SMP Seminar Series, Semester 2, Week 14

Image: Luis Quintero, Pexels

Presentation 1: Carbohydrate ingestion before exercise in McArdle disease: Does it really work?

Presenter: Mr Samuel Torrens, PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology. Sam was born and raised in Bendigo, Victoria. After finishing high school, he moved to Melbourne where he completed his undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science at RMIT, graduating in 2010. Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Sam gained an interest in exercise metabolism research and undertook his research honours year at ACU under Professor John Hawley in 2014. Following the successful completion of a First Class Honours, Sam took several years away from study to travel abroad, living and working in both Italy and Canada. After 5 years abroad Sam has returned to Australia and is now in the final year of his PhD under Associate Professor Robert Robergs at QUT. Sam’s areas of research interest include exercise metabolism, biochemistry of substrate metabolism, metabolic acidosis and metabolic disorders.

Abstract:  The purpose of this talk is to promote awareness and a further understanding of the rare metabolic condition Glycogen Storage Disease 5 - McArdle disease (1:100,000). McArdle disease is a genetic myopathy where individuals do not express the enzyme glycogen phosphorylase in skeletal muscle. Glycogen phosphorylase catalyses the first reaction of glycogenolysis and as a result, individuals with McArdle disease develop a severe energy crisis during activities that require spontaneous increases in glycolytic flux. Management techniques for the condition have primarily involved elevating blood metabolites to minimise the exergy crisis by providing alternative pathways for substrate supply to the active muscle. The presentation outlines the historical development of carbohydrate ingestion before exercise as a management technique for the condition, explores potential discrepancies in prior research, and presents work currently being undertaken on this topic at QUT, Brisbane.

Presentation 2: Lessons learned From Challenging Paradigms: From Acidosis To Science And Its Pursuit

Speaker: A/Prof Robert Robergs, Queensland University of Technology. Robert completed a B.Sc. degree in Physical Education and Geography at the State College of Victoria-Rusden Campus.  After three years of teaching, Robert completed his M.A. study in Sports Science and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Wake Forest, and was then accepted into the Ph.D. Human Bioenergetics program studying under David Costill at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana from 1987 to 1990.  Robert graduated from Ball State in May, 1990, receiving the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence (graduate GPA>4.0).  In August, 1990, Robert commenced a tenure track teaching and research job at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he develop and equipped teaching and research laboratories, received tenure and promotion to professor, and completed numerous research projects. Robert returned to Australia for part time work for Western Sydney University in 2008 and 2009. He returned full time to Australia in 2011 as a Research Professor at Charles Sturt University, and became Head of School there from 2011 to 2014. Robert commenced work at QUT in July, 2016. Robert has published more than 150 research manuscripts in peer reviewed journals and authored 5 textbooks on exercise physiology. Robert is currently working on numerous research projects and manuscripts connected to the biochemistry of metabolic acidosis, exercise physiology/performance and fatigue, modelling motor unit recruitment and its influence to muscle metabolism, improved equipment and data processing for VO2 kinetics and VO2max, and lessons to learn about science from the history of science and scientific philosophy.

Abstract: The purpose of this talk is to share lessons learned about biochemistry and science in my journey of the evidential proof involved in the challenge of the lactic acidosis and ketoacidosis constructs. The initial part of the talk will provide a summary of the biochemical and computational chemistry evidence that opposes these constructs (anomalies). Key to this content is an understanding of the organic chemistry of oxidation-reduction and hydrolysis reactions, combined with an understanding of how dissociation constants are used in acid-base chemistry. Such content will be brief as the core emphasis of the talk will be on the remainder of content that reveals the lessons learned about science when you pursue a scientific purpose of detecting anomalies to established conventions (paradigms). Concepts learned from the writing of Kuhn and Popper will provide the backdrop to understanding the perils of ‘normal’ science, and what you need to do to escape this entrapment and rise to the status of pursuing ‘extraordinary’ science.