Expert Panel Members

Annually, GSSI invites subject matter experts to serve on an Expert Panel. The members below represent the 2021 Expert Panel.

Lawrence Spriet, PhD - GSSI XP Chair

University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Bio

Dr. Lawrence Spriet is a professor at the University of Guelph in Canada. His research examines how skeletal muscle generates the large amounts of energy needed to exercise and perform in work and sport situations.
Lawrence is recognized as one of the leaders in the field of exercise metabolism and has published extensively on this topic. In addition to his fundamental research, his applied research examines whether compounds that are purported to be “ergogenic” or “work enhancing” agents actually augment muscle metabolism and/or improve human performance. He also conducts hydration/sweat testing and research aimed at counteracting the effects of dehydration in athletes engaging in stop-and-go sports like ice hockey, basketball and soccer. Dr. Spriet has had a long history with GSSI, first coming on board in 1990, helping establish the Canadian GSSI Branch in 2005 and acting as Chair of XP since 2012.

XP Panel role

GSSI XP chair and SSE Editor-in-Chief

Amy Bender, PhD

Director of Clinical Sleep Science at Cerebra Medical and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary

Dr. Bender started in the sleep field over 14 years ago as a sleep technologist/RPSGT working at a clinical sleep disorders centre and a world-renowned sleep research laboratory at Washington State University, Sleep and Performance Research Center. She then received her master’s and PhD degrees in Experimental Psychology from Washington State University where she specialized in interindividual responses to sleep deprivation studying the sleep EEG. Dr. Bender then came to Canada for a Mitacs postdoctoral fellowship at the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary which was ranked the #1 sport science school in North America. During her work as a postdoc, she helped develop the only validated sleep screening tool for athletes and implemented sleep optimization strategies for numerous Canadian Olympic and professional teams. She won the 2017 Mitacs National award for product commercialization and was selected as one of Mitacs next 150 innovators. After her postdoc, Dr. Bender was the leader of Research and Outcomes at Calgary Counselling Centre where she managed a team of 10 research analysts/assistants, students, and volunteers with an interest in how sleep and exercise interventions could improve mental health. Her current research focus at Cerebra Medical is to help people sleep better by improving sleep disorder treatments with more precise digital sleep metrics. She is passionate about translating sleep science for others to understand and take action with interviews on over 30 podcasts, numerous community and conference presentations, and 14 peer-reviewed publications. She was a former college basketball hall of fame athlete, completed an Ironman in 2009, and currently chases her 3 young kids around.

Paul Cotter, PhD

Head of Food Biosciences at Teagasc and a Principal Investigator with the large Irish Research Centres, APC Microbiome Ireland, Vistamilk and Food for Health Ireland

Bio

Dr. Cotter co-ordinates an EU H2020 Innovation Action relating to microbiomes and the food chain, MASTER (€10.9 mi budget). Paul also heads the Teagasc DNA high throughput sequencing facility. He is a molecular microbiologist, with a particular focus on the microbiology of foods, the food chain and of humans as well as antimicrobial peptides/bacteriocins. Prof Cotter’s laboratory are multiple winners at the Irish Laboratory of the Year Awards, he has received awards from the Society for Applied Microbiology, ESCMID and FEMS, and heads the Applied Microbiology section within Faculty of 1000 (Biology). Prof Cotter is also the author of >350 peer-reviewed publications resulting from research funded by industry as well as funding agencies in Ireland, Europe and the US and was included in the Clarivate list of highly cited researchers for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Paul is also a co-founder and CTO of SeqBiome, a spin-out company that provide custom DNA sequencing and bioinformatics services for microbiome analysis.

XP topic

Diet and the Microbiome in Athletes

Brendan Egan, PhD

Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Physiology, Deputy Head of School, in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dublin City University, Ireland, Visiting Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, USA.

Bio

Dr. Egan's research group investigates skeletal muscle function and adaptation across the life course, with special interest in the synergy between nutrition and exercise interventions to optimise performance in athletes and older adults. His recent work has centred on the effect of exogenous ketone supplements on exercise metabolism and running performance. He also practices as a performance nutritionist with athletes across a range of sports, most recently with the Dublin Hurlers and the Irish Paratriathlon team.

