Medical School professors recognised as world leaders in palliative care

8 October 2021
miriam and fliss

Professor Miriam Johnson (left) with Professor Fliss Murtagh (right)

Hull York Medical School Professors Miriam Johnson and Fliss Murtagh have both been recognised as world leaders in palliative care research.  

Both Professors - from the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull - have been listed in the top 0.1% of scholars researching and publishing about palliative care in expertscape. Through its PubMed-based algorithms, expertscape rates scholars in palliative care over the last decade, with the top 0.1% rated as ‘world-expert’ and at the leading edge of investigation into their topic. 

Both Professors are at the forefront of developments in their respective areas, with a proven track record of undertaking research which is not only increasing understanding but is impacting practice, health agendas, and policy at a national and international level.  

Professor Miriam Johnson is Professor of Palliative Medicine at Hull York Medical School and Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull. For the last twenty years (2000 to 2020), she also provided consultant palliative physician services to Scarborough General Hospital and Saint Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough where she set up one of the UK’s first integrated palliative care services for people with heart failure. 

She says:

My work is focused on ensuring that those with living with and dying from serious illness, their families and communities have the best palliative care services and treatments – as well as reduce inequalities in care. I am delighted that my research has been recognised and has influenced policy and practice worldwide, and am grateful to our research funders for enabling our work such as the NIHR, Marie Curie, Yorkshire Cancer Research, and the British Heart Foundation.

My particular research interests include the management of and services for breathlessness and other neglected symptoms such as delirium, and inequalities in palliative care service provision, particularly for those with non-malignant disease such as heart failure and respiratory disease.

Professor Fliss Murtagh is Professor of Palliative Care at Hull York Medical School and Associate Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull and a NIHR Senior Investigator. She leads Integrated Academic Training for Hull York Medical School and is Academic Training Programme Director for North & East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire. Fliss also works clinically as a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. 

She says:

My work is focused on palliative and end of life care needs, outcomes and resources. My research has been recognised and impacted practice nationally, and has attracted funding from NIHR, Marie Curie and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

I am particularly interested in measuring the impact of palliative care through careful use of meaningful outcome measures, and in improving understanding of and addressing complex palliative care needs for older people and those with non-cancer conditions, and particularly advanced kidney disease.

As people are living longer and more people are approaching the end of their lives with chronic and complex conditions, there is a real need for evidence-based research into palliative and end of live care. The Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, and the work of Miriam and Fliss and their colleagues, is making a real difference to the care, outcomes, and experiences of those with life-limiting illnesses.  

Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School says:

Being recognised in the top 0.1% of palliative care researchers worldwide is a significant achievement and reflects the dedication and commitment Miriam and Fliss have to increasing understanding and improving the care and experiences for individuals nearing or at the end of life and their families. Through the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, we are undertaking research and inspiring future researchers, raising awareness and importantly changing the way palliative care needs are understood and addressed.

Further information about the Wolfson Palliative Care research Centre is available on the Hull York Medical School website at   

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