Zoe Saynor

Zoe Saynor

Name: Zoe Saynor

From: Holywell, Flintshire, North Wales

Course: MSc Exercise Rehabilitation (However also completed BSc Sport Science)

Level of study: MSc (with Distinction); BSc (1st Class with Honours)

Graduation Year: MSc 2010; BSc 2009

Current Employer: I am currently in my final year of a PhD GTA Scholarship within the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (University of Exeter), as part of which I have an honorary contract with the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Hospital. I also work part-time as a Gym Instructor and Spinning® instructor – Gym instructor qualification I gained for free as part of my MSc (Exercise Rehabilitation) at Bangor University.

Job title: Paediatric Physiology Research Scholar / Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Current Duties:
I am currently completing my PhD with paediatric Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients, for which I have been busy testing for a number of research projects concerning exercise testing for and exercise limitation within this patient group. However, I have also brought in and perform clinical maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) as part of the paediatric CF patients’ Annual Clinical Review as maximal oxygen uptake and other parameters of aerobic fitness from this method of testing hold important prognostic and functional information within this patient population. I also work closely with the CF physiotherapists and clinicians and perform CPET to assess the fitness and function of number of the adult CF patients and, more recently, to the influence of clinical pharmacological interventions.

As part of my PhD I am also a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), providing support for lectures, seminars and laboratory practical sessions on a wide range of modules over my 3 years here:
  • 2012 - 2103 - Year 1 Human Anatomy and Kinanthropometry, Year 1 Foundations of Sports Nutrition, Year 3 Sports Nutrition, Year 1 Human Physiology
  • 2011 - 2012 - Year 1 Foundations of Exercise Physiology, Year 3 Paediatric Exercise Physiology, Year 1 Exercise Physiology, Year 3 Clinical Exercise Prescription, Year 3 Dissertation Conference
  • 2010 - 2011 - Year 1 Foundations of Exercise Physiology, Year 1 Biochemistry of Exercise, Year 3 Dissertation Conference

Story so far:

I am currently in my 3rd and final year of PhD Student at the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (University of Exeter).  This has been a whirl-wind two years! which has included:
My initial research focused on enhancing clinical exercise testing for young people with CF. This initial research has been presented at a number of conferences and I was awarded a Young Investigator Award to present this work at the 35th European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS) Conference in Dublin. CPET is also now being promoted within the ECFS Consensus Statement for exercise testing with these patients.

My on-going research now focuses on cardiopulmonary and oxidative muscle metabolic responses of this patient group using techniques such as oxygen uptake kinetics to assess the limitation to exercise within this patient group. The key aim of this work is to enhance our knowledge regarding the limitation to exercise associated to CF in order to replace the presently poor provision of exercise training for CF patients with more effective methods.

I also now have three England Rugby caps...a sport I started during my Masters course at Bangor.

What I miss most about Bangor...

I miss 1) the phenomenal view of the Menai Strait during laboratory practical sessions and lectures – PRICELESS! and 2) being able to go out in the evening and know the majority people out in the city – only in Bangor. 

My time at Bangor...

....was incredible. Being able to ‘learn my trade’ in such a relaxed, yet driven, environment made for a fun and challenging 4 years of study. I made friends for life, and learnt the key skills necessary to take me to the next level.

Anything else you would like to share about your time in SSHES…

SSHES provided me with a solid foundation to pursue my chosen career. The passion of the lecturers I worked closely with during, particularly, my MSc programme challenged me whilst driving me to succeed in a relaxed environment.  I recommend this MSc programme to anyone looking to break into the clinical exercise physiology/exercise rehabilitation field here in the UK. This programme provided me with necessary clinical experience and qualifications, alongside solid theoretical grounding and mentorship from world renowned researchers in this field.