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Cells Webinar | Molecular Mechanisms of Exercise and Healthspan

Part of the Cells Webinar Series series
20 May 2021, 15:00

Cells, Molecular Mechanisms, Drosophila, Muscle Rehabilitation, Non-Invasive Technology, Pharmacotherapeutics
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Webinar Information

6th Webinar on Cells

Molecular Mechanisms of Exercise and Healthspan

Exercise is increasingly being recognized as a broadly effective intervention for the preservation of long-term functionality during the aging process, leading to the popularization of the phase “exercise is medicine”. Chronic exercise lowers the risk of many age-related diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and several forms of cancer. Exercise is also generally thought to preserve basic mobility, cognitive function, and circadian rhythms, as well as contribute to psychological health. Despite the many benefits of chronic exercise, the mechanistic requirements for these benefits to accrue are still not fully understood, and are a highly active research topic. As many patients are unable to execute demanding exercise programs, the identification of downstream mechanistic targets to deliver the benefits of chronic exercise pharmaceutically has a transformative potential for the treatment of age-related disease and for the maintenance of healthy aging. In this Special Issue, we examine recent findings in diverse model systems that increase our understanding of the molecular outputs of exercise, as well as their requirements for the myriad benefits that exercise provides. This webinar features several eminent experts in the field of exercise and healthspan.

Dr. Robert Wessells
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, United States

Date: 20 May 2021

Time: 3:00 pm CEST

Webinar ID: 952 2114 3636

Webinar Secretariat: cells.webinar@mdpi.com

Chair: Dr. Robert Wessells

The following experts will present and talk:

Dr. Robert Wessells, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, United States

Dr. Robert Wessells is an Associate Professor of Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Wessells graduated with a B.S. in Zoology from Miami University in 1993 before acquiring a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University in 2000. He received postdoctoral training in fruit fly genetics and physiology at the University of Michigan and the Burnham Institute for Biomedical Research before taking his present position in 2006. His research interests focus on cardiac senescence; effects of exercise training on functional aging; insulin/TOR signaling; and fatty acid transporters.

Dr. Nicole Riddle, Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, United States

Dr. Riddle obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, carrying out research in a maize lab. During her graduate work at Washington University in St. Louis, she first learned about epigenetics, a research field that focuses on heritable changes in phenotypes that are not associated with changes in the DNA. At the time, epigenetics was poorly understood, and her fascination with this field has grown with the scientific community’s increasing appreciation for the influence of epigenetics on other aspects of biology. In her scientific career, Dr. Riddle has studied various aspects of epigenetics in plants and animals. Her lab at UAB utilizes a classical genetics model system, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, to study various open questions in the area of epigenetics and chromatin. In addition, she has a second research focus in her laboratory, studying genetic and epigenetic factors impacting exercise response, again using the Drosophila melanogaster model system.

Dr. Moh H. Malek, Wayne State University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Detroit, United States

Dr. Moh H. Malek graduated from the Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, California with two Bachelor’s of Arts degrees (Biology and Psychology) and subsequently graduated from California State University Fullerton with his Master’s of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Malek completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He completed his Postdoctoral training in the Division of Physiology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine Department of Medicine. His mentor was Peter D. Wagner, M.D. (emeritus), former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Physiology. His research broadly focuses on skeletal muscle fatigue. Dr. Malek is currently a tenured Associate Professor at Wayne State University and the Director of the Integrative Physiology of Exercise Laboratory. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (FNSCA).


Dr. Zhen Yan, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, United States

Non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, cause > 60% of the deaths in the USA and account for > 75% of health care costs. Regular exercise has profound health benefits and is the most powerful intervention in disease prevention and treatment. Trained as a physician scientist, Dr. Yan has more than 30 years of research experience with private and federal funding (>30). Dr. Yan has established a rigorous research program and developed unique genetic and exercise models with >115 publications in high-impact journals, including Nat Commun, Diabetes, Free Radic Biol Med, J Biol Chem, and Circ Heart Fail. Dr. Yan employs state-of-the-art molecular genetics and imaging technologies in a variety of animal models to elucidate the underlying molecular and signaling mechanisms of exercise training-induced adaptations and the impacts on health and disease. His long-term goal is to unveil the molecular transducer of exercise promoting healthspan and mitigating diseases.


Dr. Karyn Hamilton, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, United States

Dr. Karyn L. Hamilton is a Professor and the Director of the Translational Research on Aging and Chronic Disease (TRACD) laboratory in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is also the Associate Director of the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging at CSU. Karyn earned her PhD at the University of Florida under the mentorship of Scott Powers. Following completion of her doctoral program, she completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a second at the University of Florida. The TRACD laboratory uses a collaborative and comparative approach to address the role of adaptation to stresses and maintenance of mitochondrial protein turnover and function in the context of extending healthspan. To accomplish this objective, the lab employs in vitro systems, a variety of animal models, and human participants to help identify mechanisms and translate findings.


