MyAge to “spotlight muscle wasting” in Physiology conference  

April 4, 2023

Prolonged periods of skeletal muscle inactivity (mechanical unloading) such as periods of bed rest during hospitalisation, limb casting because of a broken bone, space flight or reduced physical activity can result in a significant loss of muscle mass and strength.  

This muscle wasting (atrophy) is a major area of interest for health science because it can be hard for some people in later life to regain their strength after an injury or illness.  

Muscle loss can occur across healthy and patient populations and is the single biggest reason for losing independence in later life. It can also contribute to a range of serious health conditions. 

Dr Colleen Deane, Lecturer in Muscle Cell Biology at the University of Southampton, and MyAge member explained: “Given the scale of the ageing population and rise in sedentary behaviors across the world, this symposium will be of interest to a broad range of physiologists, from those interested in catabolic diseases and regulatory molecular pathways, though to those studying behavioral sciences.  

“We’re helping to ‘spotlight’ this important topic because the precise time course of muscle atrophy has not yet been fully determined, nor have the exact underlying metabolic mechanism(s). This means that fully effective treatments for the disturbances associated with muscle still need to be found.”  

This symposium will bring together experts in the area to discuss new ideas and facilitate networking across all academic career-stages to kick-start new avenues of research.   

Dr Deane added: “As this is predominantly a physiological issue, we’re delighted to be joining forces with the Physiological Society to help tackle this tricky and fundamental area. 

“As a researcher working in this field, I’m really looking forward to sharing the approaches and advances we’ve made in this area and hearing about others’ results and ideas.” 

The Symposium, Skeletal Muscle Atrophy in Response to Disuse: Mechanistic Insights and Impact on Other Organ Systems will take place at the Physiological Society’s Annual Conference in Harrogate (UK) at 10am on Monday 10 July 2023. 

The speakers (and their provisional titles) include:  

  • 10:00 Professor Philip Atherton, University of Nottingham, UK – The mechanistic basis of atrophy resistance vs. atrophy susceptibility
  • 10:30 Dr Colleen Deane, University of Southampton, UK – Transcriptomic responses to disuse atrophy and exercise – induced hypertrophy
  • 10:45 Dr Mathew Piasecki, University of Nottingham, UK – Neuromuscular adaptations in response to disuse atrophy
  • 11:00 Professor Maureen MacDonald, McMaster University, Canada -The impact of inactivity on peripheral and central vascular function.

This event is partly supported by an unrestricted educational grant from BBSRC & MRC through the MyAge Network. MyAge is one of 11 UK Ageing Networks. 

Booking and further information is available here