Posts By / pfairbairn

BU PGR Paul Fairbairn presents at the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids Congress in Las Vegas

I was recently fortunate enough to be given the unique opportunity to attend the 13th Congress for the International Society for Study of Fatty Acids (ISSFAL) and Lipids in Las Vegas Nevada. My experience started with an interesting satellite symposium entitled “An Update on the Role of EPA and DHA for Brain Health”. During this satellite experts such as Dr. Karin Yurko-Mauro gave an excellent insight into the current research on a topic which strongly relates to my PhD.

On the first day of the conference I was given the opportunity to present some of the work I have done during my PhD with an oral presentation entitled “Preliminary analysis suggests a high DHA multi-nutrient supplementation and aerobic exercise produce similar improvements in verbal memory in older females”. This was an amazing and rather surreal experience, as presenting research I had conducted at an international conference is not something I would have envisioned being able to achieve just a short time ago. As well as my oral presentation I also had a poster entitled “Circulating DHA levels as a predictor of gait performance under single and dual-task conditions in older females”.

During the conference there were a series of plenary lectures, as well as sessions covering a breadth of topics including general nutrition, aging and neurodegenerative diseases, brain fatty acid uptake, inflammation and allergy and clinical trial methodology. In between sessions leading pioneers within fatty acid research Professor Michael Crawford and Dr Maria Makrides were each given awards with Professor Crawford being given the omega-3 research award and Dr. Makrides the Alexander Leaf Award.

The ISSFAL committee were very accommodating of the younger researchers attending the event. organising a young investigators social to the mob museum and putting together a “meet the professors” breakfast to allow us to pick the minds of some of the leaders in the field. Furthermore I won a young investigators award by ISSFAL, which is given to recognise and encourage excellent abstract submissions, and in turn allowed me to register for the conference at no cost.

I would firstly like to the thank the ISSFAL organisers for allowing me the opportunity to present my work at such a respected conference and my PhD supervisors Dr. Simon Dyall and Dr. Fotini Tsofliou for supporting me through the research process. I am also grateful for being awarded a full Santander mobility award and for my BU studentship funding, which has allowed me to make the trip to Las Vegas possible.

If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at



BU’s PGR Paul Fairbairn at the Lipids and Brain IV conference in Nancy

The Société Française pour l’Etude des Lipides (SFEL) recently held the fourth iteration of their Lipids and Brain conference in Nancy France.

I was given the opportunity to present some preliminary results from an ongoing study I am conducting as part of my PhD, looking into the effects of a multi-nutrient omega-3 fatty acid supplement and exercise on mobility and cognitive function in ladies aged 60+.  Analysis of the baseline data revealed relationships between levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood with cognitive and gait outcomes, however this effect differed between non-frail and pre-frail participants.

The conference brought together scientists, physicians and nutritionists to provide a unique prospective on the role of lipid nutrition in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with a large focus on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  The conference was a mix of lectures, invited reviews, and poster sessions.  There was a tremendous variety of topics presented, including lectures on the pathophysiology and epidemiology of AD, how AD can impact lipid metabolism and the effects of lipid intake on prevention and treatment of AD.

During the conference Professor Stephen Cunnane from the Research Center on Aging, Sherbrooke (Canada) was presented with the prestigious Chevreul Medal.

On a personal note this was an exciting opportunity for me to present my work and represent Bournemouth University and my supervisory team of Dr. Simon Dyall and Dr. Fotini Tsofliou at a respected conference.  It was very satisfying to see some interest in my work from researchers whose work I myself look up to.

I would like to extend my gratitude towards Bournemouth University, for providing the funding that allowed me to attend the conference and to the scientific committee at the SFEL for organising such an impeccable event.

If you would like to learn more about our research, please feel free to contact me at


BU PGR Research into the effects of diet and exercise on mobility and brain function – Call for participants.

bike-pictureWe are often reminded that we should be paying attention to what we eat and making sure we exercise regularly. These recommendations are based on years of research into how diet and exercise can impact our health and well-being throughout the lifespan. However, it’s rare that these two crucial elements are studied together.

  • Can combining different lifestyle interventions produce an even more profound effect than each individually?
  • Are people able to adapt to two changes in lifestyle?
  • Is one element of lifestyle modification better than the other?

We have designed a study that will hopefully give an insight into these questions by looking at the effects of a dietary supplement and exercise classes on a spinning bike in adults aged 60+. The supplement contains fish oil (1000 mg DHA, 160 mg EPA), 20 µg B12, 1 mg folic acid, 124 mg phosphatidylserine, 240 mg gingko biloba standardized leaf extract and 20 mg vitamin E.

We are seeking to recruit healthy adults aged 60+ to take part in the study.  Volunteers will be split into four groups.

  • Supplement and exercise classes
  • Placebo and exercise classes
  • Supplement
  • Placebo

We will ask volunteers to take part in tests related to walking ability and brain function and a blood sample will also be required.  These will be done at the beginning of the study and after 24 weeks.

All testing and the exercise classes will take part at SportBU at Bournemouth University Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB.

  • Inclusion criteria: Aged 60+ and able to walk 50 metres without a walking aid
  • Exclusion criteria: Vestibular impairments (balance disorder), diagnosed neurological disorder e.g. dementia or depression, previously received lower limb surgery, diagnosis or receiving treatment for pernicious anaemia, allergy to seafood, regular consumption of multivitamin/fish oil supplements in the last six months, have been advised not to take part in exercise by a doctor

Due to a number of advances in medicine and healthcare, life expectancy has steadily increased in the UK meaning we have an ever expanding population of people aged 60+.  For this population it’s not just about living longer, it’s about living better for longer.  This can mean being able to take part in leisure activities like sports, gardening or visiting friends right down to more vital activities like being able to climb stairs or rise from a chair.  Mobility and brain function play a pivotal role in the quality of life of the older generation, yet it’s common to see declines in both of these areas as we get older.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in taking part of would like more information about the study or our research please contact

Paul Fairbairn

PhD Student Bournemouth University

07871 319620