Muscle Health Awareness Day celebrates 10 years with 2019 conference

An impressive list of invited speakers will share their expertise on May 24 during the 10th annual Muscle Health Awareness Day (MHAD10) at York University.

David Hood

David Hood

Organized by David Hood and Janice D’Silva, the director and centre co-ordinator of the Muscle Health Research Centre in the Faculty of Health, the conference will feature talks highlighting research in muscle (skeletal, cardiac or smooth), exercise, health, disease, blood flow, metabolism and more.

Invited speakers from across southern and eastern Ontario will present lectures on a variety of topics, and participants will also be able to take in graduate student poster presentations and enjoy networking opportunities.

This year's guest speakers include:

Keith Dadson, a postdoctoral fellow in molecular cardiology at the Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network (UHN). Dadson is working under the supervision of Dr. Phyllis Billia, a cardiologist and clinical scientist at UHN. Dadson's research focuses on identifying pathways that lead to recovery of heart function following cancer therapy-induced cardiotoxicity, and methods to stimulate cardiomyocyte cell cycle re-entry to repair the heart following myocardial infarction. He completed his PhD at York University under the supervision of Professor Gary Sweeney.

Mireille Khacho, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on the mechanisms by which mitochondria regulate stem cell function and longevity in order to develop therapeutic strategies that enhance tissue regeneration during aging and degenerative diseases. She is also studying the metabolic regulation of muscle stem cell function and muscle regeneration.

Dr. Paul Oh, physician, a senior scientist and research division head at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He is also the medical director of the Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation Program. His research focuses on how exercise affects cardiovascular health and on ways of optimizing exercise interventions. He is identifying ways to make cardiac rehab even more effective for people who are recovering from various forms of heart disease and/or surgery. Oh has found that the right volume and intensity of exercise are important to maximize gains in function, minimize risk factors and ultimately change cardiovascular health. He is also working to extend the successful model of cardiac rehabilitation to other at-risk populations.

Geoffrey Power, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) at the University of Guelph. He is the director of the Neuromechanical Performance Research Lab. His research uses various in vitro, in vivo, in situ and whole human techniques to investigate muscle function and neuromuscular control of movement across the lifespan.

David Dyck, a professor in the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Dyck’s research focuses in the regulation of fat and carbohydrate metabolism in skeletal muscle, with a particular emphasis on the dysregulation that occurs in obesity and diabetes. He studies the effects of adipokines on muscle lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and how muscle becomes resistant to their effects in obesity models. The interaction of diet and exercise is also a point of interest in terms of the muscle's response to various hormones, including insulin, leptin and adiponectin.

Ali Abdul-Sater, an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University. His research identifies novel regulators of inflammation and understanding the molecular mechanisms through which these regulators control innate immunity and the inflammatory response. Abdul-Sater investigates the molecular mechanisms through which different exercise regimens regulate the immune response, understanding the disparate roles of TRAF1 in controlling chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Marina Mourtzakis, an associate professor, associate Chair of applied research, partnerships and outreach at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on the interrelationship between nutrition, exercise, body composition and the effects of these factors on muscle metabolism in healthy people as well as patients with cancer. Furthermore, her research examines potential underlying mechanisms of this problem to develop rehabilitative approaches to counter, and potentially prevent, muscle loss by integrating concepts of nutrition, protein metabolism and muscle physiology.

Clark Dickerson, a professor and Canada Research Chair in Shoulder Mechanics in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. He is the associate director (research) of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders. His research focuses on identifying, quantifying and reducing work-related stresses in the shoulder through mathematical modelling and experimentation. This can then be used together to improve the safety and usability of work spaces and other man-machine interfaces, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of occupational shoulder injuries.

To be considered for a poster award, abstracts must be submitted by Friday, May 17 at 4 p.m. To be included in the conference, abstracts must be submitted by Monday, May 20 at 4 p.m.

The event will be held in the South Lobby and Rooms 101 and 103 of the Life Sciences Building on York University's Keele Campus. The fee to register is $25, which includes a light breakfast, buffet lunch and coffee breaks.

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

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