Paul graduated from the University of Derby in 2015 with a First Class Honours in Sport and Exercise Science. After graduating, Paul went on to study for a PhD at Nottingham Trent University, exploring the role of the gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Whilst completing his PhD at NTU, Paul held a variety of roles, including working as a Performance Nutritionist and Physiologist with Nova Centurion Swimming Club, a Research Assistant at the University of Derby, and various lecturing roles at NTU. Paul then went on to work for the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as a Senior Public Health Intelligence Analyst, before taking up a role as Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of East London.

Paul joined Loughborough University as a Research Associate in Active and Healthy Living in 2023, working as part of the Healthy & Innovative Loughborough Project with Professor Fehmidah Munir to identify and address key barriers to engaging in physical activity in Charnwood.

Paul’s research career began investigating the effects of inspiratory muscle training on simulated military load carriage performance. During his PhD, Paul continued to work along the theme of respiratory physiology, but transitioned towards a more health-based approach investigating the effects of prebiotic supplementation on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. As part of this research, Paul worked as Principal Investigator on a Clinical Study exploring the potential efficacy of low-dose prebiotic supplementation, specifically assessing whether prebiotic supplementation improved the functional capacity of regulatory T cells via flow-cytometry based approaches.

Alongside his PhD research, Paul worked as a Research Assistant on the “Derby: A City on the Move” project funded by Sport England, investigating the effects of motivational interviewing on physical activity engagement in at risk populations. More recently, whilst working as a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of East London, Paul secured funding to explore the role of inspiratory muscle training in occupational and emergency settings, including the British Army and London Fire Brigade.

Currently, Paul’s research focus is on exploring how to identify and address key barriers to engaging in physical activity in Charnwood as part of the Healthy & Innovative Loughborough Project, alongside Professor Fehmidah Munir.

Featured publication

Needham, R. S., Sharpe, G. R., Williams, N. C., Lester, P. A., & Johnson, M. A. (2022). Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in university field hockey athletes: Prevalence, sex differences, and associations with dyspnea symptoms. Frontiers in Allergy, 3. DOI: 10.3389/falgy.2022.994947