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Personal profile

Research interests


John joined the Department for Health in 2016 as a 50th Anniversary Prize Fellow to develop a research program in exercise immuno-oncology. John is collaborating with Bath Royal United Hospital, and national and international collaborators, to investigate whether immunological changes that arise in response to exercise can be harnessed to prevent and treat cancer. In particular, a main focus of John's research is investigating whether exercise can be used as an adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy.

Prior to undertaking his role as a Prize Fellow, John completed his PhD in 2010 at the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham UK. During his PhD, John investigated the effects of exercise on immunological competency, which involved conducting randomised-controlled trials to determine whether exercise improves vaccination responses in humans. Following his PhD, John undertook 6 years of post-doctoral training in blood cancers at the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the University of Birmingham Medical School. During this time, John was involved in the development of the world’s first near-patient test for measuring free light chains (Seralite, Abingdon Health Ltd) - biomarkers for diagnosing and monitoring monoclonal gammopathies including multiple myeloma. John has received principle / co-investigator funding from CRUK, MRC, NIHR, NASA, the Physiological Society and other funding streams.

Professional memberships

  • British Society for Haematology
  • The Physiological Society UK
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Active collaborative links

  • Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia
  • School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, USA

Research interests

  • Exercise oncology and immunology
  • Lifestyle and cancer prevention
  • Biomarker and assay development

Supervision of early career researchers

John is happy to be contacted to discuss supervision of research projects in the area of exercise and cancer prevention.


  • Exercise
  • Cancer
  • Immunology
  • Physical Activity
  • Tumour
  • Blood
  • Haematology

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Research Output

Analytical validation of new ELISAs for the quantitation of polyclonal free light chains and comparison to existing assays for healthy and patient samples

Heaney, J. L. J., Campbell, J., Goodall, M., Plant, T., Shemar, M., Hand, C. & Drayson, M. T., 31 Mar 2020, In : Journal of Immunological Methods. 112713.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Can exercise affect immune function to increase susceptibility to infection?

Simpson, R. J., Campbell, J. P., Gleeson, M., Krüger, K., Nieman, D. C., Pyne, D. B., Turner, J. E. & Walsh, N. P., 27 Mar 2020, In : Exercise Immunology Review. 26, p. 8-22 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
8 Citations (Scopus)

Free light chains as an emerging biomarker in saliva: biological variability and comparisons with salivary IgA and steroid hormones

Rapson, A., Collman, E., Faustini, S., Yonel, Z., Chapple, I. L., Drayson, M. T., Ritcher, A., Campbell, J. & Heaney, J. L. J., Jan 2020, In : Brain Behavior and Immunity. 83, p. 78-86 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Regular exercise has long-term benefits for immunity - it's important to stay active

Campbell, J. & Turner, J., 10 Apr 2020, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

The mobilisation of early mature CD56dim-CD16bright NK cells is blunted following a single bout of vigorous intensity exercise in Type 1 Diabetes

Curran, M., Campbell, J. P., Powell, E., Chikhlia, A. & Narendran, P., 29 Feb 2020, In : Exercise Immunology Review. 26, p. 116-131 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle