Visiting Ph.D. Student
Work and interests
Robert was a visiting PhD student with the Physical Activity Epidemiology programme, as part of the BLUE ScY training programme.
His research interests relate mainly to biomarker discovery and risk prediction of cardiometabolic traits in relation to physical activity. He is currently undertaking a PhD on the use of lifestyle measures in type 2 diabetes biomarker discovery and risk prediction modelling under the supervision of Prof. Paul Franks at the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology unit at Lund University. In addition to this he is the Deputy Academic Lead (WP2) in the IMI DIRECT consortium focusing on research related to the stratification of diabetes treatment and prevention.
Background and experience
Prior to starting his PhD, Robert completed a MSc thesis under the supervision of Prof. Stuart Biddle at the School of Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, which was centred on objective measures of low intensity physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Robert completed his BSc (Hons) at Glasgow University in Physiology and Sports Science, during which his work placement research and honours project research centered on the effects of exercise on metabolic health in different populations, specifically, relating the above to oxidative capacity and expression of certain key enzymes in metabolic pathways relating to glycemic control.
At the MRC Epidemiology Unit Robert is working with Dr. Soren Brage on analysis of objective physical activity data gathered in two pan European prospective cohort studies in IMI DIRECT which seek to identify new biomarkers for glycaemic deterioration. The outcome of this project is development of key methodological skills to improve analyses which will be used to discover novel biomarkers and predictors of glycaemic deterioration and type 2 diabetes. By elucidating the effect of physical activity (and other lifestyle factors) in these analysis this project will contribute to the development of a personalised medicines approach to treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes. It will also establish collaborative research links between the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology unit at Lund University Diabetes Centre and the MRC Epidemiology unit at Cambridge University.