Leadership team

MICRA includes senior academics at The University of Manchester and experts in the field of ageing.

Professor Alistair Burns, Institute Executive Director

Professor Alistair Burns is a consultant old age psychiatrist and National Clinical Director for Dementia in England.

His research interests are in mental health problems of older people, particularly dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. His research papers have looked at cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease, behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and drug repositioning for Alzheimer’s disease.

He is Editor of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Assistant Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry, and is on the Editorial Boards of International Psychogeriatrics and Advances in Psychiatric Treatment.

Professor Tarani Chandola, Deputy Director

Tarani Chandola is a Professor of Medical Sociology.

He is a co-director of the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health. He is also the co-director for the Social-Biological Centre for Doctoral Training funded by the ESRC and BBSRC. He is a member of the ESRC Strategic Advisory Network, a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Statistical Society and is editor-in-chief of the journal Sociology.

Professor Rachel Watson, Deputy Director

Rachel Watson is Professor of Cutaneous Science and is Head of the Division of Musculoskeletal and Dermatological Sciences.

She sits on the editorial boards of three scientific journals and is Section Editor (Translational Research) of the British Journal of Dermatology.

Rachel also sits on the British Association of Dermatologists’ UK TREND committee, which helps guide research priorities in the area of skin health and disease.

Professor James Nazroo

Professor James Nazroo is a sociologist and international authority on social determinants of health and wellbeing in later life.

He leads a five-year research project ‘Inequalities in later life frailty and wellbeing’, funded by the UK research councils’ Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme.

James is interested in how inequalities are transmitted across the lifecourse, and in patterns of retirement, and social and civic participation. James also specialises in longitudinal surveys of health and retirement. He helps lead the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), an ongoing study of people aged 50 and over.

Dr Neil Pendleton

Dr Neil Pendleton is a consultant orthogeriatrician and Senior Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine. His research background spans gerontology, geriatrics, neuropsychology and molecular biology.

He has a wide range of research expertise in supporting large cohort longitudinal studies of ageing in the UK and EU including the Dyne Steel DNA archive for cognitive genetics in older adults and genome-wide association study of cognitive ageing. Neil continues to research cognitive ageing, relationships between emotional and cognitive health in late life and transitions between normal and pathological cognitive impairment.

He has developed a focus on investigating the interaction between genotype and phenotype in human subjects to explain the trajectories of ageing performance and wellbeing.

Professor Chris Todd

Chris Todd is professor of Primary Care and Community Health.

He is Director of the NIHR Older People and Frailty Policy Research Unit. Also, the Deputy Director for the Healthy Ageing Theme NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester.

Chris leads the Healthy Ageing research group in the School of Health Sciences. His interests include fall prevention, healthy ageing, activity promotion, use of technologies to promote healthy ageing, resilience and frailty, and nutrition and ageing.

Chris is also an NIHR Senior Investigator and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh.

Professor Chris Phillipson

Chris Phillipson is a Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology. 

His particular focus is on the social, political and economic issues with ageing populations. He holds grants in ESRC and cross-research council programmes, including Family and Household Change (ESRC), Cultures of Consumption (ESRC/AHRC), and the Life-long Health and Wellbeing programme (MRC led).

Chris is especially interested in the relationship between population ageing and urbanisation, exploring the impact of cities on older people (and vice versa). This work is supported by Manchester City Council and various other funders. He led an ESRC-funded International Partnership and Networking Scheme (IPNS). It brought together European and North American research centres and policy-makers engaged in the study of the impact of demographic change on urban life.

His latest book is the co-edited Precarity and Ageing: Understanding Risk and Insecurity in Later Life (Policy Press).

Professor James Banks

James Banks is a Professor of Economics at Manchester.

He is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). There, he is Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy.

His research focused on empirical modelling of individual economic behaviour over the lifecycle, with a particular focus on consumption and spending patterns, saving and asset accumulation, housing dynamics, and retirement and pension choices.

James was a founding principal investigator of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and still remains a co-principal investigator on the study. Following the establishment of ELSA, his research has looked at broader issues in the economics of ageing, such as health, physical and cognitive functioning (and their association with labour market and broader socioeconomic status), and the dynamics of work disability.