A pioneering researcher whose work on chest trauma has had a global impact has scored a first-in-Wales appointment.
Morriston Hospital-based Ceri Battle has become Honorary Professor in Trauma and Emergency Care with Swansea University’s Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science.
She is the first woman in Wales and only the fourth in the UK from any profession to achieve this position.
Professor Battle has been a critical care and emergency medicine physiotherapist in Swansea for 20 years.
Following the completion of her PhD in 2013, her role evolved into a clinical academic post.
Her main research interests are trauma and emergency medicine epidemiology. She is the lead researcher on three national trials, all relating to chest injuries.
One, called STUMBL2, is to evaluate a score-based diagnostic tool Professor Battle created to identify patients most at risk of developing complications. It is now being used around the world.
“Although I do academic work at the university, it is an honorary professorship as I am employed by Morriston Hospital as a physiotherapist,” Professor Battle explained.
“I have had an honorary contract with the university for a few years. I started as a research fellow then an associate professor. Then when it came time to reapply they asked me to apply for the professorship.
“There was a full appointment process and my application and references had to go before a panel.
“To achieve the appointment, I had to hit certain criteria. These include more than £1.5 million in grants and around 100 peer reviewed publications.
“But it is not just about funding and publications. A lot of it is to do with the international impact your work is having, so my work on the STUMBL Score played a big part in my application.”
Professor Battle, who in 2017 became the first critical care and respiratory care consultant in Wales, divides her time between research work and patient care.
Her clinical role is consultant respiratory physiotherapist in trauma and emergency care on the Ed Major Critical Care Unit and Emergency Medicine Department in Morriston.
She leads the health board’s chest trauma service and is Director of Epidemiology at Morriston’s Welsh Centre for Emergency Medicine Research, with Professor Adrian Evans.
She has a Health Research Fellowship from Health and Care Research Wales, allowing her to focus on completing her chest trauma work.
Professor Battle is co-specialty lead for trauma and emergency care research in Wales, co-leads the Council of Allied Health Professionals in Wales.
She is chief investigator on STUMBL, ELECT and CoPACT – all chest trauma studies running across the UK.
As well as supervising MSc and PhD students, Professor Battle teaches and presents internationally on chest trauma.
She has an honorary senior lecturer position at Queen Mary’s University London, working on the trauma sciences MSc there.
Additionally, she is a visiting post-grad lecturer at Cardiff and Brunel universities and University College, London.
Now, with her honorary professorship, she has another title to add to that already impressive CV.
“It is an honour – not just the appointment itself, and being the first woman in Wales to achieve it, but hopefully to be a role model for other aspiring clinical academics,” she said.