The Team

Aura Cecilia Jimenez Moreno


Research Physiotherapist - PhD Candidate


As a Physiotherapist I have been involved in Clinical Trials since 2010, specialising in Paediatric Orthopaedics. I moved to the UK in 2011 and certified in Clinical Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London). I then completed an MRes in Neuromuscular Diseases at Newcastle University with a project investigating the impact of standards of care in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

I am currently working in collaboration with Prof Hanns Lochmuller from John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, coordinating the OPTIMISTIC trial in the UK (Newcastle) – part of which will complement my PhD project. I am looking for the validation of habitual physical activity measurement and patterns as an outcome measure for neuromuscular diseases, Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 in particular, a disease with no current cure and for which physical activity has shown to be beneficial. My PhD is gratefully sponsored by the MRC (Medical Research Council) from the UK and Conacyt (Centro Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) from Mexico.

(or Observational Prolonged Trial In Myotonic dystrophy type 1 to Improve quality of Life – Standards, a Target Identification Collaboration) is the first multi-national trial for people with myotonic dystrophy type 1 in Europe as a collaboration between researchers and doctors from the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The OPTIMISTIC trial will test the effect of a cognitive behavioural therapy tailored to increase physical activity on people with the condition. OPTIMISTIC aims to improve clinical practice and standards of care for patients with DM1 internationally a disease that has often been neglected, with progress in the development of management and therapies lacking behind that of other conditions. OPTIMISTIC represents a change in attitudes and is the first project focusing on DM1 to involve an international multicentre intervention.
The Principal Investigator of Newcastle’s site is Dr. Grainne Gorman

For more information please visit:


Phone: 0191 208 8264

Email: a [DOT] c [DOT] jimenez-moreno [AT] newcastle [DOT] ac [DOT] uk