Meet Professor Dylan Thompson – Professor in Human Physiology and Director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism in the Department for Health at the University of Bath

Professor Thompson is internationally recognised for his research in physical activity, exercise and nutrition.

Dylan joined the University of Bath in 1999 when the Department for Health had only three members of academic staff, no researchers and no labs. Dylan has been part of its growth ever since, with excellent facilities now housing their team of more than 60 academic staff, over 150 researchers and a suite of laboratories – all dedicated to the research of human health.

“Whilst studying for my Masters I learnt that contributing to new knowledge and sharing new evidence can change the world.

“The coronavirus pandemic is empowering people to focus more on their own healthy living, with metabolic health often being an indicator of the virus’ severity. Our family, friends and colleagues most at risk of coronavirus due to underlying health conditions tend to be the same people as those affected by heart problems, so it is clear that we must better care for these patients. The pandemic has urged us all to think about preventable disease and loss of life.”

Dylan has made a real difference to people with type 2 diabetes through a study that began 10 years ago and uses wearable technology to help patients improve their health. It has resulted in patients being able to self-manage their own health and Dylan is especially delighted to hear frequent testimonials about how it has changed patient lives.

“Projects like this have the potential to be transformative for our community and NHS resources too, saving government funding which is currently being spent on medicines for long-term management of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Instead, the focus on providing lifestyle support to patients at risk of developing heart problems can improve the outcomes by investing in prevention rather than treatment. But it’s more than just advice. Advice isn’t enough. We need to work with individual patients to help them help themselves.”

Professor Thompson has supervised more than twenty PhD/MD students to completion, helping others to make their own contributions in the world too. He also strongly supports public engagement activities through articles and interviews for mainstream newspapers and television programmes.

Talking about the best gift Dylan’s ever received, he shares a true ‘sliding doors’ moment. While queuing to buy a lottery ticket in Athens, someone pushed passed him and he collected the scratch card that should have been theirs – winning £10,000. This opened the door for Dylan to begin a Master’s degree, leading on to developing vital health research and the work he does today.

Find out more about the Cardiovascular Research project.

For further information about the Cardiovascular Research or our current priorities please get in touch on 01225 825691 or forever.friends@nhs.net