Professor Sarah Aldred MSc, PhD

Professor Sarah Aldred

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Head of School
Professor of Exercise Biochemistry

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Sarah Aldred is an exercise biochemist interested in oxidative stress. She is interested in how exercise can perturb redox homeostasis in both health and disease. Sarah has worked with young and old, and with those suffering from psychosis and schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease and dementia. 

Sarah is Head of the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.


BSc (hons) Chemistry with Analytical Chemistry (University of Hull) 
MSc Toxicology (University of Birmingham) 
PhD Biochemistry (University of Birmingham)


Sarah contributes to several modules in the school, such as Perspectives in Metabolism and Nutrition, and Research Skills for Interdisciplinary research. 

Teaching awards:

Invited speaker at the 5th Annual Learning and Teaching conference, University of Birmingham, “Innovative methods of teaching; developing laboratory based modules” Feb 2008 

Head of school award for excellence in learning and teaching, Awarded for innovation in teaching and teaching management 2007 

Excellent in teaching award 2018, 2020 

Postgraduate associate certificate in Learning and Teaching, 2002

Postgraduate supervision

Sarah Aldred is an expert in the field of oxidative stress and has been researching chronic diseases of ageing associated with oxidative stress for more than ten years. Her particular research interests focus on the pathology and mechanisms of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and cardiovascular disease. Her research aims to determine the effects of exercise and dietary intervention on disease process. Since 2008 Dr Aldred has developed a unique area of research investigating exercise effects on Alzheimer’s disease pathology, which is respected both nationally and internationally. She has recently been funded by the Alzheimer's Society to research oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease, and was recently the recipient of a SPARC award to look at the effect of exercise on lipoprotein oxidation in older adults.

Dr Aldred has also led studies investigating the effects of extreme exercise on endogenous antioxidants. Dr Aldred welcomes applications from potential doctoral researchers in her areas of interest.

Other activities

Sarah is a member of a number of professional bodies to support her research including: The Biochemical Society, The Society for Free Radical Research, The American College of Sports Medicine, The Society of Toxicology, and European College of Sports Science. Sarah is also a member of the Alzheimer’s Society and has given a number of talks at the Alzheimer’s society Quality Research in Dementia public meetings, and Alzheimer’s Research UK public awareness events. Sarah has also presented her work at the British Science Festival and Pint of Science events.

Sarah is associate editor for the Journal of Sports Sciences.

Sarah is a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Midlands Network of researchers

Sarah is an active citizen of the University. She has held several administrative positions within the School, College and University during her appointment.


Recent publications


Elsworthy, R, Jong, S, Hanson, S, Shannon, OM, Jennings, A, Gillings, R, Siervo, M, Hornberger, M, Hardeman, W, Mathers, JC, Minihane, A & Aldred, S 2024, 'Effects of the COVID-19 associated United Kingdom lockdown on physical activity in older adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease: a mixed methods perspective from the MedEx-UK multicenter trial', Frontiers in public health, vol. 12, 1371453.

Sardjoe, M, Aldred, S, Adam, T, Plasqui, G, Brunstrom, JM, Dourish, CT & Higgs, S 2024, 'Inhibitory control mediates the effect of high intensity interval exercise on food choice', Appetite.

Elsworthy, R, Crowe, J, King, M, Dunleavy, C, Fisher, E, Ludlam, A, Parri, R, Hill, EJ & Aldred, S 2022, 'The effect of citalopram treatment on amyloid-β precursor protein processing and oxidative stress in human hNSC-derived neurons', Translational Psychiatry, vol. 12, no. 1, 285.

Balter, LJT, Raymond, JE, Aldred, S, Higgs, S & Bosch, JA 2021, 'Age, BMI, and inflammation: associations with emotion recognition', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 232, 113324.

Elsworthy, R, King, M, Grainger, A, Fisher, E, Crowe, J, Alqattan, S, Ludlam, A, Hill, EJ & Aldred, S 2021, 'Amyloid-β precursor protein processing and oxidative stress are altered in human iPSC-derived neuron and astrocyte co-cultures carrying presenillin-1 gene mutations following spontaneous differentiation', Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, vol. 114, 103631.

Fisher, E, Wood, S, Upthegrove, R & Aldred, S 2020, 'Designing a feasible exercise intervention in first-episode psychosis: exercise quality, engagement and effect', Psychiatry Research, vol. 286, 112840.

Fisher, E, Wood, S, Elsworthy, R, Upthegrove, R & Aldred, S 2020, 'Exercise as a protective mechanism against the negative effects of oxidative stress in first-episode psychosis: a biomarker led study.', Translational Psychiatry, vol. 10, no. 1, 254.

Kasim, NF, Veldhuijzen van Zanten, J & Aldred, S 2020, 'Tai Chi is an effective form of exercise to reduce markers of frailty in older age', Experimental gerontology, vol. 135, 110925.

Elsworthy, R & Aldred, S 2020, 'The effect of age and obesity on platelet amyloid precursor protein processing and plasma markers of oxidative stress and inflammation', Experimental gerontology, vol. 132, 110838.

Balter, L, Higgs, S, Aldred, S, Bosch, J & Raymond, J 2019, 'Inflammation Mediates Body Weight and Ageing Effects on Psychomotor Slowing', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 15727, pp. 1-13.


Elsworthy, R & Aldred, S 2022, Ageing, neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease: the underlying role of oxidative distress. in J Cobley & G Davison (eds), Oxidative Eustress in Exercise Physiology. 1st edn, Oxidative Stress and Disease, CRC Press, pp. 193-207.

Review article

Elsworthy, R, Dunleavy, C, Whitham, M & Aldred, S 2022, 'Exercise for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease: multiple pathways to promote non-amyloidogenic AβPP processing', Aging and Health Research, vol. 2, no. 3, 100093.

Dunleavy, C, Elsworthy, RJ, Upthegrove, R, Wood, SJ & Aldred, S 2022, 'Inflammation in first-episode psychosis: The contribution of inflammatory biomarkers to the emergence of negative symptoms, a systematic review and meta-analysis', Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, vol. 146, no. 1, pp. 6-20.

Elsworthy, R, Hill, EJ, Dunleavy, C & Aldred, S 2022, 'The role of ADAM10 in astrocytes: implications for Alzheimer’s disease', Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, vol. 14, 1056507.

Elsworthy, R & Aldred, S 2019, 'Depression in Alzheimer's disease: an alternative role for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors?', Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, vol. 69, no. 3, pp. 651-661.

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