I am a clinical physiologist who joined the Newcastle team from Australia in 2006. Currently I lead MoveLab, a physical activity and exercise research group in Newcastle.
With a specialist interest in the physiology of chronic disease and how physical activity (or lack of) influences disease, my research interests range from characterising metabolic changes accompanying disease to observing physiological responses to increased physical activity in health and disease.
Mountain biking, windsurfing, snowboarding, rugby, coffee......
My core research projects look at how metabolism can be improved in a number of different metabolic disorders. A significant focus of my research is on how increased physical activity and exercise can be used as a clinical therapy in metabolic disorders (Type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), neuromuscular disease, ageing and in promoting lifelong health and wellbeing.
I also have a strong background in multinuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging techniques and use these frequently to investigate metabolism.
In January 2009 I established MoveLab under pump priming funding from the Medical Research Council with clinical colleagues in Newcastle. The objective of this laboratory is to provide a complete translational research platform; building both the evidence base of movement as a clinical therapy and a pathway for delivery into care.
At a basic science level, we have a program of studies investigating the interaction of physical inactivity, physical activity, and exercise upon molecular, genetic and metabolic function with collaborators in the UK and overseas.
At an intermediate level, we are addressing two key questions: what type of activity is best and how much is needed to use physical activity and exercise as a therapy? These studies are identifying the dose response of both resistance and aerobic exercise upon clinical outcomes.
At a clinical delivery level, we are working with clinical care and patient groups to move these findings into clinical care. We are developing the UK’s first accredited professional and patient development pathways for physical activity and exercise for use as a clinical therapy in primary care. This is an exciting area which is expanding rapidly.
Aside from clinical populations, I also work with healthy people to better understand how people maintain a healthy metabolism (a useful comparison for clinical populations). We are also using exercise as a stimulus to better understand how nutritional interventions can help optimise metabolic control.
My current key projects include:
I currently supervise 5 PhD students and 1 masters student.
The laboratory currently receives funding from: