Weight lifter

IPED Research Group and Conference

Institute for Health Research

About the Image and Performance Enhancing Drug Research Group

The Image and Performance Enhancing Drug (IPED) Research Group has an overall aim of bringing together a range of multidisciplinary areas that will provide LJMU with an overarching group of experts and to coordinate research, impact and engagement in this area. The group was developed in association with the relaunch of the Institute for Health Research (IHR) in March 2017. The vision of the IHR is to establish a world-leading health research institute by developing a virtual hub for partnership, collaboration and networking in health research within and beyond LJMU. The group specialises in IPED research and explores the complex issues of IPED use in modern society and comprises staff and PGRs across a number of Schools and Faculties as follows:

Research themes

The group has a diverse range of experience and research interests which are broadly captured in the following themes:

  • Health and other harms associated with the use and injection of IPEDs
  • Public health implications of the use of IPEDs
  • Cross cultural differences in IPED use
  • Socio-psychology and sociology of the body and life style choices
  • Doping in sport
  • Chemistry and pharmacological properties of emerging human enhancement drugs
  • Gender, steroid use and gym culture
  • Dependency and abuse of substances used for human enhancement

As the group has matured, further associated areas have emerged including, sexual health, wider nutrition and other forms of drug use and risk behaviours.

Research impact

Research across this topic area is already established and embedded within several schools in LJMU, which has benefitted from a more collaborative approach under the auspices of the IHR. Examples of the outcomes of this collaboration include:

  • IPED Conference 2017
  • PhD supervision including formal cross Faculty named advisors and increased informal input
  • Collaborative research project between PHI, SSLN and RISES exploring the health impact of anabolic steroids
  • Co-authorship of academic papers in a number of high profile journals and contribution to a book
  • Further joint bids for PGR students
  • Contribution to existing research projects
  • Coordinated LJMU representation at the UK Government’s ACMD regarding legislation change

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