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Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Ms. Raghini Rajaram

Ms. Raghini Rajaram

PhD Student

 Richards Building 


Richard's Building, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I joined the university in 2021 as a PhD student in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism group. My PhD is part of the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Programme (SWBio DTP) and is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). 

PhD title: Skeletal muscle nitrate metabolism as a modulator of cardiovascular health in ageing

PhD project description: My project aims to understand the role of skeletal muscle nitrate metabolism as a modulator of cardiovascular health in ageing. The project will assess whether human skeletal muscle makes a significant contribution to nitrate reduction, explore the mechanisms of nitrate transport between the circulation and skeletal muscle, and determine the influence of dietary interventions on muscle nitrate content and functional outcomes in younger and older adults.

Supervisors: Prof Anni Vanhatalo, Prof Andy Jones, and Prof Paul Winyard.

Collaborators: National Institute of Health (NIH), USA

I am a successful receipient of the competitive 'Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Lab visiting fund 2023' (£1500 award) for my collaborative work with NIH. 

Other activities:

I serve as Post Graduate Research (PGR) students representative and Post Graduate Teaching Assistants (PTA) representative for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. I have successfully organised the Sports and Health Sciences PGR conference 2022 and the Health and Life Sciences PGR conference 2023.

In addition, I am the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Champion for the SWBio student cohort for the 2023-24 academic year. 


BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science – First Class – King's College London

Previous qualifications in Finance:

MBA in Finance – Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India

MSc (Tech) Information Systems - Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India  


Research group links

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Research interests

  • Nitric Oxide metabolism
  • Human muscle physiology
  • Healthy Ageing
  • Exercise performance 

Research projects


  • Patel, S., Francis, T., Rajaram, R., Handslip, R., Mumby, S., Bear, D. E., Padhke, R., Hart, N., Montgomery, H., Takata, M., Harridge, S. D. R., Patel, B. V., and Puthucheary, Z. (2023) Programmed myofibre necrosis in critical illness acquired muscle wasting. JCSM Rapid Communications
  • Wei, C., Vanhatalo, A., Kadach, S., Stoyanov, Z., Abu-Alghayth, M., Black, M. I., Smallwood, M. J., Rajaram, R., Winyard, P. G., & Jones, A. M. (2023). Reduction in blood pressure following acute dietary nitrate ingestion is correlated with increased red blood cell S-nitrosothiol concentrations. Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry138-139, 1–9.

PhD title: Skeletal muscle nitrate metabolism as a modulator of cardiovascular health in ageing

  • Project 1: Improving the reliability of nitrate and nitrite measurements in human skeletal muscle
  • Project 2: Assessment of nitrate reduction in rodent skeletal muscle and liver
  • Project 3: Assessment of nitrate reduction in young vs old human skeletal muscle

Undergraduate projects:

  • Cellular and molecular adaptations of cardiac muscle to exercise: Role of neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) in exercise induced cardiac remodelling.
  • Differentiating the effects of inherent ageing and inactivity on an older person’s muscle: Optimal muscle ageing to increase healthspan.

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I work in the department of Sport and Health Sciences as a postgraduate teaching associate. I am involved in teaching seminars, tutorials, and practicals for the undergraduate modules ESS1703 Bioenergetics, ESS2001 Exercise Physiology, ESS1006 Human Anatomy and Kinanthropometry, ESS2303 / ESS2304 Research Methods and Analytical Procedures / Quantitative Research Methods, and the postgraduate module SHSM024 Research Methods and Analytical Procedures. I also run the Statistics helpdesk for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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