XP Topic

Ketones for athletes – current status and future directions

David Kennedy, PhD

Professor of Biological Psychology and the Director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK

Bio

Dr. Kennedy's PhD investigated the cognitive effects of herbal extracts. Since that time he has been involved in the supervision of over 120 controlled trials investigating the effects of nutritional interventions on brain function and performance, which have resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications. His research interests include assessing the effects of vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, and a host of plant-derived extracts and compounds, including polyphenols and caffeine, on human brain function. David, along with colleagues, has also developed commercially available cognitive assessment software and, more recently, a smartphone app for testing cognitive function and mood outside of the laboratory.  He has written extensively on the relationship between nutrition and nutritional interventions on brain function, including his single author book “Plants and the Human Brain” (Oxford University Press), which describes the psychopharmacology of a multitude of plant-derived compounds and how these properties relate to the ecological ‘secondary metabolite’ roles of plant chemicals.

XP Topic

Mental Performance – Caffeine and Beyond

Pete Lindsay, PhD, C.Psychol

Co-founder and Head of Product at Mindflick

Bio

Pete has always been fascinated by the areas of psychology and design, exploring how complex ideas can be made accessible and relevant to individuals and teams. Over recent years, Pete has worked with Michelin starred chefs, senior executives from tech start-ups and leaders from FTSE 100s.

With a strong background in elite sport, Pete recently worked as 1st team Performance Psychologist at Manchester City FC (2015-2019) where he worked systemically to help the team achieve its goals. Prior to launching Mindflick, Pete was Head of Psychology at the English Institute of Sport and supported teams from Formula 1, professional football and individual Olympians.

XP Topic

Promoting Athlete Behaviour Change

 

Andy Philp, PhD

Group leader in the Healthy Ageing Research Theme at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and lead of the Mitochondrial Metabolism and Ageing laboratory, Sydney, Australia

Bio

Dr. Andy Philp completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Brighton UK, before completing post-doctoral training in Molecular Physiology at the University of Dundee and the University of California Davis. Andy joined the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK in 2012, prior to moving to the Garvan Institute in 2018. His group at the Garvan currently explores the role of mitochondrial metabolism in the adaptation of skeletal muscle to exercise and how mitochondrial dysfunction drives muscle deterioration during Ageing, cachexia and myopathy. Utilizing exercise, pharmacological and nutraceutical approaches, his team’s research goal is to develop strategies to maintain optimal muscle function across healthspan. Andy’s work has received international recognition, with New Investigator awards from the American Physiological Society, RANK prize nutrition funds and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Andy was formally Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Nutrition and currently serves on the editorial board at Translational Sports Medicine and the American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology. 

XP Topic

Nutraceuticals and Novel Compounds for Athletes – Promise or Puffery?

Abbie Smith-Ryan, PhD, CSCS*D, FNSCA, FACSM, FISSN

Associate Professor Exercise and Sport Science Adjunct Associate Professor – Department of Nutrition Director, Applied Physiology Laboratory Co-Director, Human Performance Center University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Bio

Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., CSCS*D, FNSCA, FACSM, FISSN is an Associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, where she serves as the Director of the Applied Physiology Lab. She is also and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Allied Health Sciences. Her research interests center around exercise and nutrition interventions to modify various aspects of body composition, cardiovascular health, and metabolic function, with a special focus on women’s health.  She is an active researcher in the field of metabolism, sport nutrition and exercise performance, in both healthy and clinical populations, leading projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and International and National industry sponsored clinical trials.  Dr. Smith-Ryan contributes to the current body of scientific literature with over 155 peer-reviewed manuscripts; a number of scholastic books and book chapters, and international/national presentations. She is actively involved in the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American College of Sports Medicine, and the International Society of Sports Nutrition. She was recognized by the NSCA as the Nutrition Researcher of the Year (2013) and the Young Investigator of the Year (2015). Dr. Smith-Ryan has a passion for improving the health and quality of life of others through evidenced-based research.

XP Topic

Women Athletes: Fit for Purpose Functional Ingredients

Gareth Wallis, PhD

Associate Professor (Reader) in Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition and the Head of Research and Knowledge Transfer within the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK

Bio

Dr. Wallis received his PhD in Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2006 and undertook his Postdoctoral training in Integrative Biology at the University of California-Berkley from 2006-2008. Dr Wallis then worked in New Product Research at GlaxoSmithKline, within a scientific program developing new nutritional products and health claims. He started at the University of Birmingham in 2012, where he now conducts academic research in exercise science with a major focus on nutrition and metabolism.  His goal is to better understand how nutrition can be manipulated to enhance metabolic or adaptive responses to exercise, with a particular focus on macronutrients and their roles in performance, training adaptation and health. To study these areas he utilises a range of experimental approaches that enable detailed profiling of metabolic responses to exercise and nutrition intervention in humans. His research and approaches adopted aim to generate the translational knowledge needed for practical application within sport, exercise and health nutrition settings.  

XP topic

New Horizons in Carbohydrate Research and Application