation for All Funding Programme

Invited member DHSC/UKRI COVID-19 rapid response rolling call – College of Experts

Invited member of Wellcome Trust Translation-of Concept (ToC) funding panel

Member MRC Clinical Fellowships Panel

Member of NIHR HTA Commissioning Funding panel

Advisory board for Health and Care Economics Cymru

I regularly review manuscripts submitted for publication in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, European Journal of Neurology, Journal of Huntington’s Disease, Trials, Clinical Science, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Physiotherapy, Physical Therapy, Neuromuscular Disorders, Clinical Biomechanics, Movement Disorders, Clinical Genetics and Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. I am a grant reviewer for Health and Care Research Wales (RfPPB) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) RfPB, HSDR and NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme and Advanced Fellowship programme, The Multiple Sclerosis Society, Parkinson’s Disease-UK, Huntington Disease Association, BIG Lottery fund, Canadian Frailty Network, Stroke Association, Medical Research Council, National Institute of Health Research, Wellcome Trust, Multiple Sclerosis Society, CSO Scotland and the Clinical Research, Global Brain Health Institute and Academic Committee of the ABN Clinical Training Fellowships. I have reviewed final reports submitted to NIHR funding panels. 























I am in possession of a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a Certificate in Teaching Statistics in Higher Education (Royal Statistical Society) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trials (LSHTM). My research has a clear focus on physical activity and development and evaluation of complex interventions in clinical settings. I collaborate closely with colleagues working in engineering and biosciences to achieve a translational focus to my work.

Research grants


GBHI, Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Society UK Pilots Award. £ 19,000. The development of resources to support the remote delivery of a physiotherapy intervention in traumatized refugees in Jordan.

Health and Care Research Wales Research for Public and Patient Benefit. £ 227317.00. Feasibility of TRAK-MSK, a digital self-management physiotherapy intervention, for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Innovation for All. £24016.00. Co-design of a self-management workbook and training for older or adults with multi-morbidities and osteoarthritis.

Innovation for All. £20113.50. Creating the next generation of Huntington’s Disease Physical activity champions. 

NIHR Long COVID in non-hospitalised individuals Call. £1,055,520.00. Long Covid Personalised Self-managemenT support- co-design and EvaluatioN (LISTEN). Co-Chief investigator.

Wellcome Trust –Translation of Concept Scheme (Institutional Translational Partnership Award (ITPA). £19,648. Guided Self-Help Movement-based Intervention to Improve Physical and Psychological Outcomes for Survivors of Torture and Trauma in Wales and Beyond.


Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Coproduction Award. Get cre-active – using the creative arts to explore challenges to physical activity for people with hip dysplasia. £14825.00


JPND Multinational research projects on Health and Social Care for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Multi-Domain Lifestyle Targets for Improving ProgNOsis in Huntington’s Disease (DOMINO-HD) [coordinator] €2,049,523.75.

Health and Care Research Wales. Centre for Trials Research Infrastructure renewal. £2,470,489.00.

Health and Care Research Wales. Social Care Fellowship. Feading, Eating and Drinking in Neurological Care: Sharing Practice to Transform Care (co-applicant/mentor). £392,912.00.

Health and Care Research Wales. Social Care Fellowship. A longitudinal investigation of new ‘Smart Speaker’ personal assistants to improve independence and wellbeing in social care settings (co-applicant/mentor). £414,349.00.

ROCHE Pharmaceuticals. BN 40422. Natural History Study. Principal Investigator. £58,766.00.

ROCHE Pharmaceuticals. BN 40423. Pivotal Trial. Sub-investigator. £64,701.00.

ROCHE Pharmaceuticals. £42,020.00. GenExtend. Sub-investigator. BN40955.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. AuTomated prioRitisation and categorIsation of sAfety and PharmacoviGilance Events in CTIMPs. £29,986.

Health and Care Research Wales Research for Public and Patient Benefit. Treating Anxiety to PrevEnt Relapse in Schizophrenia (TAPERS) - a feasibility trial. £229866.00. 

NIHR PGfAR. Programme Development Grant. PARC: A self-management intervention to support Physical Activity for people with Rare neurological Conditions £99889.00.

NIHR HTA. A definitive multi-centre randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of a community-based rehabilitation package following hip fracture. £2 144 709.00

Health and Care Research Wales. £1,733,333. South East Wales Trials Unit/ Centre for Trials Research Infrastructure funding.

Health and Care Research Wales. £806,983. BRAIN unit Infrastructure funding.


NIHR HTA. A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial of Sensory Integration Therapy versus usual care for sensory processing difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder in children: impact on behavioural difficulties, adaptive skills and socialisation (SenITA) £1,193 million.

Multiple Sclerosis Society. Life-style, Exercise and Activity Package for People living with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (LEAP-MS). £298509.00.

Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation Research Grants in the field of Neurology "Physical Activity and Exercise Outcomes in Huntington's Disease (PACE-HD). £411 00.00.

Research for Public and Patient Benefit. Trial designs for Delivery of Novel Therapies for Neurodegeneration (TRIDENT). £223132.00
Huntington's Disease Association of England and Wales. "Promotion of  physical activity in Huntington's Disease clinics." £10 300.00.


MRC Confidence in Concept "Using wearable technology to predict perioperative high-risk patient outcomes." £39,490.

