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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Professor Maria Stokes awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours

Published: 3 January 2018
Professor Maria Stokes
Professor Maria Stokes

Southampton Professor Maria Stokes has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to physiotherapy research in the 2018 New Year Honours.

Professor Stokes, who joined the University of Southampton in 2004, leads the University’s Active Living Technologies Research Group. Her research interests focus on musculoskeletal health, specifically in exercise to maintain healthy joints and mobility.

Professor Stokes research aims to optimise function and enable active living through multidisciplinary research into healthy ageing of the musculoskeletal system and physical management of musculoskeletal conditions. Her latest research will involve the first study of the effects of space flight on human muscle tone, thanks to funding from the UK Space Agency.

“Thanks for all the good wishes on receiving this honour,” said Professor Stokes. “Such an achievement for research can only be accepted as part of a team, so I’m delighted to receive it on behalf of colleagues in the Active Living and Rehabilitation Research Group in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton and all our collaborators. 

“Although the honour is awarded for research in physiotherapy, people from many other disciplines contribute to this work, mainly engineering, sports science, psychology, social science, statistics, and clinicians in allied health professions and medicine,” Professor Stokes continued. “This rich mix of scientists, clinicians and industry is able to work together effectively through the Institute of Life Sciences.  Most of our research sits in the national Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis, where we aim to keep people of all ages as active as possible, seeking ways for them to exercise safely, so that their joints are protected from pain, injury and osteoarthritis.

“Our research is able to thrive around the excellent education programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences, training the next generation of clinicians in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Clinical Physiology, Nursing and Midwifery,” she continued.  “There are too many to name, so I’d like to thank the following groups for their continued hard work and support: students, and academic, administrative and support staff colleagues in the Faculty of Health Sciences; people who volunteer to be studied; patient and public representatives who work with us to help make sure our research is relevant and effective; funding bodies; national and international collaborators; and, not least, my family and friends.” 


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