CIMA Annual Meeting and Engagement Event

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CIMA logo

The Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) have been hosting numerous events recently including their annual meeting, and a successful public engagement open day. The Centre, a collaboration between the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences, University of Sheffield, and Newcastle University; brings together leading researchers in the field of musculoskeletal ageing to advance research, and deliver high-quality teaching via their MRes and PhD programmes.


Annual Meeting

The CIMA Annual Meeting, held at the Principal Hotel in York on Monday the 3rd of October, was the first opportunity for members to meet face-to-face since the pandemic. Members gathered in York to present recent research, and discuss ongoing discoveries in ageing medicine. Alongside the CIMA members and students, esteemed overseas attendees are invited to present and provide attendees with a wider range of insight both within their specific discipline, and from more far-reaching fields such as Veterinary Science, Evolutionary Biology, and Cardiovascular Medicine.

The Meeting also market the 10th anniversary of CIMA’s formation, with members reflecting on the achievements of the Centre and looking forward to the final years as they enter a sundown period.

Alongside the presentations, CIMA regularly gathers its International Advisory Board at the annual meeting, in which global stakeholders from research, medicine, and industry are asked to discuss the future strategy and direction of research for the Centre with the CIMA senior leadership team. This committee has been a regular fixture since the inception of CIMA and ensures that funding is directed in the most effective way to deliver the best research and teaching.

Finally, the meeting is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of CIMA students; who work alongside senior academics across the three collaborating Universities throughout the year on PhD projects and the award winning MRes programme. These students are given time to make presentations, with prizes awarded to the most impressive talk.

Programme Manager, Rachael Wright said of the presentations, “It was hard to select the best presentations at this meeting as all talks were interesting and well-presented, however we are pleased to announce that Lisa Dowling, Elizabeth Sutton, Daniel Hayman, Robert Heaton, Abby Brumwell and John Gostage were all recipients of prizes at this meeting”.

The winning students are pictures below:

CIMA meeting presentation winners



Engagement Event

Shortly after the CIMA Annual Meeting, members were out engaging with the public at a healthcare festival in Ainsdale. The festival was organised in partnership with the NHS, and invited older members of the local community to learn more about arthritis, and how researchers are working hard to create real-world solutions to their health-related concerns.


Prof Helen Wright at Ainsdale healthcare festival

Helen Wright, CIMA member described the event, “We organised this event for World Arthritis Day 2022 as we wanted to raise awareness of how common arthritis is in the UK. We wanted to help people understand it’s not ‘just wear and tear’, and we wanted to distribute our CIMA booklet on OA (

We also aimed to raise awareness of the research carried out at the University looking into causes of and treatments for arthritis.

I also wanted my students and post-doctoral researchers to have the opportunity to talk to older people who have arthritis. This was a huge success and we had a lot of participation and lovely conversations with the community in Ainsdale. It helped both me and my team to realise the scale of arthritis amongst the local population and some of the difficulties people have experienced getting seen by a GP or getting treatment for arthritis. 

The event has really focussed the understanding of why we are focussing our work in this area of research.

It was a really positive experience for me and my team. The value to us as researchers is huge as we don’t normally get that amount of time just to talk to people. I think at least half the people we spoke to had one or more replacement joint which was much more than I had anticipated, so the whole experience really solidified our understanding of the burden of arthritis in the community.”



The MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) is a collaboration between researchers and clinicians at the University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield and Newcastle University. We are funded by the Medical Research Council and Arthritis Research UK. The Centre was established in 2012 and its success was recognised by the renewal of its funding in 2017.