Dr Alex Wadley PhD, AFHEA

Dr Alex Wadley

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Lecturer in Exercise Metabolism
Academic Director, Cellular Health and Metabolism Facility

Alex’s work centres on understanding how exercise can prime the immune system to improve patient responses to treatment and reduce disease activity. Alex has worked with patients with type-1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, chronic kidney disease and obesity to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise in these populations.


BSc, Sport & Exercise Sciences: 1st Class (Honours)

PhD, University of Birmingham


Alex received his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Birmingham before undertaking 3 Post-Doctoral positions over 6 years at Loughborough University (2013-14 and 2017-19) and the University of Worcester (2014-17). Most recently, Alex has worked as a Research Associate under the Lifestyle theme of the Biomedical Research Centre at Loughborough University.


Exercise Biochemistry (Year 1)

Applied Exercise Physiology (Year 2)

Exercise as Medicine (Year 3)

Postgraduate supervision

As of September 2021, Alex supervises 2 PhD students (funded by BBSRC and Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education) and 2 MSc by Research students.

Alex welcomes applications from potential PhD or MSc by research students on topics relating to his research interests. Please see some current PhD projects available below:




Alex’s research examines how exercise influences immunity in individuals with a range of illnesses (e.g. type-1 diabetes and lupus). He is currently Principle Investigator on externally funded clinical trials (Rosetrees Trust; Lupus UK; Society for Endocrinology) addressing the impact of exercise on reducing disease progression. Alex also has funded work (Physiological Society) investigating how exercise can harness the immune system to harvest certain types of immune cells (i.e. haematopoietic stem cells) needed for patients with various blood disorders. Alex retains strong collaborative links with the NIHR funded Biomedical Research Centre at Loughborough University, where he works on projects examining the impact of exercise and nutrition on interactions between the immune system and adipose tissue. Alex also works closely with the Biomedical Research Group at the University of Worcester investigating the role of redox active proteins in the development of blood cancers.

Other activities


  • Biochemical Society
  • United Kingdom Society for Exercise Immunology
  • Society for Endocrinology
  • Society for Free Radical Research. 

Journal Reviewer

Review editor – Frontiers Physiology

Invited Reviewer - Journal of Applied Physiology; Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise; Exercise Immunology Review; PLOS ONE; Free Radial Research; European Journal of Sports Science; Canadian Journal of Diabetes; Journal of Strength and Conditioning; Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry; Biology Journal; Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity; Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism; Disease Biomarkers.


Research Outputs (since September 2021)

  1. Wadley, A.J., Roberts. M.J., Thackray, A.E., Creighton, J., Stensel, D.J., and Bishop, N.C. (2021). Higher levels of physical activity are associated with reduced tethering and migration of pro-inflammatory monocytes in males with central obesity, Exerc Immunol Rev, 27, 54-66.

  2. Wadley, A.J., Lucas, S.E. Lucas & Johnson, B. (2020). Physical activity, exercise and immune function: COVID-19 Clinical Solutions, British Journal of General Practice.

  3. James, L. Wadley, A.J., Gyimah, B., Reynolds, J.C., Mastana, S.S., Lindley, M.R. (2020). Four weeks of omega-3 supplementation does not improve cycling time trial performance in trained cyclists, Archives of Sports Medicine, 4 (2), 233-239.

  4. Alotaibi, T., Thackray, A.E., Roberts, M.J., Alanazi, T., Bishop, N.C., Wadley, A.J., King, J.A., O’Donnell, E.O., Steiner, M.C., Singh, S.J., Stensel, D.J. (2020). Acute running and coronary heart disease risk markers in male cigarette smokers and non-smokers: a randomised crossover trial, Med Sci Sport & Ex (In Press)

  5. Dewhurst-Trigg, R., Wadley, A.J., Woods, R.M., Sherar, L.B., Bishop, N.C., Hulston, C.J., Markey, O. (2020). Short-term high-fat overfeeding does not induce NF-κB inflammatory signalling in subcutaneous white adipose tissue, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 105 (7), 2162-2176.

  6. Wadley, A.J., Cullen, T., Vautrinot, J., Keane, G.,Bishop, N.C., & Coles, S.J. (2020). High intensity interval exercise increases the frequency of peripheral PD-1+ CD8+ central memory T-cells and soluble PD-L1 in humans. Brain, Behaviour & Immunity – Health, 3, 100049.

  7. Cullen, T., Thomas, G., and Wadley, A.J., (2019). Cytokines and neuroendocrine factors are associated with altered mood and the perception of fatigue at rest and during exercise following sleep deprivation, Med Sci Sport & Ex, 52 (4), 909-918.

  8. Cullen, T., Thomas, G., Wadley, A.J., and Myers, T. (2019). The effects of a single night of complete and partial sleep deprivation on physical and cognitive performance; a Bayesian Analysis. Journal of Sports Science, 37 (23), 2726-2734.

  9. Shepherd, A.I., Costello, J.T., Bailey, S.J., Bishop, N., Wadley, A.J., Young-Min, S., Gilchrist, M., Mayes, H., White, D., Gorczynski, P., Saynor, Z.L., Massey, H., Eglin, C.M. (2019). "Beet" the cold: beetroot juice supplementation improves peripheral blood flow, endothelial function, and anti-inflammatory status in individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon, Journal of Applied Physiology, 127 (5), 1478-1490.

  10. Wadley, A.J., Keane, G., Cullen, T., James, L., Vautrinot, J., Davies, M., Hussey, B., Hunter, D., Mastana, S. Holliday, A., Petersen, S.V., Bishop, N.C., Lindley, M.R., & Coles, S.J. (2019). Characterisation of extracellular redox enzyme concentrations in response to exercise in humans, Journal of Applied Physiology, 127 (3), 858-866.

