• EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

The effect of exercise and/or physical activity/inactivity on T-cell-mediated inflammation and tissue repair in humans

Impact of relative energy deficit on immune health in female athletes

Exercise in inflammatory conditions to improve inflammatory immune profile

(These are all available as self-funded positions, however, willing to develop research grants along these projects with prospective students)

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests lie in how immune cells contribute to inflammation and tissue repair, and how we can use exercise to potentially modulate the immune system to reduce inflammation, and promote repair. This involves using immunological techniques to measure immune cell number, activation and function, in immune cells from human samples from either acute, or long-term exercise studies.

Key Research Words/Phrases

Immunology; Exercise; Ageing; Flow Cytometry; Inactivity; T-Cells; Monocytes; Macriphages

Roles & Responsibilities

Director of Research for Sport and Exercise Science department at Heriot-Watt University


I graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 2009 with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Sport and Exercise Science, and awarded the James Watt Medal. I subsequently completed my MRes (Masters by Research) in Exercise Physiology at Waterford Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland in 2011 before starting my PhD at Edinburgh Napier University. My PhD studies centred around the influence of age and physical activity on circulating endothelial progenitor cells (circulating cells derived from the bone marrow responsible for maintaining blood vessel integrity). Upon completion of my PhD, I started my lectureship at Edinburgh Napier University as Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, and was Programme Leader for their B.Sc Hons Sport and Exercise Science degree from 2018-2022, after which I moved to Heriot-Watt University to take up my current role as Associate Professor in Sport and Exercise Physiology, and becoming Director of Research for the Sport and Exercise Science department. 

I am a fair weather cyclist, who loves coffee.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • QP Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Ageing
  • Physical Activity
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes
  • Inflammation


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