Liverpool Skylilne

Sport and Exercise Sciences

Sophie Holder

Sophie Holder


Sophie has been attending LJMU throughout her whole university education. She graduated with a first class honours in Sport and Exercise Science in 2015, with an interest in physical activity and cardiovascular physiology. She started her MPhil in the same year, which investigated the relationship between sedentary behaviour and cardiovascular health in an active population. Sophie’s PhD focusses on cardiovascular physiology, using vascular ultrasound techniques to assess artery diameter change in response to changes in blood flow (flow-mediated dilation). Outside of university, Sophie enjoys playing hockey.

PhD project title:
Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in humans: construction of age- and sex-related reference values and the role of the shear stress stimulus.

Project description:
Sophie’s main research project is to collate previously-collected brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) data from labs around the world into one big database to create age- and sex specific reference values and explore the impact of potential influencing factors on FMD. Alongside the database, Sophie is investigating the importance of blood flow and shear stress patterns on FMD by experimentally manipulating them using a mini negative pressure device. Her research aims to produce “normal” ranges for FMD, in order to give the test clinical meaning and to define the threshold for cardiovascular disease risk.

Professor Dick Thijssen, Professor Danny Green and Dr Ellen Dawson.


Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, MPhil Sport and Exercise Science
Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science


Journal article

Holder SM, Brislane Á, Dawson EA, Hopkins ND, Hopman MTE, Cable NT, Jones H, Schreuder THA, Sprung VS, Naylor L, Maiorana A, Thompson A, Thijssen DHJ, Green DJ. 2019. Relationship Between Endothelial Function and the Eliciting Shear Stress Stimulus in Women: Changes Across the Lifespan Differ to Men. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8 :e010994-e010994 >DOI >Public Url

Holder SM, Dawson EA, Brislane Á, Hisdal J, Green DJ, Thijssen DHJ. 2019. Fluctuation in Shear Rate, with Unaltered Mean Shear Rate, Improves Brachial Artery Flow-Mediated Dilation in Healthy, Young Men. Journal of Applied Physiology, >DOI >Public Url

Thijssen DHJ, Bruno RM, van Mil ACCM, Holder SM, Faita F, Greyling A, Zock PL, Taddei S, Deanfield JE, Luscher T, Green DJ, Ghiadoni L. 2019. Expert consensus and evidence-based recommendations for the assessment of flow-mediated dilation in humans. European Heart Journal, >DOI >Public Url

Carter SE, Draijer R, Holder SM, Brown L, Thijssen DHJ, Hopkins ND. 2019. Effect of different walking break strategies on superficial femoral artery endothelial function. Physiological Reports, 7 :e14190-e14190 >DOI >Public Url

Carter SE, Draijer R, Holder SM, Brown L, Thijssen DHJ, Hopkins ND. 2018. Regular walking breaks prevent the decline in cerebral blood flow associated with prolonged sitting. Journal of Applied Physiology, >DOI >Link >Public Url

Carter S, Hartman Y, Holder S, Thijssen D, Hopkins N. 2017. Sedentary Behavior and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Mediating Mechanisms Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, >DOI >Public Url

Low D, Jones H, Hopkins N, Brislane A, Carter S, Holder S. Cerebral and peripheral vascular differences between pre- and post-menopausal women Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, >Public Url


Carter SE, Draijer R, Holder SM, Thijssen DHJ, Hopkins ND. 2016. The Effect of Breaking up Prolonged Sitting on Cerebral Blood Flow MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, 48 :311-311 >DOI >Link


Holder S. The effect of sedentary behaviour on cardiovascular biomarkers in active, healthy adults Hopkins N, Graves L, Low D. >Public Url

Engagement & Impact

Conference presentation:

The effect of sedentary behaviour on cardiovascular biomarkers in active, healthy adults, European College of Sport Science Congress, Oral presentation

The acute effects of prolonged sitting and breaks in sitting time on cerebral blood flow, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Student Conference, Oral presentation