The School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition has a diverse core Patient & Public Involvement group made up of twelve members who meet four times a year and regularly engage with researchers within the School/NHS to ensure the work is meaningful and impactful.
Meet the PPI Partners
- Elizabeth Chrystall
I am 74 years old and live in Kintore with my partner of 30 years. Having worked in HR roles in the oil industry, public sector, wholesale distribution and transport companies, I became a self-employed HR Consultant for about 8 years prior to my retirement. I have always had an interest in science subjects, particularly anything medical as both my parents and their siblings suffered health problems which may be hereditary.
In the hope of helping to find ways of minimising that risk, I volunteered for related research projects at the Rowett Research Institute in the past. I’ve enjoyed attending Aberdeen University’s Café Sci and participated some time ago in a former PPI group. As a result of that, I was approached in March 2021 with a view to joining the University of Aberdeen SMMSN PPI group as a lay member. The meetings I have attended so far have showcased a wide variety of extremely interesting research projects and it’s a privilege to be able to discuss these with the researchers. I have learned so much and look forward to continuing my involvement to expand my knowledge even further.
- Luda Coutts
My name is Luda, I live in beautiful Stonehaven with my husband and collie dog. I am a pilates teacher and I am enjoying teaching my classes and see people moving and getting happy and healthy.
As a former trial patient, I applied to PPI group hoping I could be helpful and contribute to clinical research.
I feel privileged to be part of the PPI group, there is always a very friendly atmosphere, everyone’s opinion is very welcome and I always looking forward to the next meeting.
- Caroline Keegan
My name is Caroline. I became interested in the research process when I was a Mental Health Nurse.
I left nursing when I had my family but my interest in health has remained and I am currently training to become a Healing Practitioner.
I feel very privileged to be involved with the work of the University of Aberdeen which has the potential to transform people’s lives.
- Rossella Miccoli
Hi, my name is Rossella and I am an undergraduate student in French and German Studies at the University of Aberdeen. I joined the Patient & Public Involvement group in April as I believed it would be the perfect experience for an aspiring medical interpreter.
I found out about the existence of medical interpreters in 2017, when I volunteered for a Medical Brigade of Ophthalmological Surgery hosted by Lions Club International in Honduras, Central America, during my (first) exchange year. I interpreted Spanish-English and vice versa for medical crews from the US who had come to Honduras with the mission to examine and operate on patients from disadvantaged backgrounds. Thanks to this experience I understood that combining my two greatest passions, languages and health is possible.
In 2021 I undertook an internship with a company in Germany specialised in medical support for foreigners in the country. There I was responsible for writing and translating articles for their blog and for hosting live interviews with their healthcare partners.
The PPI group is for me an invaluable resource to better understand our healthcare system and the progress of medical research. It allows me to get closer to my goal and keeps me encouraged and motivated.
- William Morrison
Retired for 20 years, I was employed in Local Government for just over 30 years finally as a Principal Officer in the Education department with responsibilities for all educational establishments.
Qualifications in electrical and electronic engineering and a Diploma in Management Studies from RGU. Leisure interests are golf, caravanning and walking the hills with my two grandsons.
My reasons for interest in the PPI group are mainly to keep the mind active and the possibility to contribute in a small way on the many and varied papers presented to us as a group.
- Gregory Poon
I spent my entire working life with NHS Grampian, my career consists of nursing, health promotion and management. Retired in 2010 after 41 years service.
I am a strong advocate in life science research as it lends important insights into disease processes and allows the development of novel therapeutics and innovative medical devices thereby directly improving human health. I feel patient/public involvement is an essential part of the process as they make judgements based on their understanding of the disease or conditions. They may have different aspirations and thoughts about health outcomes that health care professionals and researchers may not have considered.
My experience with the PPI core group so far have been very positive. I learn a lot from the researchers and fellow PPI core group members. It is satisfying to hear feedback on how our contributions have made a difference.
- Ian Struthers
I became a member of the group as I have an interest in what research is being conducted in Aberdeen.
My background was engineering at university followed by a career in aviation.
I feel that as a lay person I can listen to briefings on research proposals then ask questions of, and provide feedback to, the presenters. People can sometimes be too close to a project and cannot see a relevant point which may be clearer to those who are less involved.
I enjoy the variety of research projects on which I have been briefed.
- David Wood
I come from a marine background and spent the majority of my career in the offshore environment. I have always been interested in voluntary work and before retirement was involved with Grampian Children's Panel and Grampian Medical Ethics Committee. Following retirement, I was a follower of the Public Engagement with Research cafe series.
Through Cafe Scientifique, I eventually became involved with the University of Aberdeen SMMSN PPI group. In parallel with this, through Cafe Med I became involved with the University of Aberdeen Patient Partner Programme.
Although there were some disruptions during the Covid lockdown, I continue to participate in both groups. I find the mental stimulation a welcome challenge, particularly as it is in complete contrast to my working background.