Invited Speakers

  Alice Smith - University of Leicester, UK

Alice Smith is a Professor of Lifestyle Medicine at the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.Her primary research interest is the role of physical activity, exercise and lifestyle management in kidney disease.

Her translational research programme encompasses laboratory-based exploratory and mechanistic work, and includes outcome measure evaluation, lifestyle intervention development and effectiveness testing, implementation and service evaluation. A strong track record of patient involvement and engagement, and qualitative exploration of patient perspectives and experience underpins all the work.

  Ann MacPhail - University of Limerick, Ireland

Professor Ann MacPhail works in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick in Ireland.Her research and teaching interests reside in the areas of physical education teacher education, instructional alignment, curriculum development and curriculum and instruction models.

She has published over 80 peer-reviewed scholarly research articles, 13 book chapters, and 3 books. She was awarded the Association of Physical Education in Higher Education (AIESEP) Lifetime Achievement Fellowship Award in 2015 in recognition of scholarly excellence in research and professional practice in physical education, physical activity and sport pedagogy across the lifespan. She presented the British Education Research Association (BERA) Physical Education Sport Pedagogy (PESP) Special Interest Group Scholar Lecture in 2016 in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy research community. Ann is an Associate Editor of the Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy journal and Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.


      Bethan Phillips - University of Nottingham, UK

Bethan Phillips is an Assistant Professor in Clinical, Metabolic and Molecular Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences and integrates the Medical Research Council/Arthritis Research UK (MRC-ARUK) Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing.Her research focuses on the pathophysiology of musculoskeletal morbidities (sarcopenia, cachexia, arthritis, disuse, metabolic syndrome etc.) and interventions to mitigate their progression and consequences.

Combining molecular biology, stable isotope methodologies and detailed in vivo human physiology, she has been a key part of a team that has uncovered fundamental parameters governing alterations in musculoskeletal metabolism with ageing and disease. The unique aspect of her expertise is combining detailed in vivo human physiology with state-of-the-art vascular imaging methodologies to determine links between vascular function (including the musculoskeletal microvasculature) and metabolic dysregulation in ageing and disease, and in the context of exercise-, nutrition- and pharmacological-based interventions. Latterly, she has also been involved in the application of OMIC technologies to discover predictors of, and the basis for, musculoskeletal and vascular decline in ageing and disease. Bethan future research focus is aimed at investigating the mechanisms of, and developing predictors for, the heterogeneous metabolic and physiological improvements in responses to exercise-for-health interventions. She also has a strong interest in developing optimal exercise training interventions, based around clinical constraints (e.g. time to surgery), to improve physical function in varying clinical cohorts (i.e. colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis). Bethan has significant involvement with aspects of research relating to ethics, good clinical practice and scientific outreach.


       Craig Sale - Nottingham Trent University, UK

Craig is a Professor of Human Physiology working in the Musculoskeletal Physiology Research Group at Nottingham Trent University.He is the Director of the Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement Research Centre.Craig received his doctorate from Liverpool John Moores University, following the completion of his BSc and MSc programmes at the same institution.

Following his studies, he was a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester and then a Senior Scientist and Deputy Capability Group Leader at QinetiQ Ltd. Craig has spent over 20 years investigating the impact of exercise and nutrition on health and performance in humans, with a particular focus on the triggers for adaptations in bone and muscle. His publication record, including around 50 publications within the current REF period (since January 2014), provides evidence of a varied research background and wide-ranging expertise. Craig has worked and published in the areas of bone metabolism and health, muscle metabolism and performance, genetics, sports nutrition, broader human nutrition, biomechanics, cognitive function and environmental physiology. He also has experience of conducting research on a range of human participants, including elite level and recreational level athletes, military personnel and members of the general population. Craig is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Co-Chair of the ACSM BONE Interest Group, a member of the Food and Nutrition Council at the Royal Society of Medicine and Editor in Chief of Nutrition and Health.


       Hugo Folgado - University of Évora, Portugal

Hugo Folgado is an assistant professor at the Department of Sport and Health of the University of Évora, Portugal.

His main focus are performance analysis and the technology development and application in team sports, particularly in football association. He studies the context manipulation for the development of players and the integration of different performance indicators into multidimensional parameters.


