Muscle Health Awareness Day presents exciting roster of speakers

Research in skeletal and cardiac muscle, metabolism, biomechanics and tissue engineering are only a few of the topics to be highlighted during the  Muscle Health Research Centre’s (MHRC) eighth annual Muscle Health Awareness Day (MHAD8) on Friday, May 26.

The conference, running 9am to 4pm, features an impressive list of invited speakers from across southern and eastern Ontario. The event is organized by  Professor David Hood, director of MHRC, and Liam Tryon, centre coordinator of MHRC in the Faculty of Health.

Over the course of this event, there will be a series of lectures, graduate student poster presentations and opportunities to network. The event will be held in the South Lobby and Rooms 101 and 103 of the Life Science Building. The fee to register is $25, and includes a light breakfast, buffet lunch and coffee breaks.

This year features an exciting roster of guest speakers:

Kim Connelly is a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and is the director of the Krembil Stem Cell Facility. His research examines the impact of stem cell based therapies in the treatment of cardiac and renal dysfunction which can arise as a result of diabetes.

Michael De Lisio is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health at the University of Ottawa, and has established the Exercise and Stem Cell Physiology Lab (ESC Lab) there. His research is focused on defining the external cues (such as exercise) that regulate the stem cell microenvironment, and how changes to this niche affect stem cell function.

Jefferson Frisbee is a professor and Department Chair in the Department of Biomedical Physics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. The aims of his research are to better understand the regulation of tissue blood flow, and the impact of cardiovascular disease on microvascular function and microvascular growth/regression.

Vladimir Ljubicic is former York University graduate student, and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, and a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in neuromuscular plasticity in health and disease. His research focuses on the study of proteins which play a role in remodeling the neuromuscular system and determining whether or not these proteins may be good therapeutic targets for neuromuscular disorders.

Kim Connelly
Michael De Lisio
Jefferson Frisbee
Vladimir Ljubicic








Kei Masani is an assistant professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, and a scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in the UHN. He is interested in the study of human movement, with a focus on neuro-mechanical interactions and sensory-motor integration.

Chetan Phadke is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Theraphy at the University of Toronto and a research scientist at the West Park Healthcare Centre. His current work focuses on spasticity research, a debilitating condition affecting people with neurological conditions, and understanding the factors that affect spasticity, how spasticity impacts function and balance and treatments to improve spasticity.

Milica Radisic is a professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in functional cardiovascular tissue engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, as well as a research scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. Her current research involves the use of stem cells and other biomaterials to engineer replacement cardiac tissue, which may then be implanted in humans.

Jonathan Schertzer is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. His research interests lie in the study of the inflammatory basis of metabolic disease, and understanding how various factors propagate inflammation and alter metabolism. Further, his research also extends to the role of inflammation in myopathies.

Kei Masani
Chetan Phadke
Milica Radisic
Jonathan Schertzer








The event will also feature a poster competition, and abstracts for poster presentations from undergraduates, master, PhD students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, are welcome on any topic related to muscle, exercise, health or metabolism.

Deadlines for abstract submissions are Friday, May 19 at 4pm in order to be considered for a poster award; to be included in the conference, abstracts must be submitted by Monday, May 22 at 4pm.

For more information on the event, and the poster submissions, visit