Project Board

Gp Capt Alexander Bennett –  Chair of Project Board

Alex joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in August 2000. He has been a Consultant in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) since October 2008 and Head of the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation (ADMR) since June 2011 and is the RAF Consultant Advisor in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation. He is Defence Professor of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation since 2017 and honorary professor at the University of Loughborough.

Alex is a clinical academic and has an extensive research portfolio.  He is currently overseeing all research at ADMR at Stanford Hall, which focuses on trauma rehabilitation and outcome, training injuries and outcomes, and military related rheumatology. He is the Chief Investigator of the ADVANCE Study and Chair of the ADVANCE Study Project Board.

Lt Col (rtd) Dr Christopher Boos

Christopher qualified from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1994 and after undergraduate posts in the city he undertook his cardiology training in the Wessex and West Midlands Deaneries. He obtained his MD from the University of Birmingham for his research into endothelial dysfunction in 2007. Since September 2008, Christopher has been a Consultant Cardiologist at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He was appointed as a visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University in 2017 and is a visiting faculty member of Bournemouth University and King’s College London. Christopher’s clinical interests include complex device implantation, sports cardiology and atrial fibrillation, and he is the founder of the South Coast Heart Failure Meeting.

Christopher recently left the Armed Forces as their Senior Cardiologist but maintains a strong clinical and research link. He is the Specialty Lead for Research and Innovation at Poole Hospital and has >100 publications in peer reviewed journals. His current research interests include cardiovascular risk, heart rate variability and the effects of high altitude on cardiac function. His primary role is ADVANCE is to lead on and support the cardiovascular research within the study.

Professor Anthony Bull

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Anthony is Professor of Musculoskeletal Mechanics at Imperial College London. He focuses on musculoskeletal conditions and has multiple on-going studies investigating the effect of amputation on musculoskeletal health and function. He has led the Centre for Blast Injury Studies since its inception in 2008 and, as such, oversees a large body of work on military trauma focusing on mitigation, treatment and rehabilitation.

As a member of the ADVANCE Study Board, Anthony brings his knowledge of military-relevant medical research to bear on the strategic and operational aspects of the study, and he brings his engineering background to contribute to various specific research aims.

Professor Nicola Fear

Nicola is Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) since 2011. She joined the Academic Department of Military Mental Health (ADMMH) at King’s College London in 2004, having trained as an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford. She also spent time as an epidemiologist working for the Leukaemia Research Fund at the University of Leeds, before spending two years as an epidemiologist within the UK Ministry of Defence.

Nicola is one of the principal investigators (PI) on the KCMHR military cohort study, the PI on several studies looking at the impact of military service on families, as well as being the Lead Epidemiologist for both KCMHR and ADMMH.

Nicola’s research expertise is in military health and wellbeing, suicide and self-harm, occupational risk factors for disease, and data linkage. She brings her extensive experience and expertise to the ADVANCE Study to look at mental health effects of serious injuries on ex-servicemen.