School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


Dr Scott Willis BSc, MSc, PhD, AFHEA

Photo of Dr Scott Willis

Research Associate (Exercise, Diet and Obesity-related Chronic Disease)

Scott graduated from Loughborough University in 2015 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science. He then continued his studies at Loughborough and completed an MSc in Exercise Physiology in 2016.

Scott completed his PhD in 2020 at Loughborough University under the supervision of Dr James King. His thesis focused on the interaction of hepatokines and hepatic lipids with exercise, diet and metabolic health, which was jointly supported by the Leicester and Nottingham NIHR Biomedical Research Centres.

In April 2020, Scott commenced a post-doctoral Research Associate position at Loughborough as part of the Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity). His current research broadly focuses on exercise, diet and obesity-related chronic disease.

Scott’s primary research area broadly encompasses exercise, diet and obesity-related metabolic disease. Specifically, his research focuses on the role of exercise and diet in the prevention and management of obesity-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Scott’s current research projects include:

  • The influence of exercise and diet on circulating hepatokines in humans.
  • The impact of type 2 diabetes and exercise on hepatic lipid composition in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. 

Scott has also worked on projects related to appetite regulation and pharmacotherapy in type 2 diabetes.

  • Thackray AE, Willis SA, Clayton DJ, Broom DR, Finlayson G, Goltz FR, Sargeant JA, Woods RM, Stensel DJ, King JA (2020) Influence of Short-Term Hyperenergetic, High-Fat Feeding on Appetite, Appetite-Related Hormones, and Food Reward in Healthy Men. Nutrients 12(9): 2635
  • Thackray AE, Willis SA, Sherry AP, Clayton DJ, Broom DR, Demashkieh M, Sargeant JA, James LJ, Finlayson G, Stensel DJ, King JA (2020) An acute bout of swimming increases post-exercise energy intake in young healthy men and women. Appetite 154: 104785
  • Willis SA, Sargeant JA, Yates T, Takamura T, Takayama H, Gupta V, Brittain E, Crawford J, Parry SA, Thackray AE, Varela-Mato V, Stensel DJ, Woods RM, Hulston CJ, Aithal GP, King JA (2020) Acute Hyperenergetic, High-Fat Feeding Increases Circulating FGF21, LECT2 and Fetuin-A in Healthy Men. Journal of Nutrition 150(5): 1076-1085 
  • Willis SA, Sargeant JA, Thackray AE, Yates T, Stensel DJ, Aithal GP, King JA (2019) Effect of exercise intensity on circulating hepatokine concentrations in healthy men. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism 44(10): 1065-1072
  • Sargeant JA, Gray L, Bodicoat D, Willis SA, Stensel DJ, Nimmo MA, Aithal GP, King JA (2018) The effect of exercise training on intrahepatic triglyceride and hepatic insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews 19(10): 1446-1459
  • Behan FP, Willis SA, Pain MTG, Folland JP (2018) Effects of football simulated fatigue on neuromuscular function and whole-body responses to disturbances in balance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 28(12): 2547-2557