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Neil Williams

Neil Williams

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr Neil Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition and teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. Neil is Course Leader for the BSc (H) Exercise Nutrition and Health degree. He is module leader for Sport and Exercise Nutrition, and postgraduate module leader for Current Topics in Performance Nutrition. Neil contributes to several other modules on the undergraduate and postgraduate degree pathways with an emphasis on exercise physiology, respiratory physiology, nutrition and extreme environments.

Dr Williams completed his PhD at Nottingham Trent University and his research activity is focused on the aetiology of asthma and investigating novel dietary interventions for the management of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. His current research focus is looking at the use of prebiotics and the role the gut microbiota plays in respiratory health and exercise performance.

Career overview

Previously Neil has worked on projects involving the physiological assessment of the armed forces for the MOD and commercial clients in a range of extreme environments; and consulted with athletes and ex-Olympians in supporting British runners in the Marathon de Sables.

Previous work includes:

Research areas

Dr William's is a member of the Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Group.

His research is primarily focused on exercise physiology and nutrition, with emphasis on the aetiology of asthma and novel dietary interventions to reduce exercise induced-bronchoconstriction and airway inflammation. Dr Williams’s research also focuses on the role the gut microbiota play in respiratory disease and exercise performance, with studies investigating the gut microbiota as a novel therapeutic target through dietary prebiotics.

Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website

Current PhD Students:

  • Paul Lester
  • Robert Needham
  • Connor Parker

External activity

Professional affiliations:

  • Member of the Physiological Society
  • Member of the European Respiratory Society
  • Member of the Nutrition Society
  • Peer reviewer for numerous scientific journals
  • Dissemination of research at numerous internationally-renowned scientific conferences
  • Invited speaker on topics related to asthma, nutrition and the gut microbiota

Neil is able to act as a consultant in the following areas:

  • Physiological responses to exercise and assessment of fitness
  • Preparation and acclimation for exercise in extreme environments
  • Diagnostic assessments of exercise induced asthma and measurement of pulmonary function

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and/or support of:

Internal Collaborators:

Dr Stephanie McCardle, Senior Research Fellow, Biosciences

Dr Kirsty Hunter, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition

Dr Graham Sharpe, Principal Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Dr Mike Johnson, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

External Collaborators:

Dr Gemma Walton, Lecturer in Metagenomics, University of Reading

Dr Dominick Shaw, City Hospital, Nottingham

Dr Ian Spendlove, The University of Nottingham

Food Microbial Sciences Research Group, University of Reading

Clasado Biosciences Ltd.


Preparation for, and physiological responses to competing in the Marathon des Sables: A case report. Williams NC, Scott JPR, Barker N, Gilmour K and Wickes S, Journal of Sports Medical and Physical Fitness, 2014, 54 (1)

Influence of oxidative stress, diaphragm fatigue, and inspiratory muscle training on the plasma cytokine response to sustainable voluntary ventilation. Mills DE, Johnson MA, McPhilimey MJ, Williams NC, Gonzalez JT, Barnett YA and Sharpe GR, Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014, 116 (8)

The effects of inspiratory muscle training on plasma interleukin-6 concentration during cycling exercise and a volitional mimic of the exercise hyperpnea. Mills DE, Johnson MA, McPhilimey MJ, Williams NC, Gonzalez JT, Barnett YA and Sharpe GR, Journal of Applied Physiology, 2013, 115 (8)

The effect of a carbohydrate beverage on the physiological responses during prolonged load carriage. Blacker SA, Williams NC, Fallowfield JL, Willems MET, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2011, 111 (8)

Carbohydrate vs protein supplementation for the recovery of neuromuscular function following prolonged load carriage. Blacker SA, Williams NC, Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JL and Willems MET, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2010, 7 (2)

See all of Neil Williams's publications...

Press expertise

  • The effects of extreme environments on the human body
  • Respiratory conditions in athletes
  • Role of the gut microbiota in health and exercise
  • Prebiotic and probiotic dietary interventions