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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Aliya Sarmanova is a Research Associate in Musculoskeletal and Clinical Outcomes working on the Wellcome Trust funded AUGMENT project. Her current research is focused on deriving joint shape and osteoarthritis-related features (i.e. osteophytes, joint space narrowing, subchondral sclerosis) using statistical shape modelling (SSM) on knee DXA scans obtained in UK Biobank.
Other current projects include investigating confounding by population structure in genetic studies and causal inference (UK Biobank), and the association between genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal pain in adolescents (ALSPAC, GO Consortium).

Aliya’s previous research was on osteoarthritis phenotypes including “inflammatory” changes in knee synovium detected by ultrasound and contribution of central pain mechanisms to knee pain severity and progression (Arthritis Research UK Pain Cetre), the effect of statins on risk of joint replacement (collaboration with Central South University in China), gout treatment (randomised controlled trial comparing nurse-led optimal care to general practitioner led usual care for people with gout, the Lancet, 2018).

Aliya’s research interests include musculoskeletal epidemiology (osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia), big data analysis (CPRD, UK Biobank), causal inference (e.g. risk factors, pain mechanisms, placebo response), application of imaging (i.e. ultrasound, radiographs, DXA), clinical trials and genetics (heritability, GWAS, mendelian randomization).


Aliya graduated with a first class diploma (hons) in Internal Medicine in 2009 from the Astana Medical University, Kazakhstan. She completed rheumatologist training and worked in hospital and outpatient centre for 4 years in Kazakhstan.

Her research career started in 2014 when she was awarded a prestigious Bolashak PhD scholarship with the Kazakhstan Government (2014-2017). Aliya completed her PhD in synovial changes on knee ultrasound in people with knee pain and the general population in the University of Nottingham.

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Research Output

  • 14 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 1 Review article (Academic Journal)

Baseline self-report 'central mechanisms' trait predicts persistent knee pain in the Knee Pain in the Community (KPIC) cohort

Akin-Akinyosoye, K., Sarmanova, A., Fernandes, G. S., Frowd, N., Swaithes, L., Stocks, J., Valdes, A., McWilliams, D. F., Zhang, W., Doherty, M., Ferguson, E. & Walsh, D. A., 1 Feb 2020, In : Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 28, 2, p. 173-181 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 43 Downloads (Pure)

    Statin use and risk of joint replacement due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a propensity-score matched longitudinal cohort study

    Sarmanova, A., Doherty, M., Kuo, C. & al., E., 25 Feb 2020, In : Rheumatology. 10 p., keaa004.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Trends in incidence and prevalence of osteoarthritis in the United Kingdom: findings from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)

    Swain, S., Sarmanova, A., Mallen, C., Kuo, C. F., Coupland, C., Doherty, M. & Zhang, W., 14 Mar 2020, In : Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 36 Downloads (Pure)