Dr Rachel Lord

Reader in Cardiovascular Physiology

​Telephone number: 02920206373
Email address: rnlord@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Rachel is a Reader Cardiovasular Physiology within the Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences. She completed her PhD at Liverpool John Moores University in 2015 focusing on ultra-endurance exercise and cardiac structure and function. Rachel's research broadly aims to address a number of specific topics with a focus on cardiovascular adaptation and control of the cardiovascular system:

  1. The Athlete's Heart
  2. Healthy ageing
  3. Exercise as medicine in both healthy and clinical populations

Rachel currently supervises two PhD candidates and has successfully supervised a number of postgraduate masters students and undergraduate students through their dissertations. She is also Chair of the Natural Sciences School of Sport and Health Sciences Ethics Panel and Level 6 Year Tutor for the Sport and Exercise Science degree programme. Rachel is also the Physiology Dissertation Co-ordinator and is a member of the Athena Swan Strategic Action Team.

Research / Publications

Rachel's research focuses on how the cardiovascular system adapts to a range of exercise stimuli across different populations. Her work focusing on the Athlete's Heart is linked with developing pre-participation cardiac screening guidelines and aiming to address the question "Can you do too much exercise?"

This research also links into Rachel's interest understanding acute response and chronic adaptation to exercise and implementing exercise interventions across the lifespan in both health and disease. This body of research aims to address both the physiological mechanisms underpinning therapeutic benefit from exercise and also the impact on quality of life and mental health and wellbeing.  

Areas of research focus and technical expertise include:

  • 12-lead electrocardiography
  • Cardiac structure and function using echocardiography including cardiac mechanics
  • Muscle sympathetic nerve activity via microneurography

Refereed Academic Journal Articles

Unnithan VB, Rowland TW, George K, Lord R, Oxborough D (2018) Left ventricular function during exercise in trained pre-adolescent soccer players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 28 (11):2330-2338. doi: 10.1111/sms.13258

Popple E, George K, Somauroo J, Sharma S, Utomi V, Lord R, Cooper R, Malhotra A, Forster J, Oxborough D. (2018) Right ventricular structure and function in senior and academy elite footballers. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 28 (12):2617-2624. doi: 10.1111/sms.13272

Lord RN, Utomi V, Oxborough DL, Curry BA, Brown M, George KP. (2018) Left ventricular function and mechanics following prolonged endurance exercise: an update and meta-analysis with insights from novel techniques. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 118 (7):1291-1299. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-3906

Lord R, Macleod D, George K, Oxborough D, Shave R, Stembridge M. (2018) Reduced left ventricular filling following blood volume extraction does not result in compensatory augmentation of cardiac mechanics. Experimental Physiology. 103 (4):495-501. doi: 10.1113/EP086761

Lodge F, Khatun R, Lord R, John A, Fraser AG, Yousef Z. (2017) Prevalence of subclinical cardiac abnormalities in patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements. International Journal of Cardiology. 15 (271):274-280. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.05.047

Rothwell O, George K, Somauroo J, Lord R, Stembridge M, Shave R, Hoffman MD, Wilson M, Ashley E, Haddad F, Eijsvogels T, Oxborough D. (2017) Right Ventricular Structure and Function in the Veteran Ultramarathon runner: Is there Evidence for Chronic Maladaptation? Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 31 (5):598-605.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2017.11.021

Cocking S, Landman T, Benson M, Lord R, Jones H, Gaze D, Thijssen D H, George K. (2017) The impact of remote ischemic preconditioning on cardiac biomarker and functional response to endurance exercise. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 27 (10):1061-1069. doi: 10.1111/sms.12724

Lord R, George K, Somauroo J, Stembridge M, Jain N, Hoffman, MD, Shave R, Haddad F, Ashley E, Jones H, Heemels A, Oxborough D. (2016) Alterations in Cardiac Mechanics following Ultra-endurance Exercise: Insights from Left and Right Ventricular Area-Deformation Loops. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 29 (9):879-887

Oxborough D, Heemels A, Somauroo J, McClean G, Mistry P, Lord R, Utomi V, Jones N, Thijssen D, Sharma S, Osborne R, Sculthorpe N, George K. (2016) Left and right ventricular longitudinal strain-volume/area relationships in elite athletes. International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging 32 (8): 1199-1211

Lord R, George K, Somauroo J, Jain N, Reese K, Hoffman, MD, Haddad F, Ashley E, Jones H, Oxborough D.  Exploratory Insights from the Right-sided Electrocardiogram following Prolonged Endurance Exercise. European Journal of Sport Science, Eur J Sport Sci. 2016 Nov;16(8):1014-22. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2016.1165292

Giraldeau G, Kobayashi Y, Finocchiaro G, Wheeler M, Perez M, Kuznetsova T, Lord R, George KP, Oxborough D, Schnittger I, Froelicher V, Liang D, Ashley E, Haddad F. (2015) Gender Differences in Ventricular Remodeling and Function in College Athletes, Insights from Lean Body Mass Scaling and Deformation Imaging. American Journal of Cardiology 116 (10):1610-6.

Utomi V, Oxborough D, Ashley E, Lord R, Fletcher S, Stembridge M, Shave R, Hoffman MD, Whyte G, Somauroo J, Sharma S, George K. (2015) The impact of chronic endurance and resistance training upon the right ventricular phenotype in male athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology 115 (8):1673-1682. 

Teaching and Supervision

PhD Supervision

Mr Brian Begg (Director of Studies); High intensity interval training (HIIT) versus moderate intensity steady state training (MISS) in UK Cardiac Rehabilitation programmes: a multi-centre randomised control trial.

Mr Graham Bell (Co-supervisor); The effects of fatigue on the physiology and biomechanics of running gait.


Rachel is currently the module leader for Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology (SSP7108) and Physical Activity in Health and Disease (SSP7110) and co-leads Advanced Exercise Physiology & Health (SSP6015). She also delivers on all undergraduate and postgraduate modules that relate to cardiovascular physiology and clinical exercise prescription as well as contributing to the delivery fo research methods. 

External Links

Rachel has strong collaboration with both research and clinical colleagues across the globe including:

Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

University of the West of Scotland, UK

Bangor University, Bangor, UK

Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK

Countess of Chester Hospital, Chester, UK

Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar