Research Projects

I have a few key research areas and have several projects underway.

  1. Exercise in Crohn’s Disease patients

In Jan 2016 my research team and I received a £115,000 research grant from Crohn’s and Colitis UK to undertake a feasibility study looking at whether exercise is safe and feasible in patients with Crohn’s Disease. This is a multi centre research project involving the University of Hertfordshire, University of East London, York Trials Unit, Northumbria University and the University of Winchester. There are three NHS sites involved: Guys and St Thomas’ Trust, Barts Health and Hampshire Hospital Foundation Trust. We are still in the process of collecting data and will close for recruitment in August 2017.  The protocol has been published and can be found here.  The data collected will help to inform an appropriate powered clinical trial.

2. Carbohydrate ingestion/rinsing on sports performance

Ever since my masters project I have had an interest in carbohydrate ingestion on sports performance. In particular looking at the benefits on intermittent sports performance.  We have undertaken research showing ingestion has had a beneficial effect on squash performance as well as badminton performance. Last year we published a paper which showed that rinsing your mouth with carbohydrate had a performance benefit in fencing. We have now unpublished findings showing a benefit on badminton performance as well. To read more see the following conversation article.

3. Fencing research

I have been fencing for many years now and have in recent years been involved in International fencing as well as development of fencing at the youth level in the UK.  This has made me interested in improving performance both from my own aspect as well as generally at elite level.  We have undertaken several projects in several areas including physiology, biomechanics and psychology of fencing. I now have a PhD student who is investigating the thermoregulation of fencing in both able bodied fencers and wheelchair fencers.  This will be particularly important with the hot climates at Tokyo 2020.

4.  Cherry juice and cardiovascular health

We are currently undertaking research in to the cardiovascular health benefits of cherry juice.  We have recently received a small grant from Heart UK to help us undertake the research.  I have a PhD student undertaking research in to this to determine whether cherry juice supplementation can improve lipid profile and other cardiovascular responses. We are also doing collaboration work with Dr Samantha Hughes at HAN University of Applied Sciences investigating the mechanisms of action modeling it using nematodes.