  11. Hunter, D.J., James, L., Hussey, B., Wadley, A.J., Lindley, M.R., & Mastana. S.S. (2019). Impact of aerobic exercise and long chain fatty acid supplementation on global and gene-specific DNA methylation, Epigenetics, 14 (3), 294-309.

  12. Wadley, A.J., Hole, P., Tonks, A., Darley, R.L., Omidvar, N., Morgan, R.G., Keane, G. and Coles, S.J. (2018). Intracellular thiol oxidation is linked with loss of Δψm and disease progression in acute promyelocytic leukaemia, Blood, 132:2751.

  13. Hillier, J., Wadley, A.J., Morgan, R.G., Cherry, A., Conway, M.E., and Coles, S.J. (2018). Identification and Characterisation of a Novel Antioxidant Activity for the BCAT1 CXXC Motif: Implications for Myeloid Leukaemia Development, Blood, 132:1473.
  14. Wadley, A.J., Morgan, R.G., Darley R,L., Hole, P.S., & Coles, S.J. (2018). Detecting intracellular redox state: an optimised protocol for digital flow cytometers using leukemia cells. Methods X, 5, 1473-1483.
  15. Brown, F.F, Campbell, J.P., Wadley, A.J., Fisher, J.P., Aldred, S., and Turner, J.E. (2018). Acute aerobic exercise induces a preferential mobilisation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells into the peripheral blood in man, Journal of Physiology & Behaviour, 194, 191-198.
  16. Wadley, A.J., Holliday, A., Morgan, R.G., Aldred, S., Peters, D., Bueno, A.A., & Coles, S.J. (2018). A single bout of exhaustive exercise causes transient Reductive Stress in human cytotoxic T cells, Journal of Applied Physiology, 125 (2), 586-595. **
  17. Coles, S.J. and Wadley, A.J. (2017). Can BCAT1 expression level help predict disease progression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer and Oncology, 1 (1).
  18. Wadley, A.J., Svendsen, I,S., and Gleeson, M. (2017). Heightened exercise-induced oxidative stress at simulated moderate altitude vs. sea level in trained cyclists. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 27 (2), 97-104.
  19. Turner, J.E., Spielmann G., Wadley, A.J., Fisher, J.P., Aldred, S., Simpson, R.J.,Campbell, J.P. (2016). Exercise-induced B lymphocyte mobilisation: evidence for an influx of immature cells into the bloodstream in humans, Journal of Physiology & Behaviour, 164 (Pt A), 376-82.
  20. Turner, J.E., Wadley, A.J., Fisher, J.P., Bosch, J.A, Aldred, S., Drayson, M.T., & Campbell, J.P.  (2016). Intensive exercise does not preferentially mobilize skin-homing T cells and NK cells, Med Sci Sport & Ex, 48 (7), 1285-93.
  21. Wadley, A.J., Turner, J.E.and Aldred, S. (2016). Factors influencing post-exercise plasma protein carbonyl concentration,Free Radical Research, 12, 1-10.
  22. Wadley, A.J., Aldred, S., Coles, S.J. (2016). An unexplored role for Peroxiredoxin in exercise-induced redox signalling? Redox Biology, 8, 51-58.
  23. Wadley, A.J., Chen, Y.W., Lip, G.Y.H., Fisher, J.P., & Aldred, S. (2015). Low volume-high intensity interval exercise elicits anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in humans, Journal of Sports Sciences, 34 (1), 1-9.
  24. Wadley, A.J., Svendsen, I,S., Killer, S. C., and Gleeson, M. (2015). The impact of intensified training with a high or moderate carbohydrate feeding strategy on resting and exercise-induced oxidative stress, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115 (8), 1757-67.
  25. Wadley, A.J., Chen, Y.W., Bennett, S.J., Lip, G.Y.H., Turner, J.E., Fisher, J.P., & Aldred, S. (2015). Monitoring changes in Thioredoxin and over-oxidised Peroxiredoxin in response to exercise in humans, Free Radical Research, 49 (3), 290-98.
  26. Wadley, A.J., Veldhuijzen van Zanten, J.C.C.S., Stavropoulos-Kalinoglou, A., Metsios, G., Smith, J., Kitas, G, & Aldred, S. (2014). Three months of moderate-intensity exercise reduced plasma 3-nitrotyrosine levels in rheumatoid arthritis patients, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114 (7), 1483-92.
  27. Wadley, A.J., Veldhuijzen van Zanten, J.C.C.S., Paine, N.J., Drayson, M.T., & Aldred, S. (2014). Underlying inflammation has no impact on the oxidative stress response to acute mental stress. Brain, Behaviour & Immunity, 40, 182-90.
  28. Paine, N.J., Ring, C., Aldred, A., Bosch, J.A., Wadley, A.J., & Veldhuijzen van Zanten, J.C.C.S. (2013). Eccentric-exercise induced inflammation attenuates the vascular responses to mental stress. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, 30, 133-142.
  29. Wadley, A.J., Veldhuijzen van Zanten, J.J.C.S, & Aldred, S. (2013). The interactions of oxidative stress and inflammation with vascular dysfunction in ageing : the vascular health triad. American Association of Ageing, 35, 705-71

Book Chapters (since September 2021)

  1. Alex J. Wadley and Steven J. Coles. (2021). Time to ‘couple’ redox biology with exercise immunology. Oxidative Eustress in Exercise Physiology (In Press).

  2. Alex J. Wadley, Rhys G. Morgan, Richard L. Darley, Paul S. Hole, and Steven J. Coles. (2019). Using Flow Cytometry to Detect and measure Intracellular Thiol Redox Status in Viable T Cells from Heterogeneous Populations. Redox-Mediated Signal Transduction, Chapter 5. ISBN: 978-1-4939-9461-8

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