       Ian Rollo - Gatorade Sports Science Institute,UK

Dr Ian Rollo is principal scientist at GSSI and head of GSSI International service. He is also currently a visiting research fellow at Loughborough University, UK, where he previously led MSc module on Sport and Exercise Nutrition.

Ian earned his bachelors degree from Birmingham University in sport and exercise science and masters degree from Loughborough University in exercise physiology. In 2005 he worked at the August Krogh Institute, Denmark, assisting in studies on mechanisms of fatigue during high intensity exercise and optimizing nutritional strategies in football. In 2009 he received a PhD from Loughborough University under the supervision of Professor Clyde Williams, OBE. His current role involves providing nutritional support for International / Professional football clubs such as FCB, Manchester City FC and the CBF. Ian also manages research projects and is involved in developing novel technologies to support athletic performance. He continues to author publications in peer reviewed journals and deliver invited presentations in the UK and abroad.



 James Timmons - Augur Precision Medicine, UK

James is trained in Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Genomics and Bioinformatics, and the early part of his post-doctoral career was within the Pharmaceutical sector working on cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

James was appointed Chair Sport & Exercise Science in 2006, at the Department of Biological Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh and then Director of Research in 2007 and Professor at Kings College London in 2014. He has been PI on FP7, BBSRC, NIH and MRC multi-centre projects, involving competitive research income >£10M and has an H-index of 41 from 85 articles. James current research focuses on ageing, dementia and insulin resistance and how these interact or not with exercise status. Most recently, James was PI and lead author of a 5yr+ FP7 EU/NIH collaborative project (via a spin-out company) and PI on a 4yr MRC project (Kings College London). Also, his current research includes data-modelling of this unique omics-metabolism-tissue ‘biobank’ (>10 billion data-points from >1,000 humans) to investigate healthy aging and genomics of responses to exercise-training. These studies have allowed his group to publish the first robust molecular model of peripheral insulin resistance for humans, and how it dynamically responds to drug and life-style treatment. In 2017 James founded a personalised medicine and informatics company (Augur Precision Medicine LTD, Stirlingshire).


 Javier Fernández – FC Barcelona, Spain

Javier is the Head of Sports Analytics at F.C. Barcelona, where he combines research on machine learning for football analytics and the development of statistical tools to aid coaches in their everyday analysis tasks.

His research is focused in spatiotemporal statistical models to translate football tactical concepts into interpretable performance information. At the club, his role is centered in gathering questions from football coaches and providing practical applications built on top of high frequency positional data. A typical week is centered in a constant communication with football experts, mapping tactical concepts to algorithms and heavy use of visualization to explain results.

Javier holds a MSc in Artificial Intelligence, and is currently a PhD Candidate in Artificial Intelligence. 



 João Brito - Portuguese Football Federation, Portugal

João Brito is an exercise physiologist working at the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). João completed his Ph.D. in Sport Sciences at the University of Porto.

He joined the FPF in 2014 and has been acting as exercise physiologist for Portugal ever since. João lead sport sciences during the EURO 2016, Rio Olympics 2016, FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 and FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. He collaborates with several domestic and international academic institutions, and has been involved with coaching education in UEFA A and Pro License courses. João is an active researcher, with special interests on monitoring training and competition loads, fatigue and recovery, injury prevention and recreational football for health. Previously, João worked as physiologist in the Football for Excellence Programme, National Sports Medicine Programme in Aspetar – Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, in Doha.



 Sara Santos - Research Center in Sports, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Portugal

Sara Santos is currently a NanoSTIMA Post-Doc fellow at the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD). 

She is an assistant professor at University Institute of Maia (ISMAI) and at University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD). Sara did her MSc in Sport and Physical Education in 2012 and the PhD in 2018 in Sport Sciences at UTAD. She also has a Specialization in Physical Activity and Health at Faculty of Sport in Porto University (FADEUP, Portugal). Sara research interests are to explore the influence of enrichment environments to nurture the creative behavior in youth. She is the author of several scientific papers published in national and international journals and was the 2018 recipient of the Ruth B. Noller Research Grant supported by the Creative Education Foundation, USA.