Clinical appointments strengthen national ‘exercise is medicine’ research

Loughborough University has appointed a new wave of clinical academics to help drive forward research translating the University’s sport and exercise knowledge into patient care.

Consultant Respiratory Physician Professor Michael Steiner, and sports and exercise consultant Dr Patrick Wheeler from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust are the first clinicians to take up University positions that will see them work with Loughborough academics under the ‘exercise is medicine’ agenda.

Professor Steiner is a leading member of the Centre for Exercise and Rehabilitation Science and the Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit at Glenfield Hospital. His research interests include disease management for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases, with particular expertise in exercise performance, physical training, rehabilitation, nutrition and skeletal muscle dysfunction in COPD.

Professor Steiner said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role at Loughborough University, an institution with an international reputation in the fields of exercise and physical activity.

“It is increasingly appreciated that physical activity and rehabilitation play crucial roles in the management of chronic respiratory diseases.

“I’m excited at the prospect of working with colleagues at the University and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine which I believe will put the partnership at the cutting edge of clinical and academic development in this field.”

Loughborough already has an extensive working partnership with Leicester’s Hospitals with many of its academics working alongside clinicians to research the role that physical activity and exercise rehabilitation can play in preventing and managing chronic disease.

Both organisations are working together within the £4.5m Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and the £10m National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), which also includes partners at other East Midlands hospitals.

Professor Mark Lewis, Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), said: “This is a fantastic example of how the NCSEM is bringing together sport and medical expertise to advance research and benefit patient care. For a non-medical institution to appoint clinical experts is quite unique and demonstrates the importance of exercise within a healthy lifestyle. We’re very excited about working more closely with our new colleagues and welcome them to the team.”

Loughborough plans to extend its scheme to more clinicians whose research overlaps with the University’s.

The University is also recruiting clinical PhD posts in sport and exercise science. The new positions are in the area of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the optimisation of exercise regimens for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease.

These posts are funded through the HEFCE Catalyst Fund and will support the work of the NCSEM.

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