Professor Janice L. Thompson PhD, FACSM, FECSS

Professor Janice L. Thompson

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Emeritus Honorary Professor of Public Health Nutrition and Exercise

Contact details

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

60 second video iconProfessor Janice L. Thompson is a leading expert in the field of public health nutrition and exercise, and their role in preventing and treating risks for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes across the lifespan.


PhD in Exercise Science (Exercise Physiology and Nutrition), Arizona State University, Tempe, 1991.

MSc in Physical Education (Exercise Physiology), California State University, Sacramento, 1987.

BSc in Physical Education (Exercise Physiology), California State University, Sacramento, 1985.

Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM)

Fellow of the European College of Sport Science (FECSS)


Professor Thompson completed her PhD in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from Arizona State University in 1991. After completing post-doctoral fellowship training at Stanford University in 1995, she worked at University of North Carolina, Charlotte and at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in 2012, she was Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Bristol. She is a Fellow and Past Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She is also a member of the Executive Board of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS).

Professor Thompson was awarded the 2015 ACSM Citation Award. This award is granted to an individual or group who has made significant and important contributions to sports medicine and/or the exercise sciences. These contributions may include, but are not limited to, research and scholarship; clinical care; and/or administrative or educational services in sports medicine or exercise science.


Professor Thompson was previously the module lead for the first-year undergraduate module, Becoming a Researcher. She also contributed lectures to various BSc and MSc courses within the School and across the University. She is the author of 4 nutrition textbooks published in English and Spanish.

Postgraduate supervision

Janice has supervised  20 doctoral researchers and more than 70 MSc students to completion. As Professor Thompson is retired, she is no longer taking on any PhD students.


Research interests

Diabetes prevention and management in diverse communities; public health nutrition and physical activity; mixed methods research; dietary assessment techniques; community-based evaluations and interventions; ageing and ethnic minority health. 

Current projects

  • Co-investigator. ACE – Active, Connected and Engaged. NIHR Public Health Research Programme. 42 months. 01/02/21 – 31/07/24. £1,717,757. (Chief Investigator: Dr Afroditi Stathi).
  • Co-Investigator. “BY-BAND-SLEEVE: Gastric BYpass, adjustable gastric BANDing, or gastric SLEEVE surgery to treat morbid obesity: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial.” National Institute for Health Research/Health Technology Assessment, 09/127/53. 01/09/2011 – 31/12/2023. £2,874,696. (PI: J Blazeby, University of Bristol).

Other activities

Professor Thompson currently serves on the Executive Board of the European College of Sport Science and on the Scientific Committee of the British Nutrition Foundation.  

The impact of Professor Thompson's research has been highlighted in the BBC's recent show 'Trust Me I'm A Doctor'. Viewer statistics indicate 3.2 million viewers of the original programme, with an additional 200,000 views via BBC iPlayer.

Her research has also featured in a Birmingham brief article highlighting Veganism research at the University. 


Select recent publications:

  1. Ramsey KA, Meskers CGM, Trappenburg MC, Bacalini MG, Delledonne M, Garagnani P, Greig C, Kallen VL, van Meeteren N, van Riel N, Santos NC, Sipilä S, Thompson JL, Whittaker AC, and Maier AB. The Physical Activity and Nutritional INfluences In Ageing (PANINI) Toolkit: A standardized approach towards physical activity and nutrition assessment of older adults. Healthcare (Special Issue: Mental and Behavioral Healthcare) (in press).

  2. Tidmarsh G, JL Thompson, ML Quinton, and J Cumming. Process evaluations of positive youth development programmes for disadvantaged young people: A systematic review. Journal of Positive Youth Development (in press).

  3. Stathi, A, CJ Greaves, JL Thompson, J Withall, P Ladlow, G Tayloer, A Medina-Lara, T Snowsill, S Gray, C Green, H Johansen-Berg, CE Sexton, JLJ Bilzon, J deKoning, JC Bollen, SJ Moorlock, MJ Western, N Demnitz, P Seager, JM Guralnik, WJ Rejeski, M Hillsdon, and KR Fox. Effect of a physical activity and behavior maintenance programme on prevention of mobility decline in older adults: The REACT [REtirement in ACTion] randomized controlled trial. The Lancet Public Health, 2022, 7(4):e316-e326.

  4. Snowsill T, A Stathi, C Green, J Withall, CJ Greaves, JL Thompson, G Taylor, S Gray, H Johansen-Berg, J Bilzon, JL de Koning, JC Bollen, SJ Moorlock, MJ Western, JM Guralnik, WJ Rejeski, KR Fox, A Medina-Lara. Cost-effectiveness of a community-based physical activity and behaviour maintenance intervention for preventing decline in physical functioning in older people: an economic evaluation of the REACT (Retirement in Action) intervention. The Lancet Public Health, 2022, 7(4):e327-e334.

  5. Jolly A and JL Thompson. Risk of food insecurity in undocumented migrant households in Birmingham, UK. Journal of Public Health, 2022, fdab408,

  6. Tidmarsh G, ML Quinton, JL Thompson, BJ Parry, SJ Cooley, and J Cumming. A platform for youth voice in My Strengths Training for Life™: A vital component of process evaluations. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, Special Issue: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 2022, 17(1):73-86.

  7. Goodyear VA, Boardley I, Chiou S-Y, Fenton S, Makopoulou K, Stathi A, Wallis G, Veldhuijzen van Zanten J, and Thompson JL. Social media use informing behaviours related to physical activity, diet and quality of life during COVID-19: A mixed methods study. BMC Public Health, 2021, 21:1333. 

  8. Parry, B. J., Holland, M. J. G., Thompson, J. L., & Cumming, J. Promoting Personal Growth in Young People Experiencing Homelessness through an outdoors-based program. Journal of Youth Development. 2021, 16:5.  

  9. Goodyear VA, G Wood, B Skinner, and JL Thompson. The effect of social media interventions on physical activity and dietary behaviours in young people and adults: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2021, 18:72.

  10. Shad, B.J., Thompson, J.L., McKendry, J., Holwerda, A.M., Elhassan, Y.S., Breen, L., van Loon, L.J.C., and Wallis, G.A. Daily Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis Rates in Response to Low- and High-Frequency Resistance Exercise Training in Healthy, Young Men. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2021, 31:3; 209-216.

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