Research Institute

Scientific Advisory Board

What is the SAB?


Our Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of leading researchers from both the sector and academia with broad expertise in physical activity, exercise, sport, health, and wellbeing. The purpose of the Scientific Advisory Board is to provide support, advice, and guidance to the ukactive Research Institute in respect of the investigative work it undertakes; to provide assurance and challenge around the research work conducted by the Institute; provide strategic oversight and support where appropriate on how evidence could be used to inform policy; and to help identify additional sources of expertise to support the work of the Institute.

Who is on the SAB?


Professor Greg Whyte
In 2014 Greg was awarded an OBE for his services to Sport, Sport Science & Charity, and was voted as one of the Top 10 Science Communicators in the UK by the British Science Council. Greg is an Olympian in modern pentathlon, and is a European and World medalist. He is a specialist in the field of sports and exercise science. Graduating from Brunel University, he furthered his studies with an MSc in human performance in the USA and completed his PhD at St. Georges Hospital Medical School, London. Greg is currently a Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moore’s University. Greg's former roles include Director of Research for the British Olympic Association; Director of Science & Research for the English Institute of Sport; and Director of Performance at the Centre for Health and Human Performance at 76 Harley Street, London. Greg is an authority on Sport & Exercise Physiology and Performance. An internationally recognised expert in the field having published over 350 peer reviewed papers, 8 books and a leading media commentator. Greg has extensive professional experience assessing, treating and improving the performance of patients, sporting enthusiasts and athletes ranging from cancer sufferers to celebrities attempting their first mountain summit to Gold medal seeking Olympians. Greg is well-known for his involvement in Comic Relief, since 2006 Greg has applied his sports science work to assist various celebrities in completing some of the toughest challenges. Greg has trained, motivated and successfully coached 32 Sport & Comic Relief Challenges raising over £50 million for charity.

Professor Andy Lane
Prof Andy Lane is Director of Research overseeing research in education, health, psychology and sport. A Chartered and HCPC Registered Psychologist, Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, he has authored over 150 articles and edited 5 books. He led a BBC ab UK study on the effectiveness of brief online interventions to enhance emotions and achieve goals, a project fronted by Olympic legend Michael Johnson. Applied work varies from working with elite athletes, to helping people initiate and engage with physical activity. He practices what he preaches and has done nearly 500 parkruns, recently achieved a 25 year of running a sub 3-hour marathon, and is currently trying to row 2k under 7 mins on a concept 2.

Professor Alfonso Jimenez
A truly international scholar, Professor Jimenez is Professor of Exercise Science & Health at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) of Sheffield Hallam University (0.25FTE) and Chief Research & Innovation Officer at Ingesport-GO fit (0.75FTE), leading the GO fit LAB. Alfonso is also serving as EuropeActive Elected Board Member (Ethics & Strategy Committees), and Head of THiNK Active, EuropeActive´s new Research Centre and Think Tank. Currently based mainly at Madrid, he leads the National Observatory for Healthy & Active Living at SpainActive Foundation (Centre for Sport Studies, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos). He holds Visiting Professorial appointments at Victoria University (Melbourne, Australia), Coventry University (Coventry, UK), the University of Greenwich (London, UK), and the University of Girona (Girona, Spain).

Professor Lynne Kennedy
Lynne Kennedy, Professor in Public Health and Nutrition, with an emphasis on obesity prevention and weight management amongst other areas of specialism. Over 20 years employment in academia, with the past 12 of these in middle and senior management. Lynne is Honary Research fellow in Public Health and Nutrition at the University of Liverpool

Dr Hayley Mills
Dr Hayley Mills is a Reader is Exercise Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University where she is Director of the Perinatal Physical Activity Research Group and is a Chartered/HCPC Registered Psychologist. Hayley is a core committee member of the Chief Medical Officers (CMO) physical activity communications committee and previously chaired the expert working group that developed for publication the CMO’s physical activity guidelines for women after childbirth. Hayley is an experienced mixed methods researcher who has authored a range of academic publications, alongside medical and industry resources. Hayley is trustee of the Active Pregnancy Foundation.

Dr Nana Anokye
Dr Nana Anokye is Director of Division of Global Public Health, Brunel University London. He is a Reader in Health Economics with research interests in economics of physical activity. Nana's work on Economics of Physical Activity has been used by NICE to formulate three national public health guidelines on exercise referral schemes, and brief advice for adults in primary care. Nana is the Chair of ISPAH low and middle-income countries research council and a member of the Africa Research Excellence Fund College of Experts. As an ILM certified coach, mentor, and a former broadcast journalist, Nana is passionate about communicating research and supporting research careers. He is the founder of the African Health Economists in the Diaspora (AHEAD) mentoring scheme.

Dr Benjamin Kelly
Dr Ben Kelly leads the Clinical Research & Outcomes functions withing Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity. His work primarily focuses on whole systems approaches to the tailoring of interventions for the treatment of long-term conditions. Ben works closely with the NHS and is specialist in the design and implementation of new care models that are driven by both health and fitness professionals; particularly focussing on primary and secondary prevention. Alongside his Nuffield Health responsibilities, Ben has acted as Head of Interdisciplinary Medicine & Technology at the Medical Research Council, with his clinical expertise sitting within cardiac physiology and diagnostics.

Dr Dale Esliger
Dr Dale Esliger leads an internationally recognised research group focusing on the skilled deployment of novel digital health technologies (e.g., wearables) to quantify the dose-response relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and health. Funding for the group has come from a wide variety of sources (e.g., grants from MRC, NIHR, EPSRC, as well as numerous contract research and enterprise projects with government bodies, third sector entities, and businesses. To date Dr Esliger has secured research/enterprise income of over £5M across the UK, Canada, EU, and US sources and published over 100 peer reviewed papers and government and industry reports.

Kerry Wardell
Kerry Wardell is a lecturer in Sport Development and Sports Business Management at the University of Winchester, in addition to Sport Development and Recreation officer at Test Valley Borough Council. She is a final year PhD student specialising in strategic development of physical activity and grassroots sports participation. Previously working within British Rowing and World Rowing as a training and development specialist, establishing rowing programmes in the UK and abroad. Working in both academia and as a practitioner she brings real-world experience to research and analysis.

Prof Stewart Bruce-Low
Dr Stewart Bruce-Low is currently Head of Department for Sport and Exercise at University of East London. He has extensive experience of working with elite performers (e.g., Premier League football, GB Wheelchair Rugby, Formula 1, International Rugby) alongside implementing community interventions to address health inequalities across a range of conditions from falls prevention to osteoarthritis. His research is applied and impact driven and is based across the sport and exercise continuum into areas such as using exercise as a tool for enhancing community holistic health across the lifecycle as well as performance enhancement in elite football.