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Derek Ball

Derek Ball

Director of Sport & Exercise Science
Heriot-Watt University
United Kingdom


A graduate in Sports Science, Dr Ball completed a PhD in Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in 1993. He has held Post doctoral positions at the University of St Andrews and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and lecturing positions at the University of Aberdeen and MMU. In 2006 he joined Heriot-Watt University after working for the Ministry of Defence for a year as a scientific advisor. An Associate Professor in physiology and biochemistry, he lectures in aspects of cardiovascular function and exercise and exercise biochemistry and metabolism.

Research Interest

My research interests cover the areas of exercise and metabolism, thermal stress and human performance, and exercise and disease. More recently my work has addressed the integration of changes in acid-base balance and acetyl group availability on metabolism at rest and during exercise. This ongoing work involves collaboration with Dr Gordon Smith (Washington Medical School, St Louis) and employs non-isotope labelling techniques. Other studies involve collaboration with Professor Colin Farquharson (Roslin Institute, Edinburgh) who is interested in the role of short-chain fatty acid availabilty on lipid and adipose tissue metabolism.