Our team at Exeter is internationally recognised for our original research exploring the physiological and functional effects of dietary nitrate supplementation.

Integrative Physiology

Research theme: Nutrition and metabolism

In this research theme we investigate the metabolic processes that occur throughout our bodies in all tissues and cells, their underlying regulation, and interaction with environmental factors such as diet and physical activity. Ultimately, the reconditioning process brought about by regular exercise, or deconditioning in response to physical inactivity, is governed by the changes in metabolic processes in various tissues of the body. Importantly, acute and chronic responses to physical (in)activity as well as longer term adaptations can be strongly modulated by the diet, both in a positive or negative manner. Consequently, from an applied perspective, we are particularly interested in developing and optimising novel dietary strategies that fit with 21st Century health and performance goals and concerns. Such strategies include exploring the optimal amount, source and meal timing of dietary protein, and evaluating the benefits of specific nutraceuticals such as polyphenols or nitrates which are found in high quantities in specific foods.   

We use an integrated approach to study metabolism and nutrition, utilising a ‘molecule to movement’ research philosophy. Specifically, cell line and animal models are used to interrogate the basic science underlying metabolic regulation, and human models of physical (in)activity are employed to study the relevance to the human condition in sports, exercise and inactivity. Within this, blood and tissue sampling, whole body metabolic testing and functional capacity tests, the application of stable isotopes and detailed biological sample analyses play key roles in our data generation.

Academic staff:

Research fellows:

Postgraduate research students:

  • Zainie Aboo Bakkar
  • Stuart Cocksedge
  • Luke Connolly
  • Ana Cruz
  • Lindsy Kass
  • Sean Kilroe
  • Sinead McDonagh
  • Eva Piatrikova
  • Suzanne Scott
  • Chris Thompson