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Exercise, vitamin D and immune function: to explore the effects of exercise on vitamin D metabolism in humans


Project Description

Exercise is well known to be of benefit for health, including enhancing the immune system. How exercise works to enhance health is not completely known. Vitamin D is frequently in the public eye, being associated with diverse aspects of human health including immune health. It has recently been shown that aerobic exercise can affect vitamin D status (Sun, X., et al., Endocrine (2018) 59 (2), 330; Sun, X., et al., J.Clin Endo Metab (2017) 102 (11), 3937). Whether alterations in vitamin D physiology contribute to exercise-induced improvements in immune function is not known.

The purpose of this PhD is to explore the reationship between exercise, Vitamin D metabolism and immune function. Specifically, the effects of exercise on vitamin D metabolism in humans will be studied, and this will be intregrated with in-vitro studies of how exercise related changes in vitamin D metabolism influence the function of immune cells.

The PhD will be undertaken using an integrative biology approach, incorporating cellular and molecular studies with in vivo human experiments, only possible with the combined expertise of the supervisory team (Dr Wallis - human exercise metabolism, https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/sportex/wallis-gareth.aspx; Professor Hewison - vitamin D/molecular endocrinology/immunolgy, https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/metabolism-systems/hewison-martin.aspx).

Potenital candidates are expected to have a strong background in physiology, metabolism or biochemistry/molecular biology.





Funding Notes

Self-funded students only. Dr Wallis is happy to discuss supporting scholarship applications a student may have identified that could provide PhD funding.
If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding (typcally scholariship funding), your application will be considered.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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