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Prof Eleanor Main
4th Floor, Wellcome Trust Building
UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street
  • Professor of Physiotherapy
  • Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
UCL Principal Supervisor,UCL Subsidiary Supervisor

Eleanor Main has worked in physiotherapy research and postgraduate education at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health for 18 years. She qualified in South Africa (BSc Physiotherapy: University of the Witwatersrand, 1988), then completed a BA (English & Psychology, University of South Africa (UNISA) 1991), an MSc in research methods (Kings College London, 1995) and a PhD in paediatric respiratory physiology (UCL, 2001).

Her clinical background is primarily in paediatric respiratory care and neurophysiotherapy, predominantly undertaken at Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London. She was appointed as Lecturer in Physiotherapy Research at UCL in 2001, Senior Lecturer in 2007 and Professor of Physiotherapy in 2015.  In 2011 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for her ‘significant contribution to education, teaching and learning in cardiorespiratory and paediatric physiotherapy’.

Research Summary

Eleanor Main’s primary research interests at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health relate to clinical efficacy studies in physiotherapy.  Recent or ongoing areas of research engagement are detailed below. This research has resulted in substantive advances in the principles of assessment and management of children who require physiotherapy and has attracted over £2,8 million in project grant funding and resulted in over 80 peer reviewed publications.  Professor Main is regularly invited to present this research at international conferences, as well contribute to national and international advisory boards, international scientific committees, task forces and expert panels.  This research has also been instrumental in forwarding the research-led teaching on the UCL MSc, Diploma and Certificate in physiotherapy.   Eleanor is currently supervising 6 PhD students and has successfully supervised 4 PhD students and over 100 MSc project dissertations to completion.  

  1. 2017:  Project Fizzyo: Remote monitoring and gaming technology for improving physiotherapy adherence, prescription and prediction of clinical outcomes in children with cystic fibrosis (funded: Rosetrees Foundation).
  2. 2016: Physical Activity, Exercise, Sport and Recreation Promotion for Adolescents with CF (funded: CF Trust).
  3. 2014: Development of an intervention to increase physiotherapy adherence among young children with cystic fibrosis: A Medical Research Council complex intervention framework development and feasibility study (funded: CSO, Scotland) 
  4. 2012: A randomised controlled trial investigating the clinical and economic benefits of a new model of care for children with cystic fibrosis  (funded: GOSH Children's Charity) 
  5. 2010: Measuring normal and impaired walking in children using the GAITRite walkway. (funded: GOSH Children's Charity) 
  6. 2008: The longitudinal monitoring of lung structure and function in children with cystic fibrosis (funded: GOSH Children's Charity). 
  7. 2006: Safety and efficacy of emergency on-call respiratory physiotherapy services in the paediatric intensive care unit (funded: CSP Physiotherapy Research Foundation).

Teaching Summary

Eleanor has been Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in  Physiotherapy at UCL since 2005. This is one of the largest and most successful postgraduate physiotherapy programmes in the world, with 84 postgraduate physiotherapy students enrolled for the 2018/2019 academic year, and more than 100 additional Short course or Taster participants. There are currently 3 academic pathways for students (Cardiorespiratory, Paediatric and Neurophysiotherapy), with 6 potential exit routes and a choice of over 25 modules within the programmes, with both clinical and non-clinical routes.  

In 2016 Eleanor was co-editor for the 5th Edition of a core international cardiorespiratory textbook for physiotherapists: Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy: Adults and Paediatrics, published in 2016. This textbook has been translated into many languages and is widely distributed across Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East, Africa and North America.

Academic Background
2001   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
1996   Master of Science King's College London
1991   Bachelor of Arts University of South Africa, Pretoria
1988   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of the Witwatersrand
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