Remarkable researcher is rewarded with national WellChild Award

14 October 2010

Dr Gabor Barton, a Reader in Biomechanics at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has been named as a winner in the prestigious national WellChild Awards 2010.

Dr Barton, who has spent many years researching into children’s health conditions, was picked from nominations spanning across the UK to win the Research category in the Awards which celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions along with those professionals who help care for them and are run by WellChild, the national charity for sick children. Working alongside partners including Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Dr Barton has conducted research into virtual rehabilitation to train postural control in children with cerebral palsy. Their award winning custom built virtual reality computer game (Goblin Post Office) can be used to train movement coordination of the pelvis and trunk. Inclusion of such a highly motivating modality in the physiotherapy of children has a great potential to improve control of the body’s core which in turn can improve movement function.

“For many children and young people, the sense of self esteem gained from the expert care and support from Gabor and his clinical collaborators is immense, and that is why he is so passionate about it” comments nominator Matthew Peak.

“In order to be able to work with these groups of young people, Gabor needs to gain their respect and trust, and he is very able in this requirement.”

Dr Gabor Barton, Reader in Biomechanics at the LJMU Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, said:

“This prestigious award is a direct recognition of the excellent ongoing research in the LJMU Biomechanics Research Group in collaboration with our external partners in clinical research, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and The Movement Centre, and industry, Vicon, and Motek Medical.

“Our long term aim is to further extend our research through collaborations internally with the Brain and Behaviour Research Group and externally with Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery.”

With hundreds of nominations received from across the country, the difficult job of choosing winners in all 15 WellChild Award categories is given, each year, to an esteemed panel of judges. That panel consists of members of parliament, leading health professionals and others with an interest in children’s health.

WellChild’s Director of Programmes, Linda Partridge, is also a member of that panel. She said: “We receive many, many nominations from all over the country and all the members of the panel are moved by the bravery of the children and the stories of selfless care and support. Dr Gabor Barton truly deserves to be the winner of this award with the fantastic research he has and continues to do.”

“The Awards are a perfect demonstration of WellChild’s commitment to helping as many seriously ill children and their families as we can through our programmes of care, support and research. If you wish to help us with our work please visit our Reach Out for Sick Children WellChild Nurse Appeal website at ".

Dr Gabor Barton received his award at the sixth Annual WellChild Awards ceremony on 27th September at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel.

For more details about the Biomechanics Research Group visit

Pictured: Dr Gabor Barton receives the WellChild Researcher award from BBC presenter/Strictly Come Dancing winner Chris Hollins, Andrew Stone from Sky’s Pineapple Dance Studios and Sarah Barrand from Footballers’ Wives.

Pictured: Gabor (right)  holding the WellChild Researcher Award  with his colleague, Dr Malcolm Hawken (Research Officer).

Page last modified by Corporate Communications on 14 October 2010.
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