MRC Confidence in Concept  "Developing clinical applications for a novel multi-task functional assessment." £49,902.00.

Wellcome Trust ISSF Cross disciplinary awards  “Pilot study of motor coordination disorder in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.“ £8,935.

Wellcome Trust ISSF Cross disciplinary awards “Automated assessment of timing and movement signatures in Huntington’s Disease.” £47,945

Wellcome Trust ISSF ISSF populations pilot awards “Feasibility of using consumer-targeted activity monitors in collecting physical activity data within the HealthWise Wales cohort: a pragmatic pilot study.” £28,414

Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation Research Grants in the field of Neurology “Exploring cognitive training as a non-pharmaceutical intervention for people with Huntingtons disease.” £94,071


Division of Health and Care Research Wales (DHCRW); Brain Repair And Intracranial Neurotherapeutics- Wales BRAIN Unit. £1.2m; lead applicant Professor W. Grey.


FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1 "REPAIR-HD Human pluripotent stem cell differentiation, safety and preparation for therapeutic transplantation in Huntington's disease". £1,705,800

Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation "ExeRT-HD Exercise Rehabilitation Trial in Huntington's Disease". £172,805

National Institute of Social Care and Health Research/ National Institute of Health Research "Move to Exercise: Home based exercise for people with Huntington's Disease". £687,362


Linden. Morris, Subramanian, Busse Wellcome Trust ISSF Seedcorn "Real Time fMRI neurofeedback as a treatment for Parkinson's Disease". £45,000


Neil Glendinning Research Grant Huntington's Disease Association: Task Training in Huntington's Disease £99,230

European Huntington's Disease Network. Feasibility and benefit of inspiratory muscle training in people with Huntington's disease. £38,384.


National Institute for Social Care and Health Research Health Research Funding Scheme: Can community supported exercise benefit subjective wellbeing, physical activity levels and abilities in people with Huntington's disease? A randomised feasibility study and process evaluation (COMMET-HD). £122,720.

Medical Research Council. National Prevention Research Initiative. Health Eating and Lifestyle in Pregnancy Study (HELP).   £1,041,422.


European Huntington's Disease Network. Reliability and minimal detectable change of measures of participation, functional activities and impairments in individuals with Huntington's disease. £36,000.

Physiotherapy Research Foundation Scheme B. Respiratory Function in people with Huntington's disease: a cross sectional study. £6,500.

Research Capacity Building Consortium Wales PhD studentship. Respiratory Function in people with Huntington's disease: a cross sectional study. £51,558.


Chief Medical Officer for Wales Research Budget. Development and evaluation of a DVD resource for people with a neurodegenerative disease who may be at risk of falls. £9,938.

Paul Jeffries Waters Bequest Fund to support research in Huntington' disease. £2,820.


Physiotherapy Research Society. Mobility and Falls in Huntington's Disease. £500


I am interested in supervising projects in:

  • Clinical Evaluation of Physical Activity and Sleep in neurodegenerative disease
  • Complex interventions and self-management support
  • Digital health interventions applied to long term conditions
  • Mixed methods applied health research

Current supervision.

  1. Eleni Glarou. PhD; School of Medicine. Understanding multi-party communication in therapy sessions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing (SP) difficulties - the value of interaction analysis (start 1 October 2018).
  2. Andreas Markoulidakis. PhD, School of Medicine (start 1 October 2019). Identification and modelling of causal genetic and environmental factors for HD severity and progression.

Previous PGR projects.

  1. Movement Deficits and Physiotherapy Huntington’s disease. Awarded 2013. Hanan Khalil
  2. A comparative analysis of physiotherapy services in different health environments. Awarded 2014. Abdulrahman Altowaijri.
  3. Respiratory Function in people with Huntington’s disease: a cross sectional study. Awarded 2014. Una Jones
  4. Training the Brain in Huntington's Disease. Awarded 2017
  5. An exploration of Exercise Experiences in People with Huntington’s disease: Who makes the time? Awarded 2019. Katy Hamana
  6. Exploring clinical applications for a novel multi-task functional assessment: matching appropriate technology to clinical need. Awarded 2021. Samuel Woodgate.


Past projects


I am clinical lead physiotherapist for the Cardiff Huntington's Disease (HD) research and management clinic where I work with staff to implement physiotherapy assessments and referrals across South Wales. In this role, I liaise with local therapy staff to provide evidenced based recommendations for physiotherapy interventions where appropriate. As a representative of the Cardiff HD clinic, I have spoken both locally and internationally on family days for people with HD where provision of knowledge and development of awareness may directly impact on a person's ability to cope with this particular long term neurological condition and have organised the highly successful Cardiff Huntington’s Disease Research Management Clinic Open days for 6 consecutive years. I have been instrumental in establishing a Wales Huntington's Disease Involving People Group. This group is now joined with the Wales BRAIN unit, BRAIN Involve. Under my leadership, this group has been highly active in reviewing participant materials and protocols for a variety of trials over the last 8 years including reviews for invasive industry led first in man trials. As past co-lead facilitator of the European Huntington's Disease Network (EHDN) physiotherapy working group, I was active in organising international group meetings for more than 6 years leading to established collaborations across the United Kingdom, Europe, USA and Australia. These collaborations have led to the publication of the first ever evidence informed clinical guidance for the management of physiotherapy for Huntington’s. These internationally recognised guidelines were published in Journal for Neurology in 2020.