Please call the press office on 01509 223491 to arrange an interview with Dr Elizabeth Akam. Bookings can also be made online at

Elizabeth (Liz) Akam completed her first degree in Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool in 1995 for which she was awarded the Gibson Sinclair Undergraduate Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement 3 years running. Following this, Liz accepted a Wellcome Prize PhD Scholarship to work with Professor Steve Nahorski, investigating neuropharmacology of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors at The University of Leicester. On completion of her PhD in February 1999, Liz worked with Professor Philip Strange at The University of Reading before embarking on a career as a Biochemist within the Pharmaceutical Industry. Concomitantly Liz developed a passion for sports and exercise, and this culminated in the attainment of her Personal Training in General Populations GNVQ Level 3 in 2007. This together with her specialist knowledge in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics allows her to support both the staff and students at the School of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Loughborough University’s Research Challenge within “Health and Wellbeing” aligned to the School of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) research theme “Lifestyle for health and wellbeing” is where Dr Akam’s research in Health naturally aligns.

Research is currently ongoing in the following areas:

  • The role of cryopreservation on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) function;
  • The effects of physical activity (PA) on the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-driven biochemical modulation of tumour metastasis;
  • The utility of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as pharmacological agents;
  • Investigating the combined utility of drug repurposing and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs);
  • The relationship of exercise capacity on telomere length and telomerase activity in the immune cells of older men and women;
  • Exercise-induced regulation of inhibitory modulators of plasticity;
  • Research into Drug repurposing and, more widely, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), aligns to a number of ongoing projects within the school: Anti Inflammatory Modulation; Bone Development and Osteoporosis; Signal Transduction Genetics; Type II Diabetes Mellitus Development/Regulation, as well as developing the School’s expertise in Biochemistry with an emphasis on Cellular Signalling and Signal Transduction pathways.

Elizabeth’s research has been financially supported by:

  • British Swimming
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Les Mills International
  • Loughborough University Sports Development Centre
  • Private Sponsor(s)
  • The Wellcome Trust
  • Journal Referee for Cells, Bioengineering, Exercise Immunology Reviews, Journal of Translational Medicine, Journal of Clinical Medicine, PLOS One and Scientific Reports.
  • Learned Societies and Professional Affiliations: Member of The Biochemical Society; Member of The Pharmacological Society.
  • Research has benefitted from collaborations with clinical, academic and industrial colleagues from institutions including: University Hospitals, Leicester; University of Leicester (Honorary Lecturer); University of Leeds; Les Mills.
  • As mentioned previously Liz (Dr Akam) has a very keen interest in sports and exercise, being also a YMCA Fitness Industry Training graduate in Gym Training, Personal Training and Exercise to Music.

Featured publications

  • Brown MJ, Nickels M, Akam EC. & Morris MA. The protective effect of endurance running against the pro-invasive effects of ageing in breast cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells in vitro. In vitro models (2023). DOI: 10.1007/s44164-023-00055-y
  • Shitomi-Jones LM, Akam L, Hunter D, Singh P & Mastana S. Genetic Risk Scores for the Determination of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in North India. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 20, 3729 (2023). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20043729
  • Brown MJ, Morris MA & Akam EC. Investigating the Effects of Indirect Coculture of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells on the Migration of Breast Cancer Cells: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research (2023; 17). DOI: 10.1177/11782234221145385
  • Craig J, Akam EC, Bailey SJ, Ferguson RA & O'Donnell E. Calf blood flow is augmented in habitually aerobically trained versus untrained postmenopausal women in association with favourable modulation of vasculo-metabolic interactions. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (2023). DOI: 10.1111/sms.14335
  • Beaumont R, Akam L, Singh P, Bhatti JS, & Mastana S. Genomic diversity and differentiation of Alu insertion polymorphisms in a native British and four South Asian migrant populations. Annals of Human Biology, 1-22  (2023). DOI: 10.1080/03014460.2023.2180091
  • Bahsoun S, Brown MJ, Coopman K, & Akam EC. Cryopreservation of Human Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells at High Concentration Is Feasible. Biopreservation and Biobanking (2022). DOI: 10.1089/bio.2022.0017
  • Mok J, Brown MJ, Akam EC & Morris MA. Quantifying the Lasting Effects of Resistance and Endurance Exercise Interventions on Mental Wellbeing and Physical Fitness in Women Receiving Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer Compared to Adjuvant Therapy Alone: A Contemporary Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Scientific Reports 12 (1), 3504 (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-07446-3
  • Nickels M, Mastana S, Denniff M, Codd V & Akam E. Pilates and telomere dynamics: A 12-month longitudinal study. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies(2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2022.02.013

Example clinical trial applications & studies