Exciting ongoing projects from our lab

There are interesting ongoing projects in our lab that we want to share with you – give a look at the attached files about the posters we presented at two big conferences:

“Inhibition of Inositol hexakisphosphate Kinase 1 (IP6K1) Does Not Increase Akt and mTOR Activity in vitro“, at the Experimental Biology (EB) Conference in San Diego, 2018, and

“Skeletal muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) and cytoskeleton in chronic kidney disease (CKD) – a role in insulin resistance?” at Cell Symposium: Exercise Metabolism in Sitges, Spain, 2019.

PhD Studentship available in the lab of Dr Richard Mackenzie – pancreatic beta cells, skeletal muscles and type 2 diabetes

A new exciting PhD position is open now in the lab of Dr Richard Mackenzie at the University of Roehampton!

Title of the Project: PhD Studentship: Cross-talk between Skeletal muscle and pancreatic b-cell – The contribution of b-cell dysfunction to the progression of type 2 diabetes

Project Background

We know that peripheral insulin resistance precedes β-cell dysfunction in the progression of type 2 diabetics (T2Ds) (Stumvoll et al., 2005). Insulin resistance in peripheral tissue, such as skeletal muscle, has received a great deal of scientific attention owing to its glucose storage capacity. Yet less is known about β-cell function and even less is known about the interaction or cross-talk between muscle and the pancreas. Yet both pathological states (insulin resistance and β-cell function) influence each other and synergistically exacerbate diabetes. This tight relationship between insulin resistance and β-cell function can be quantified using a measure known as the dispositional index (DI) (Mackenzie et al 2011; Naufahu et al., 2018).

Skeletal muscle is now thought to act in an endocrine fashion by producing and releasing muscle derived factors in response to stresses such as exercise. These factors include proteins referred to as myokines, as well as metabolites and exosomes (Barlow & Solomon). These muscle derived factors may provide a mechanism whereby muscle is able to communicate with other tissue within the body to promote improvements in whole body homeostasis, such recovery in β-cell function post exercise.

This PhD studentship will investigate cross-talk between skeletal muscle and pancreatic β-cells to help improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. This PhD project will provide students with the opportunity to development a range of skills including; isotope methodology, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, immunomicroscopy and miRNA analysis.

Potential candidates can come from a variety of backgrounds including biomedical sciences, human physiology, nutrition and exercise science.

This programme is a three-years, full-time, doctoral research studentship and will come with a full bursary, in addition to a full tuition fee waiver and consumable costs. Start date January 2019

For more details, please contact Dr Richard Mackenzie (Richard.mackenzie@roehmapton.ac.uk / Tel 02083923562).

Closing date for applications 16th October 2018.

Interview will take place in the week beginning 10th December 2018.

Click here to apply: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BME839/phd-studentship-cross-talk-between-skeletal-muscle-and-pancreatic-b-cell-the-contribution-of-b-cell-dysfunction-to-the-progression-of-type-2-diabetes

Prediabetes and Protein Study – join now

You are invited to take part in our study investigating if excessive protein intake contributes to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a metabolic condition and currently effects around 7 million people in the UK. The increasing number of prediabetes requires effective lifestyle interventions, such as diet and exercise, to reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recently diets high in proteins have been proposed to improve glucose and insulin levels, thus reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the overall results of conducted studies are inconclusive thus indicating the need for further investigations.

We are recruiting:
● Men or women aged 30-65
● With impaired glucose tolerance (HbA1c values between 6 – 6.4%)* We can test this for you
● Normal to overweight (BMI between 18-35 kg/m2)

What taking part involves:
● 4 visits to the Whitelands College, Roehampton, London
● You will be asked to eat 3 different protein meals which consists of grilled chicken.
● We will conduct intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and muscle biopsies.

What do you get in return for your time:
● We will perform body composition assessment by an extremely accurate and comfortable method (BodPod).
● We will measure your resting metabolic rate which will help you understand about your energy needs.
● You will receive a report detailing the results of your measurements: weight, height, blood pressure and blood results which you may find useful.

For more information please contact:

Ms Monika Mickute:  mickutem@roehampton.ac.uk
Ms Oana Ancu: ancuo@roehampton.ac.uk

Episode 4: Protein, Diet and Exercise – Dr Lee Hamilton

Podcast with Lee Hamilton

Dr Lee Hamilton from Stirling University chats with Dr Richard Mackenzie about what happens to your muscles with muscle mass, growth and breakdown when you eat and exercise. They take a look at how muscles change with age and explain protein synthesis, protein breakdown and amino acids for non-scientists.

More in details, some of the key topics are:

How it is possible to prevent muscle mass loss as we age and what is the best strategy to stay above the disability threshold;

What protein synthesis and breakdown means and the role of amino acids in muscle mass.

Are supplements useful to gain mass? Is there a specific time window when it is best to get your proteins supplements/meals to optimize muscle gain?

The role of mTOR and AMPK pathways in muscle growth

The role of type two fibers linked to muscle power


The link between exercise, insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes – useful links:

Physical Activity/Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/6/1433.full

Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/12/e147.full

Acute hypoxia and exercise improve insulin sensitivity (SI2*) in individuals with type 2 diabetes http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dmrr.1156/full

AMPK and Exercise: Glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity https://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4093/dmj.2013.37.1.1

Episode 2: Diet, exercise and diabetes risk – avoid the confusion ! with Dr Duane Mellor

Dr Duane Mellor unpacks the debates about macronutrients and what should people consume, avoid or neither. He also takes us through HIT exercise and its effectiveness among different populations.

Transcript (pdf)

Duane Mellor links:

Frank Booth

Episode 1: All about muscle – hypertrophy, protein synthesis and muscle mass with Professor Nick Burd

Welcome to the first podcast of the Human Performance and Health series.

Our aim is to help bridge the gap between hard science and its application. How we use the data and the literature that’s out there to improve our knowledge and understanding but more importantly to use it out in the real world.

We’re very pleased to welcome Professor Nick Burd from the The Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research Group at University of Illinois:

Transcript: DrNickBurd