John was awarded a 1st class BSc in Sports Science from the University of Wales, Bangor in 2002. In January 2003 he began working as a research assistant at the Olympic Medical Institute, Northwick Park Hospital, where he started his PhD research into the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of exercise induced asthma in elite athletes. In May 2004 John was appointed as a Research Physiologist for the English Institute of Sport, where he continued to investigate respiratory problems in elite athletes. During this time John was the first researcher to screen the entire Team GB squad for exercise induced asthma prior to the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games, 2006 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. John was awarded his PhD from Brunel University in March 2006. He has been a BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Physiologist since 2006.
In 2007 John decided to take a research break and worked as an Acquisitions Editor for Human Kinetics, where he commissioned 30 Sports Science and Sports Medicine books. During this time John was also an honorary research fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University where he continued to test elite athletes for respiratory problems. From 2008, John has been an UK Sport advisor for asthma diagnosis in elite athletes.
In January 2010, John was appointed a Post Doctorial Research Fellow, at the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise. In this role John is leading a WADA funded research project investigating the pharmokinetic and performance enhancing effects of salbutamol in athletes.
In August 2012, John joined the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Kent as a Lecturer. He is now a Reader within the School of Sport and Exercise Science. Not only does he teach on various modules he is also the Chair of the Staff Student Liaison Committee, the Lead for Outreach work within schools in Kent and Europe and the Head of our Exercise and Respiratory Clinic which provides consultancy services to athletes with exercise respiratory issues. Through this clinic he has supported Olympic and Professional athletes as well as recreational athletes. In the build up to the 2016 Olympic Games the Respiratory Clinic provide respiratory support to Team GB athletes that were involved with 26% of the gold medals, 35% of the silver and 18% of the bronze medals won at the Olympic Games. In 2016 he also worked with squads of elite football teams from Arsenal FC, Hull City FC, Brentford FC and Gillingham FC.
John current research investigates 1) how to diagnose and treat exercise related respiratory issues, 2) ergogenic action of asthma medication in athletes with and 3) novel methods to measure respiratory mechanics during exercise. He has recently obtained funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency, Asthma UK an A2 Milk to support his research.
Research InterestsJohn’s main area of research focuses on respiratory problems in athletes. He has over 10 years’ experience of investigating issues such as asthma and dysfunctional breathing in athletes. The population groups he has investigated include British Olympic athletes, Premier League Football Players, Premiership Rugby Union Players and Super League Rugby Union Players.
John has published extensively in the area of exercise induced asthma and has given key note presentation nationally and internationally on the subject. Dr. Dickinsons's work has been cited in contemporary consensus statements examining asthma in athletes (Fitch et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008;122:254-260; Carlsen et al. Allergy 2008 ;63:387-403; Anderson et al. Eur Respir Mon, 2005 ;33 :48-66).
John has received funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to investigate the ergogenic and pharmokinetic properties of inhaled β2-Agonists (asthma medication). The funding from WADA has includes four successful grant applications which have totalled in access of $600,000. John has been co-investigator on three of these grants and principle investigator on the most recent grant awarded (2013).
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Molphy, J. et al. (2019). The Effects of Inhaled Terbutaline on 3-km Running Time-Trial Performance. International journal of sports physiology and performance [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0633.Terbutaline is a prohibited drug except for athletes with a therapeutic use exemption certificate; terbutaline's effects on endurance performance are relatively unknown. Purpose: To investigate the effects of two therapeutic (2mg; 4mg) inhaled doses of terbutaline on 3km running time-trial performance. Methods: Eight males (24.3±2.4yrs; 77.6±8kg; 179.5±4.3cm) and eight females (22.4±3yrs; 58.6±6kg; 163±9.2cm) free from respiratory disease and illness provided written informed consent. Participants completed 3 km running time-trials on a non-motorised treadmill on three separate occasions following placebo, 2 mg or 4 mg inhaled terbutaline, in a single-blind, repeated-measures design. Urine samples (15mins post-exercise) were analysed for terbutaline concentration. Data were analysed using one-way repeated measures ANOVA, significance was set at p<0.05 for all analyses. Results: No differences were observed for completion times (1103±201; 1106±195; 1098±165s; P=0.913) for the placebo trial, the 2mg inhaled trial and the 4mg inhaled trial, respectively. Lactate values were higher (P=0.02) following 4mg terbutaline (10.7±2.3mmol·L-1) vs. placebo (8.9±1.8mmol·L-1). FEV1 values were greater following inhalation of 2mg (5.08±0.2; P=0.01) and 4mg terbutaline (5.07±0.2; P=0.02) compared to placebo (4.83±0.5L) post-inhalation. Urinary terbutaline concentrations were mean (306±288ng·mL-1; 435±410ng·mL-1; P=0.2) and peak (956ng·mL-1; 1244ng·mL-1) following 2mg and 4mg inhaled terbutaline, respectively. No differences were observed between the male and female participants. Conclusions: Therapeutic dosing of terbutaline does not lead to an improvement in 3 km running performance despite significantly increased FEV1. Our findings suggest that athletes using inhaled terbutaline at high therapeutic doses to treat asthma will not gain an ergogenic advantage during 3 km running performance.
