ACER PPI Group members

ACER PPI Group members

University of Aberdeen Staff/ Student Members

Professor Phyo Myint (Staff member)

Image of Professor Phyo MyintAs a principal investigator I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with public and patient representatives in several studies. Working closely with PPI members over 10 years has made me realise the important contribution they make from the inception to the dissemination of research studies. Their useful and practical advice has helped successful delivery of research objectives as well as impactful dissemination activities. As a research team, our ambition is to lead the way on the co-production of research studies relevant to older people. I am most grateful for the pump priming support of the Department of Medicine for the Elderly, NHS Grampian and the Morningfield Association who provide the financial support to run the ACER PPI Group.

Dr Roy Soiza (Staff member)


As I apImage of Dr Roy Soizaproach 20 years of medical research experience, it’s been a pleasure to see how  well integrated public and patient involvement has become into all aspects of medical research. I am very proud of our PPI group and am always delighted with their helpful and insightful contributions to my studies, as well as their fabulous company. I am a clinician committed to person-centred care, but it is equally important that our research also has at its core the very people that it intends to help. The involvement and active participation of our PPI group helps to ensure my research maintains the right focus from inception to dissemination of results.


Dr Carrie Stewart (Staff member)

IImage of Carrie Stewart have been leading on the development of PPI activities for the ACER team. I successfully negotiated funding from NHS Grampian Endowments to provide financial support to initiate the group. I have liaised with local partners from Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, NHS Grampian Involve, the Scottish Health Council and Robert Gordon University to recruit members of the public. I have since secured funding from the Morningfield Association to continue the PPI group throughout 2020.My interest in PPI began during my PhD when I worked closely with colleagues involved in the MRC funded Engaging with Older People and their carers to Develop and deliver Interventions for the Self-management of Chronic Pain study. As part of this, I assisted with a patient-led review of self-management materials, which I have presented by poster at conferences, co-authored a journal paper submission, and have been involved in the development of a patient support leaflet endorsed and published by the British Pain Society. I also led on the co-development of a PPI/researcher led presentation at the British Science Festival (Aberdeen, 2012).  have experienced the invaluable input that lay involvement can bring to a study and actively promote PPI involvement amongst other researchers.

Carmen Brack (PGR Student Volunteer Member)

I am a PhD student in Applied Health Sciences, and I have become involved with the group as a volunteer, helping to coordinate meetings and activities. Much of my own research is focused on how we can best use the information that GPs have access to identify frail older people. I find it great working with the PPI members on the various projects that are presented, it means that I can continuously evaluate my own research and ensure it remains patient focused, despite being data-driven.



Some of our Public and Patient Members

Mr Richard Caie

Image of Richard CaieBorn and raised in Ullapool and, after a career in the Merchant Navy, I’m now retired and live in Aberdeen. I greatly enjoy volunteering especially as a Patient Partner with both Aberdeen Universities. I’m on several PPI groups and am a member of the NoS Ethics Committee No 1.  I have been actively involved with a subgroup of the ACER PPI group tasked with the co-development of public literature to raise awareness of anticholinergic medications. I have also been a key member in the development of a short video animation to present this awareness of anticholinergics to the general public. In non-covid times I help find flint tools in ploughed fields with Mesolithic Deeside and assist with the upkeep of a local community garden.  I’ve become involved with the campaign to stop St Fittick’s Park being turned into an industrial park.

Mr Stewart Dickson

Image of Stewart DicksonI'm 71years old, live in rural Aberdeenshire and retired at 60 from managing Criminal Justice Addictions for Grampian. Since then, I've worked in Social work Contracts & Commissioning, Alcohol related brain damage service and sheltered housing. I have a range of qualifications including an MSc. A strange career for having left school at 15 and serving a 5-year apprentice as a mason/bricklayer. I keep Newfoundland and Golden Retriever dogs. My wife keeps me right.

Mrs Virginia Irvine-Fortescue

Image of Virginia Irvine-FortescueAs a Medical Herbalist, my professional approach to healthcare treatment is person-centred and for the individual. The ACER team’s objectives aim to enable that targeted quality of care for older people, and we, the PPI group, represent the older people of the NE of Scotland in this research study. As a Public Representative of NHSGrampian across several fields, I appreciate being part of ACER’s consultation which will benefit us all.

Mrs Freda Hasler

Image of Freda HaslerAs a child of our beloved NHS, I’ve contributed as a volunteer throughout my life.  Now in my 70s, ACER allows  me to share my professional skills and experience with a dynamic and forward-thinking group:  it’s participative, respectful, and so instructive.  Great to feel valued while doing a worthwhile task.

Mr Jack Lavety

Image of Jack LavertyMy interest with ACER lies in promoting research into the preservation of mental and visual  processes in Ageing. Unlike physical problems, there is little that can be done during earlier years. I was a Food Preservation researcher for 30 years at Torry Research Station, Aberdeen.

Dr Dick Morris

Image of Dick MorrisDr Dick Morris is a retired Food and Agricultural Systems academic. He was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia in 2013, and has since critically reviewed and edited patient information material for blood cancer charities. Through PPI, he hopes to support understanding of the needs and treatment of older persons.

Mrs Mary Rasmussen

Image of Mary RasmussenI have long been involved in conducting and participating in educational research.  When sight loss caused early retirement, I developed an interest in the health and welfare of the community through PPI, NES, engagement with ACC and RGU in built environment, Social Work and Nurse Education and ACER was a natural extension.  It has provided opportunities to help create meaningful change where views are valued in friendly participation.