An overall theme of my past and intended future long-term research relates to the control and regulation of skeletal muscle mass and function. More specifically, in contexts such as disease, muscle disuse, aging or sports performance, I am interested in how human skeletal muscle responds and adapts to increased or decreased use. In this work, the functional, metabolic, morphological, and molecular adaptations to acute and chronic resistance and/or aerobic training are studied.
My ongoing research project relates to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and muscle adaptations to exercise regimes. NSAIDs are among the most widely used drugs in the world. It has long been thought that chronic intake of NSAIDs impairs exercise-induced skeletal muscle tissue regenereation due to the reported negative effects of COX-inhibiting drugs on muscle satellite cell acitivty and protein synthesis. However, recently, it was shown that daily consumption of maximal over-the-counter doses of NSAID concurrently with performing resistance exercise resulted in significantly greater increases in muscle mass and strength compared with placebo in older adults. As the mechanism(s) behind these effects are currently unknown, we wish to further characterise the effects of NSAID and resistance exercise on the regulation of human skeletal muscle mass and function in both young and old individuals. We will perform both human clinical training studies as well as cell culture work to identify global muscle responses and molecular mechanisms regulating phenotypic outcomes to these interventions. Given the need for effective countermeasures to combat muscle atrophy within the clinical setting (sarcopenia, various muscle disorders etc.), these studies could have a significant impact on exercise and/or medical prescriptions for maintaining muscle health.