Massaroni, C. et al. (2018). Comparison of marker models for the analysis of the volume variation and thoracoabdominal motion pattern in untrained and trained participants. Journal of Biomechanics [Online] 76:247-252. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2018.05.036.Respiratory assessment and the biomechanical analysis of chest and abdomen motion during breathing can be carried out using motion capture systems. An advantage of this methodology is that it allows analysis of compartmental breathing volumes, thoraco-abdominal patterns, percentage contribution of each compartment and the coordination between compartments. In the literature, mainly, two marker models are reported, a full marker model of 89 markers placed on the trunk and a reduced marker model with 32 markers. However, in practice, positioning and post-process a large number of markers on the trunk can be time-consuming. In this study, the full marker model was compared against the one that uses a reduced number of markers, in order to evaluate i) their capability to obtain respiratory parameters (breath-by-breath tidal volumes) and thoracoabdominal motion pattern (compartmental percentage contributions, and coordination between compartments) during quiet breathing, and ii) their response in different groups such as trained and untrained, male and female. Although tests revealed strong correlations of the tidal volume values in all the groups (R2 >0.93), the reduced model underestimated the trunk volume compared with the 89 marker model. The highest underestimation was found in trained males (bias of 0.43 L). The three-way ANOVA test showed that the model did not influence the evaluation of compartmental contributions and the 32 marker model was adequate to distinguish thoracoabdominal breathing pattern in the studied groups. Our findings showed that the reduced marker model could be used to analyse the thoracoabdominal motion in both trained and untrained populations but performs poorly in estimating tidal volume.
De Coninck, K. et al. (2018). Measuring the morphological characteristics of thoracolumbar fascia in ultrasound images: an inter-rater reliability study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders [Online] 19. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-018-2088-5.Background: Chronic lower back pain is still regarded as a poorly understood multifactorial condition. Recently, the thoracolumbar fascia complex has been found to be a contributing factor. Ultrasound imaging has shown that people with chronic lower back pain demonstrate both a significant decrease in shear strain, and a 25% increase in thickness of the thoracolumbar fascia. There is sparse data on whether medical practitioners agree on the level of disorganisation in ultrasound images of thoracolumbar fascia. The purpose of this study was to establish inter-rater reliability of the ranking of architectural disorganisation of thoracolumbar fascia on a scale from 'very disorganised' to 'very organised'. Methods: An exploratory analysis was performed using a fully crossed design of inter-rater reliability. Thirty observers were recruited, consisting of 21 medical doctors, 7 physiotherapists and 2 radiologists, with an average of 13.03 ± 9.6 years of clinical experience. All 30 observers independently rated the architectural disorganisation of the thoracolumbar fascia in 30 ultrasound scans, on a Likert-type scale with rankings from 1 = very disorganised to 10 = very organised. Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Krippendorff's alpha was used to calculate the overall inter-rater reliability. Results: The Krippendorf's alpha was .61, indicating a modest degree of agreement between observers on the different morphologies of thoracolumbar fascia.The Cronbach's alpha (0.98), indicated that there was a high degree of consistency between observers. Experience in ultrasound image analysis did not affect constancy between observers (Cronbach's range between experienced and inexperienced raters: 0.95 and 0.96 respectively). Conclusions: Medical practitioners agree on morphological features such as levels of organisation and disorganisation in ultrasound images of thoracolumbar fascia, regardless of experience. Further analysis by an expert panel is required to develop specific classification criteria for thoracolumbar fascia.