Deborah Dulson

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Senior Lecturer, Sport and Exercise Science Stream

Phone: 09 921 9999 x 7417


Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member of International Society of Exercise and Immunology (ISEI)
  • Member of The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
  • Member of The Physiological Society (Physoc)

Teaching Areas

  • Sport & Exercise Science
  • Exercise Physiology

Research Areas

  • Exercise Immunology
  • Exercise Physiology

Research Summary

Dr Deborah Dulson’s current research interests focus on the influence of caffeine on immune responses following strenuous exercise.  Deborah has investigated the effects of both high and low doses of caffeine on immune function both at rest and following cycling in endurance trained athletes. She has also looked into the effects of single versus repeated doses of caffeine on the effects of immune function following intermittent exercise.

As well as being interested in the effects of caffeine, Deborah is also interested in the effect of other nutritional interventions on immune function in both individual and team sport athletes following a range of different exercise protocols. Deborah’s research into nutrition and exercise immunology is a mix of both fundamental and applied research and is inter-disciplinary in nature, lying at the intersection between immunology, physiology, biochemistry and nutrition.

Current Research Projects

  • The hormonal, inflammatory and molecular response to con-current repeated-sprint and resistance exercise in female team-sport athletes - with PhD student Jessica Dent.
  • Caffeine, salivary IgA responses and high intensity exercise – with Masters student Chloe Smith.


Peer Reviewed Articles

Fletcher DK & Bishop NC. (2011) Effect of a high and low dose of caffeine on antigen-stimulated human natural killer cell activation after prolonged cycling. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Currently in press.

Fletcher DK & Bishop NC. (2010) Caffeine ingestion and antigen-stimulated human lymphocyte activation after prolonged cycling. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01223.x

Fletcher DK & Bishop NC. (2010) Effect of a single and repeated dose of caffeine on antigen-stimulated human natural killer cell activation after high intensity intermittent exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1751-9

Conference Proceedings

Fletcher DK, Deighton K, Walsh D & Bishop NC. (2009). The effect of different doses of caffeine on antigen-stimulated natural killer cell activation following prolonged cycling. Paper presented at the 9th Symposium of the International Society of Exercise and Immunology, Germany 2009. ISEI online 9; 62 (Abstract)


Selected as an entrant for the Blue Riband poster award at the Physiological Society conference (Physiology 2009) in Dublin 2009.