About Us

The Parkinson’s East Midlands Research Interest Group (PEMRIG) is made up of a group of volunteers, all with their own personal links to Parkinson’s Disease. This page includes biographies of the current PEMRIG group members.

John Turner

John Turner


I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s on 23 December 2015. I knew little about the condition, although my mother–in–law had been diagnosed several years before. I count myself lucky as I had a good career and had retired in 2010. I was a Chartered Librarian for over 40 years, managed Nottingham Central Library and was project manager for the introduction of the Internet into Nottingham City Libraries. In 2005 I joined Nottingham University as Team Leader, and enjoyed recruiting staff, building teams, project management and helping develop modern library facilities including Learning Hubs.

After my diagnosis I came to realise I needed to be more active in seeking to learn more about Parkinson’s. I joined the Research Support Network and applied for a volunteer research role, eventually joining the East Midlands Research Steering Group in 2017. This was a great learning experience as the group were organising a Research Forum for people with Parkinson’s and their partners to attend in Loughborough. It was great to hear about the research people were working on and find out more about where breakthroughs might take place. Mixing with people with our condition from all over the East Midlands was important, too.

Recently, I have become Chair of the Parkinson’s East Midlands Research Information Group (PEMRIG).

I am married to Linda and I enjoy photography and most sports especially cricket. I am a Nottingham Forest supporter. I have several grandchildren who all live locally in the Nottingham area.

Email me: pemrig.uk@gmail.com

Martin Rumsby

Volunteer, PEMRIG

I am a retired university lecturer in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, having lectured at the University of York from 1969 to 2006. I continued to research and teach post-retirement from my home in north-east Derbyshire, but still return to York to write up research results with colleagues. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014. My Neuroscience background means I am interested in following the latest Parkinson’s research.

I am secretary of my Allotment Association and also of the Golden Valley Light Railway where I am a qualified guard and diesel engine driver as well as editor of their quarterly magazine. I enjoy writing but am thankful for my word processor! I have a micro vineyard on my allotment for wine-making. I strongly believe in the benefits of exercise in slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, so will be glad to get back to spinning when my Leisure Centre reopens. Amongst my many hobbies are cycling car-free trails and gardening. I’m keen to spread the word about the latest Parkinson’s research, which is why I joined PEMRIG. I am a PPI volunteer with Parkinson’s UK where I review the plain English abstracts of grant applications prior to submission.

Liz Nash

Research Support Network Manager, Parkinson’s UK

I joined Parkinson’s UK’s Research Communications and Engagement Team in May 2018. The Research Support Network (RSN) connects people affected by the condition to all the latest research news and opportunities to get involved. In my role as RSN Manager, I am responsible for leading the growth, development and activities of the network – including supporting Parkinson’s UK’s Research Interest Groups up and down the UK, and overseeing research volunteering opportunities within the charity. I studied human development, psychology and social work at the Pennsylvania State University in my home country the USA, but have been living in the UK since 2007, primarily working in volunteer management at a range of community organisations and medium-sized charities.

Lionel Paulo

Volunteer, PEMRIG

Life for me has been several blocks of employment and personal accomplishment. Block one took me from my beginning up to my early twenties. I was a driven, workaholic, bad-tempered guy. I competed as a bodybuilder and was an office admin at the end of that time.
Block two closed in my forties and I felt the first twinge of Parkinson’s – most of the time I exercised and work was mainly licensed-trade auditing.
Block three saw Parkinson’s wreck my business but improve my reason for being. I volunteered and experienced a golden period of helping put out information via a newsletter and wrote a lot of articles that were appreciated by quite a few.
The virus coincided with the start of my block four – and now it’s down to trying hard to hold it all together as the world has gone wappy!

Helen Scarr

Volunteer, PEMRIG

I joined PEMRIG at the start of 2020 to help with event management and managing the website.
My connection to Parkinson’s Disease is quite personal, as my father has been suffering from it since 2008. My family has received fantastic support from the Parkinson’s UK charity and I have undertaken several fundraising challenges for them, including a half marathon!
I work as a self-employed writer so I am very lucky to have the flexibility to support the Research group as a volunteer, a role I find interesting and very fulfilling. My fellow PEMRIG-ers are all great and I’m so pleased to be part of the team.

Peter Barrett

Volunteer, PEMRIG

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in July 2019, but like many of us, guessed that I had the disease for quite a long time before the official diagnosis was made. (I was a G.P. in Nottingham for 31 years so
knew the signs!)

I left General Practice in 2006 and chaired the newly merged Nottingham University Hospitals until retiring in July 2013. I enjoyed chairing other NHS bodies but being with patients was the best thing I did. I was honoured to be appointed CBE in 2006 for
services to the NHS, a Deputy Lieutenant of the County in 2009 and given an honorary doctorate of medicine from the University of Nottingham in 2014.

I am married to Ros, a retired dentist, and we have two sons and five grandchildren. It’s great to be involved in PEMRIG and help share research and the possibilities that brings for new treatments.

Katie Puddefoot

Volunteer, PEMRIG

I am a PhD student in Neuroscience at the University of Leicester, due to finish my degree in September 2022. I became interested in Parkinson’s research when my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and it was this interest that made me pursue a PhD in Neuroscience.

I previously had links with the Tunbridge Wells branch of Parkinson’s UK, as this was my dad’s local group. This got me into fundraising activities for the charity and talking to members of the group about ongoing Parkinson’s research.

I am passionate about Science Communication and making research more accessible to people without a science background. This is the reason I joined PEMRIG as a volunteer in 2021.

Jane Bedford

Volunteer, PEMRIG

I am married with two teenage children and was confirmed as having Parkinson’s in April 2019, although fairly young (classed as Early Onset) it was no surprise.  I continue to work full time at the University of Nottingham where I am Head of Project Management.

I absolutely believe in the benefits that exercise can bring to those who have Parkinson’s and anything is better than nothing.  Following diagnosis I discovered a love of exercise, taking part in the Warrior Programme at City Hospital.  I also started to learn Taekwondo and train multiple times each week; I am now a member of the British Taekwondo Para-Poomsae Squad. 

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