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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

I am a chartered physiotherapist, trials methodologist and Director for Mind, Brain, Neuroscience Trials in the Centre for Trials Research (CTR) at Cardiff University. The CTR is the largest group of academic clinical trials staff in Wales dedicated to tackling the big diseases and health concerns of our time. I have an established reputation in the development and evaluation of complex interventions in neurodegeneration. 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). I am actively involved in a programme of research dedicated to cell replacement therapies in 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 sensors (and machine learning technologies) to assess community level activity and inform clinical signal detection 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.

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



















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. I also have a particular interest in innovative methods for teaching research and statistics and the use of reliability analyses and mixed methods in healthcare research that has developed as a direct result of application in my research area.

Research grants


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