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 is co-lead for the first-year undergraduate module, Becoming a Researcher. She also contributes 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 11 doctoral researchers and more than 60 MSc students to completion. She currently supervises 3 post-graduate research students:

  1. Sekesai Dachi, MPhil student (Primary Advisor (80%) with Professor Peymane Adab, secondary supervisor) – expected date of completion July 2021. Funded by a combination of self-funding and support from the Royal College of Nursing. “Determinants of the Uptake of Bariatric Surgery by Ethnic Minority Patients.”
  2. Benjamin Parry, PhD student (Secondary supervisor (40%), with Jennifer Cumming (60%) – expected date of completion July 2021. Funded by a matched funded PhD studentship from Public Health England, St Basils Charity, and College of Life and Environmental Sciences. “Examination of influence of changes in physical activity on tackling youth homelessness using Mental Skills Training in homeless young people.”
  3. Grace Tidmarsh, PhD student (co-supervisor (30%) with Jennifer Cumming (70%) – expected date of completion July 2022. “Physical activity and health in homeless young people.” Funded by an ESRC DTP Collaborative Studentship (1+3), in partnership with St Basils Charity.


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

2.     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 (in press).

3.     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. Advance online publication 18 February 2021,

4.     Parry B, ML Quinton, MGJ Holland, JL Thompson, and J Cumming. Improving Outcomes in Young People Experiencing Homelessness with My Strengths Training for Life™ (MST4Life™): A Qualitative Realist Evaluation. Children and Youth Services Review. Available online 10 December 2020,

5.     Rodrigues B, EA Asamane, R Magalhães, N Sousa, JL Thompson, NC Santos. The association of dietary patterns with cognition through the lens of neuroimaging – a systematic review. Ageing Research Reviews, 2020, 63:101145. DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2020.101145.

6.     Asamane EA, Greig CA, and Thompson JL. The association between nutrient intake, nutritional status and physical function of community-dwelling, ethnically diverse older adults: A longitudinal study. BMC Nutrition, 2020, 6:36.

7.     Solomon-Moore E, Salway R, Emm-Collison L, Thompson JL, Sebire SJ, Lawlor DA, and Jago R. Associations of body mass index, physical activity and sedentary time with blood pressure in primary school children from south-west England: a prospective study. PLoS One, 2020, 15(4): e0232333.

8.     Shvedko A, JL Thompson, CA Greig, and AC Whittaker. Physical Activity Intervention for Loneliness (PAIL) in community-dwelling older adults: a randomized feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 2020, 6:73.

9.     Asamane, EA, CA Greig, and JL Thompson. Social networks and their influences on nutrient intake, nutritional status and physical function in community-dwelling ethnically diverse older adults: A mixed-methods longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 2020, 20:1011.   

Withall J, Greaves C, Thompson JL, de Koning J, Bollen J, Moorlock S, Fox K, Western M, Snowsill T, Medina-Lara A, Cross R, Ladlow P, Taylor G, Zisi V, Clynes J, Grey S, Agyapong-Badu S, Guralnik J, Rejeski WJ, Stathi A. The tribulations of trials: Lessons learnt recruiting 777 older adults into REtirement in ACTion (REACT) a community, group-based active ageing intervention targeting mobility disability. Journal of Gerontology: Series A, 2020, glaa051,

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