Professor Hayes is the AIMSS Deputy Director, a muscle and exercise physiologist and researcher with a special interest in muscular disease, sarcopenia, exercise and dietary supplements.
Professor Hayes is the AIMSS Deputy Director and is a Program Director of our Sarcopenia (Biomedical & Translational) research program.
Sarcopenia is a term coined to describe the loss of muscle mass and strength that impacts on activities of daily living. The overall program investigates the importance of muscle mass and function for healthy aging. Loss of muscle mass and strength is an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality in a range of diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, and of course ageing. The outcomes of sarcopenia is worsened in combination with obesity, leading to a focus also on sarcopenic obesity.
Alan’s basic science projects focus on investigating the regulators of muscle growth and metabolism, the influence of mitochondrial dysfunction and fat infiltration in muscle wasting conditions, and producing suitable models to investigate sarcopenic obesity. The research team use a wide range of skills, particularly in the basic science areas of cell culture and animal models to identify the mechanisms behind the clinical conditions being investigated.
Translational projects investigate exercise, nutritional and pharmacological compounds to treat sarcopenia, and pre-clinical evaluations of muscle wasting therapies. The research team use standard and develop new techniques to assess muscle size and function to investigate mechanisms of action and assess the effectiveness of interventions.
Human-based evaluations are performed in community dwelling groups, with clinical populations assessed in collaboration with other members of AIMSS as well as external collaborators to translate findings into clinical practice.