Dr Dawn Groves-Williams

Dr Dawn Groves-Williams


I joined the University of Leeds as a PhD student in October 2009 where I studied part-time in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE) for a PhD entitled “Geometric Variances in Hip Osteoarthritis and Tribology of the Natural Hip”. During my studies I worked as a part-time research assistant, also within iMBE.

I currently work as a Research Fellow in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (LIRMM), on a Versus Arthritis funded study investigating electronic rehabilitation programmes for chronic knee pain. I am responsible for setting up the study, including writing patient-facing programme content, and the day-to-day planning and coordination of the project. I have a keen interest in the management of chronic pain and early intervention for musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Prior to studying for my PhD, I obtained an MSc in Medical Engineering from the University of Hull, having previously worked in the NHS since leaving school. I initially trained and worked in the NHS as a registered Operating Department Practitioner and then, having developed a keen interest in musculoskeletal medicine, I widened my clinical skills by re-training to become a Chartered Physiotherapist.

I graduated from the University of Bradford with a BSc (hons) in Physiotherapy and PGCert in Rehabilitation Studies, where I based the modules around my interest in chronic musculoskeletal pain. In addition to working in the NHS, I gained additional physiotherapy experience working for a handful of rugby teams.

I am interested in promoting public and patient (PPI) activities and have taken part in numerous public engagement (PE) activities whilst at the University of Leeds. As part of this work I created the “What’s in the Box” activity, which teaches people about joint replacements and was designed to be accessible to both children and adults.


  • Member of The School of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (SoMREC)

Research interests

I am interested in the rehabilitation and treatment of patients who have persistent musculoskeletal pain, and my current post is investigating the use of electronic/online methods to do this. I am also very interested in research ethics and have served on Faculty Research Ethics Committees (FREC) for a number of years, having also spent just under three years as a FREC Chair before moving from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences to the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

In my previous role, which was in iMBE, my research interests included investigating the geometry of the native hip joint in patients with femoroacetabular impingement, in-vitro (laboratory) simulation studies of the natural hip joint, and tribocorrosion and contact mechanics of total hip replacements. I also managed the collection of orthopaedic explants and managed the day-to-day running of the Leeds Retrievals Laboratory. I also have an interest in the potential relationships between patient rehabilitation, the operative procedure, and the failure of joint replacements.



  • PhD in Medical Engineering
  • MSc Medical Engineering (Disctinction)
  • PgCert Rehabilitation Studies (Merit)
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (1st Class)

Professional memberships

  • Health and Care Professions Council (Registered Physiotherapist)
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
  • Orthopaedic and British Orthopaedic Research Societies (ORS/BORS)
  • Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (AMIMechE)

Student education

I am not currently involved with student education but have previously co-supervised students and have taught on anatomy and physiology related modules.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine
  • Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research