“I’m Chloe Chiou, a PhD student from the department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology from National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. The National Science Council of Taipei strongly supports and encourages international collaborations between colleges. It is for this reason I applied to Imperial College and owe a huge thanks to Professor Alison McGregor and Dr Paul Strutton for approving my place here, allowing me to join the MSk Lab and assist in research for the next six months.
The project I am working on here is to investigate the way the nervous system controls the trunk muscles, particularly focusing on people with low back pain by using transcranial magnetic stimulation as a tool. My PhD thesis is looking at the changes which occur within the brain following a stroke; the back pain research is an additional topic that I am working on in conjunction with Dr Paul Strutton.
He is an expert in back pain and an excellent tutor – I had no idea how to set up and use the equipment to start with. However with guidance from Paul the study was up and running within a few weeks and I felt confident that I knew what I was doing. Both he and Alison have given me a great deal of space/time to also get involved with the recruitment of patients for the study – signing people up from clinics, explaining the experiment to them, arranging the appointments and then carrying out the tests. It has been a huge learning curve for me and certainly not been easy, but I have felt extremely supported and learnt invaluable skills essential to being a researcher.
I am really enjoying the work I am doing here and feel part of the MSk Lab team. It is a great place to work, with so much going on and exciting things happening. A big thank you to all the staff for having me, I shall miss you when I go back home in December.”
By Ms Chloe Chiou