Effects of inflammation due to COVID-19 infection on cardiac and skeletal muscle

COVID-19 infection induces inflammation that affects the normal function of cardiac and skeletal muscle. To be able to test pharmacological agents against the effects of inflammation it is important that we explore the mechanisms of decline in cardiac and skeletal muscle function under COVID-19 infection.

Effects of exercise on Ca2+ handling and metabolism in human skeletal muscle

Following exercise or training, the adaptations such as increased endurance rely on the change in mitochondrial capacity. The biogenesis of mitochondria is likely triggered by changes in the way Ca2+ is distributed in the post-exercised muscle. This project will use the latest techniques to explore the effects of exercise on human muscle fibres obtained from fresh biopsies.

The evolution of thermogenesis in skeletal muscle

Amphibians and mammals use the same proteins and ultrastrual arrangement of the muscle fibre for contration. However, mammals have evolve to use their muscle for the additional purpose of generating heat to maintain body temperature. It is not clear how this has been possible. This project will employ measure of heat and Ca2+ movements in toads, mice and human muscle to explore the evolution of muscle-based thermogenesis.