Dr. Laura Reed, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States

Dr. Laura Reed earned her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona in 2006, followed by an NIH-sponsored Postdoctoral Fellowship at North Carolina State University in Genetics. She joined the University of Alabama Department of Biological Sciences in 2010. Her research focuses on understanding how evolutionary, genetic, and environmental factors interact to shape complex metabolic traits, including diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. She uses the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and its relatives to understand the evolution of metabolic traits.


Program

Speaker/Presentation

Time in CEST

Dr. Robert Wessells

Chair Introduction

3:00 – 3:10 pm

Dr. Nicole Riddle

Using Drosophila to Study Exercise Response Variation

3:10 – 3:30 pm

Dr. Moh H. Malek

Muscle Rehabilitation via Non-Invasive Technology to Reduce Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury

3:30 – 3:50 pm

Dr. Zhen Yan

Exercise-Induced EcSOD: A Molecular Mediator of the Health Benefits of Physical Activity

3:50 – 4:10 pm

Short Break and Discussion

4:10 – 4:30 pm

Dr. Karyn Hamilton

Interactions Between Healthspan-Extending Interventions: Exercise and Pharmacotherapeutics

4:30 – 4:50 pm

Dr. Laura Reed

Gene-by-Environment Interaction Architecture of Exercise Response in Drosophila

4:50 – 5:10 pm

Short Break and Discussion

5:10 – 5:30 pm

Closing of Webinar
Dr. Robert Wessells

5:30 – 5:35 pm

Webinar Content

On Thursday, 20 May 2021, MDPI and the Journal Cells organized the 6th webinar on Cells, entitled "Molecular Mechanisms of Exercise and Healthspan".


The introduction was held by the Chair of the webinar, Dr. Robert Wessells, an Associate Professor of the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, United States. His research interests focus on cardiac senescence; effects of exercise training on functional aging; insulin/TOR signaling; and fatty acid transporters.


The first speaker to quick off this webinar was Dr. Nicole Riddle. In her scientific career, Dr. Riddle has studied various aspects of epigenetics in plants and animals. Her lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (United States) utilizes a classical genetics model system, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, to study various open questions in the area of epigenetics and chromatin. In addition, she has a second research focus in her laboratory, studying genetic and epigenetic factors impacting exercise response, again using the Drosophila melanogaster model system. Her presentation was entitled "Using Drosophila to Study Exercise Response Variation".


The second presentation with the title "Muscle Rehabilitation via Non-Invasive Technology to Reduce Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury" was held by Dr. Moh H. Malek. His research broadly focuses on skeletal muscle fatigue and he is currently a tenured Associate Professor at the Wayne State University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Detroit, United States), and the Director of the Integrative Physiology of Exercise Laboratory.


Dr. Zhen Yan from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, United States was the third speaker and his presentation was entitled "Exercise-Induced EcSOD: A Molecular Mediator of the Health Benefits of Physical Activity". Dr. Yan employs state-of-the-art molecular genetics and imaging technologies in a variety of animal models to elucidate the underlying molecular and signaling mechanisms of exercise training-induced adaptations and the impacts on health and disease. His long-term goal is to unveil the molecular transducer of exercise promoting healthspan and mitigating diseases.


The fourth presentation, entitled "Interactions Between Healthspan-Extending Interventions: Exercise and Pharmacotherapeutics" was held by Dr. Karyn Hamilton. She is a Professor and the Director of the Translational Research on Aging and Chronic Disease (TRACD) laboratory in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The TRACD laboratory uses a collaborative and comparative approach to address the role of adaptation to stresses and maintenance of mitochondrial protein turnover and function in the context of extending healthspan. To accomplish this objective, the lab employs in vitro systems, a variety of animal models, and human participants to help identify mechanisms and translate findings.


The last presentation with the title "Gene-by-Environment Interaction Architecture of Exercise Response in Drosophila" was held by Dr. Laura Reed from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, United States). Her research focuses on understanding how evolutionary, genetic, and environmental factors interact to shape complex metabolic traits, including diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. She uses the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and its relatives to understand the evolution of metabolic traits.


The presentations were followed by a Q&A and a discussion, moderated by the Chair. The webinar was offered via Zoom and required registration to attend. The full recording can be found here on Sciforum website. In order to stay updated on the next webinars on Cells, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking on “Subscribe” at the top of the page.


Relevant Special Issues

Molecular Mechanisms of Exercise and Healthspan
Guest Editor: Dr. Robert Wessells
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021

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