Muscle Physiology and Metabolism
The muscle physiology and metabolism group’s overall aim is to investigate the metabolic responses of human skeletal muscle to acute and chronic exercise and the influence of diet, nutrition and pharmaceuticals on modulating these responses and associated signalling pathways. The application of these findings will be of direct relevance in designing interventions to improve both human performance/recovery and health/wellbeing. The group is extremely research active and has a growing international reputation for their work which is widely published in high quality international journals.
There are two notable themes to the groups work, these being ‘Performance & Recovery’ and ‘Health & Wellbeing’ (Figure 1). Research within the group ranges from investigating the cellular responses of skeletal muscle to exercise utilising state of the art techniques such as proteomics, qPCR and micro arrays through to whole body adaptations to training.
Figure 1. Overall scheme of research interests of the muscle physiology and metabolism research group
Cellular and Molecular Adaptations of muscle
An important sub-theme of the research group’s overall objective is investigating the cellular and molecular adaptations of human skeletal muscle to acute and chronic exercise. Our current research also places specific emphasis upon innovative strategies to enhance the adaptive response by employing real world practical interventions prior to, during or in the recovery period post-exercise. Much of our exercise protocols are focused on high-intensity intermittent exercise given the relevance of this type of activity to invasive team sports such as soccer but also the potential of this type of activity to improve human health. Importantly, the research in this area ranges from measurements at the molecular and cellular level (e.g. qPCR, western blotting, proteomics) through to whole body physiological adaptations (maximal oxygen uptake, muscle function etc).
Figure 2. Typical muscle biopsy routinely taken by the muscle physiology and metabolism research group.
Dr James Morton (Jonathan Bartlett, PhD student; Collaborator, Prof Martin Gibala): Signalling responses of human skeletal muscle to high-intensity interval running versus moderate-intensity running
Dr Barry Drust (Kevin Enright, MPhil student): The impact of exercise intensity of the physiological adaptations to concurrent training
Dr Barry Drust (Matthew Green, MPhil student): Physiological adaptations to concurrent enduramce and strength training in elite youth soccer players
Dr Graeme Close (Elaine O’Neill PhD student; Collaborator Professors John Wilding and Malcolm Jackson): Does Insulin resistance mediate age-related loss of muscle mass and function?
Dr Graeme Close (George Wilson PhD student): Energy intake, energy expenditure and markers of ill-health in professional jockeys: The Development of interventions to improve health and well-being and maximise physical performance.
Dr Warren Gregson (Chang Joo, PhD student): The effect of post exercise cold water immersion on cellular and molecular responses of human skeletal muscle to intermittent exercise
Dr Warren Gregson (Russell Wrigley, PhD student): The impact of long-term soccer-specific training on the changes in physical development of elite junior players
Dr Neil Chester (Jie Hue, PhD student): The impact of gender, race and hydration status on the ergogenic and pharmacokinetic impact of short acting β2-agonists
Dr Neil Chester (Peter Angell, PhD student): Health profiles of long-term anabolic steroid users
Dr Dominic Doran (Kieran Collins, PhD student): An examination of the physiological, metabolic and molecular responses to Hurling related match play and small sided game preparation strategies