Our Grand Challenge is to decrease the burden of muscle wasting. In this WHO decade of healthy aging, our research develops models to investigate mechanisms of muscle atrophy, and explore therapeutic interventions for sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is generally considered as the loss of muscle mass and strength with aging. However, muscle wasting is secondary to almost all chronic diseases, thus sarcopenia is a strong predictor of morbidity and mortality, which is impacted further by a lack of physical activity and obesity.
As a result our strategy is to explore exercise, nutritional and pharmacological ways to maintain and build muscle mass and strength and decrease the influence of increased adiposity.
The Sarcopenia (Biomedical and Translational) Program develops basic science models to investigate the mechanisms underpinning muscle wasting and conduct pre-clinical testing of therapeutic targets.
The influence of these mechanisms in older adults are examined, and appropriate interventions translated into the community, with the ultimate aim of providing beneficial outcomes in clinical populations. As such, this Program works closely with the Sarcopenia (Clinical) Program, led by Professor Itamar Levinger. Similarly, as muscle wasting can also be from primary myopathies, such as muscular dystrophy, this Program works closely with the Inherited and Acquired Myopathies Program led by Dr Emma Rybalka.