Understanding the plasticity of skeletal muscle in health and disease
- Research Opportunity
- PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
- Number of Honour Places Available
- Number of Master Places Available
|Dr Justin Hardeeemail@example.com|
|Prof Gordon Lynch||Personal web page|
|Dr Rene Koopman|
Summary Skeletal muscle is essential for survival. Not only is muscle the vital organ for movement but the diaphragm muscle sustains life by inflating the lungs for breathing. Skeletal muscle is also an endocrine organ that contracts and releases hormones and factors that communicate with other body tissues to sustain life.
Skeletal muscle is essential for survival. Not only is muscle the vital organ for movement but the diaphragm muscle sustains life by inflating the lungs for breathing. Skeletal muscle is also an endocrine organ that contracts and releases hormones and factors that communicate with other body tissues to sustain life. Skeletal muscle accounts for half a person’s body mass yet we take for granted its crucial role in our health and lifestyle. Many diseases and conditions are linked with changes in muscle structure and function, including: ageing and frailty; cancer; muscle injury, sepsis and other forms of metabolic stress; nerve injury; disuse through inactivity and microgravity; burns; and different forms of muscular dystrophy. These conditions are major health problems globally and contribute to a large burden of disability and suffering. Tackling these muscle-related health conditions requires a coordinated research effort from discovery biology to understand disease mechanisms and translational approaches to take these discoveries from bench to the clinic. Researchers in the Centre for Muscle Research seek to understand the mechanisms that regulate muscle growth, wasting and metabolism, and to develop new approaches for preventing or treating muscle related conditions, utilising the latest techniques in biology and biomedicine. We also consider skeletal muscle in the context of other diseases, such as heart and cardiovascular diseases, cancer and osteoporosis. We are interested in understanding muscle development and growth, injury and repair, studying the biology and metabolism of muscle stem cells and their commitment to becoming functional muscle fibres. Our researchers design, manufacture and utilise viral vectors to alter gene expression in mouse models of disease and interrogate cellular mechanisms of muscle adaptation, techniques that provide a unique combination of speed, precision and efficacy not achieved through other approaches. The Centre for Muscle Research offers a wonderful training environment for studying muscle biology in health and disease and exceptional career-training opportunities for Honours, Masters and Ph.D. students.
Skeletal muscle is comprised of diverse fibre types that differ in size, metabolic and contractile properties; classically referred to as either 'slow, oxidative' or 'fast, glycolytic'. These properties are not fixed but can change in response to imposed demands, a process known as 'plasticity'. Understanding the biological mechanisms regulating fibre phenotype and the adaptive response across muscles of varying phenotypes has not been fully resolved. Addressing these research gaps may also identify potential therapeutic targets to improve quantity and quality of life across many disease conditions. The objectives of this project are to: 1) understand the biological mechanisms regulating fibre size, phenotype and plasticity; and 2) whether modifying skeletal muscle attributes can protect against injury and disease. This project will utilise genetic, pharmacological and lifestyle approaches to interrogate the molecular, metabolic and contractile properties of fast and slow muscles in a variety of healthy and pathological states; including but not limited to muscular dystrophies, cancer cachexia, muscle injury and repair, and ageing.
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research
For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.
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