Dr Ant Shepherd
I joined the department in 2016 from the University of Exeter Medical School. I completed a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science and an MSc in Exercise Rehabilitation at Bangor University. During my BSc and MSc I used in vitro techniques (RT-PCR, primary skeletal muscle cell cultures, electrophoresis and western blotting) to assess the effect of chronic glucose supplementation on gene and protein expression. During this time I also worked with pre-peritoneal dialysis patients with chronic kidney disease. Following the completion of my MSc, I moved to Exeter to complete my PhD within the Sport and Exercise Science Department and the Diabetes and Vascular Research Centre. My PhD consisted of 3 double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled trials assessing the therapeutic effects of dietary nitrate supplementation, in individuals with type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Following my PhD I was appointed as an associate research and teaching fellow at Exeter Medical School where I ran a clinical trial examining the acceptability and feasibility of a stroke rehabilitation programme.
My current research interests are in individuals with chronic disease including: type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease. I have a particular interest in supplementation and there therapeutic effects (namely, nitrate). My other interests include, glucose homeostasis, oxygen uptake and delivery, rehabilitation, microvascular function and the assessment of physical activity in clinical groups. I am also a Level 2 Gym Instructor and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
My research is focused on trying to improve quality of life in individuals with chronic disease. Much of my research has utilised supplementation and or rehabilitation in order to make exercise (day to day activity) easier or to improve functionality (i.e. independently getting off the floor). Ultimately, my research revolves around patient benefit. Where possible my research utilises strong research designs (double-blind, randomised, control trials) with a-priori power calculations. I am also interested in understanding the pathophysiology of specific chronic diseases in order to elucidate any potential therapeutic strategies.