Gemma has a portfolio career that combines research, neurological physiotherapy, global disability policy expertise and art-practice. She is currently working towards an interdisciplinary PhD at Brunel University London which uses art as method to explore and raise awareness around social-histories of adults with Cerebral Palsy. She has an interdisciplinary supervisory team of Dr Meriel Norris, Dr Cherry Kilbride and Professor Johannes Birringer
Gemma is lead researcher for an ongoing study "Understanding physiotherapy and physiotherapy services: exploring the perspective of adults living with cerebral palsy" alongside Dr Elizabeth Cassidy and Dr Cherry Kilbride which has involved interviewing 22 adults with Cerebral Palsy and uses a lifeworld methodological framework for analysis.
She has worked as a specialist neurological physiotherapist for over 20 years across a range of settings including several teaching hospitals and a specialist Cerebral Palsy centre in London, as well as for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan. She maintains an active advisory role in global disability policy with the Leonard Cheshire charity international policy team.
Her art practice is based around life-drawing and use of charcoal. She is developing her skills in oil-painting as part of a creative self-reflective parallel project to her PhD. Some of her work is shared on Instagram gemmaconniecook
Gemma completed an MSc in Global Health Policy at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2015, a BSc in Physiotherapy at Kings' College London in 1999, and a BA in Combined Arts at the University of Liverpool in 1992.