Physiology & Nutrition Division Day

17th May 2018

The second Physiology and Nutrition Divisional day was held at the University of Derby. We had a range of speakers with Professor Craig Twist (University of Chester) opening the day with his presentation on ‘The acute responses to rugby-related activity: Implications for training and competition’. Professor Twist covered the multifactorial factors that change following rugby activity, including neuromuscular, metabolic, biochemical and perceptual disturbances. In addition, individual activity characteristics influencing player responses in the days after training or competition and the time course of recovery were discussed. This was a great start to the day prompting an array of questions and discussion points.

Following on, we had two presentations relating to aspects of research and populations that delegates may not have considered before; Firstly, Dr. Lindsay Bottoms (University of Hertfordshire) reflected upon her experiences of delivering a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in the form of a feasibility study for high intensity training in Crohn’s Disease. Lindsay overviewed how she had become interested in the area of Crohn’s Disease and how this was a potential avenue for research funding within exercise science. Her presentation reflected upon the lesions learned from the process providing an insightful commentary relating to the funding application process, developing the research team and the resources that are available to help you in your RCT journey. 

Secondly, Tom Hames (Coventry University) presented his preliminary research work into transplant athletes. Tom gave an overview of the development and ethos of transplant sport and the research available within the exercise physiology literature; predominantly case studies and more rehabilitation focussed studies. He then described the key physiology considerations for a range of transplant types, notably the large range of medications required (predominantly immunosuppressant’s) and more specific responses key to each type of transplant such as cardiac de-innervation and potential re-innervation in heart transplant athletes.

Following a rather substantial lunch (thank you to the University of Derby for that!) we entered into out post-graduate student presentations. Although we only had two presenters this time around (Luke Oates, University of Hertfordshire and Lewis Gough, Birmingham City University), this gave the opportunity to students at different stages of their research studies to showcase their work in an informal and friendly forum. I hope that this is an area we can develop for future Division days whether for students just starting out or those approaching their viva’s. Do please let us know if you would like to present your work in future events. 

This then lead us on to a working coffee break to consider what we can do to develop the Division days – and the Division. In general we discussed; possible venues for the next Division day and the pros and cons of location, with Birmingham City and Hertfordshire Universities looking into hosting; how to improve the post-graduate student session with three minute thesis type presentations and greater advertising to facilitate this; a ‘speed dating’ session to introduce ourselves at the start of the day and to aid networking; integrating case study presentations and how we can increase the nutrition content of the day.

To finish, Dr Caroline Sunderland (Nottingham Trent University) presented on ‘The effect of intermittent exercise and the heat on neuromuscular and cognitive function’. At the end of the day where our own cognitive function may have been challenged Caroline did an excellent job in keeping our attention. Caroline presented how her research developed from initial thermoregulatory work with hockey to integrating cognitive function and a range of attention and concentration variables to help explain and maintain performance in the heat.

Overall it was a very enjoyable day with a greater number of delegates registered than for our first Division day last year, with some old faces and some new ones. We look forward to seeing you at the next event. Please do get in touch if you have any suggestions for the Division.

Dr. Mike Price, Chair of Physiology and Nutrition Division

Dr. Mark Faghy, local organiser, University of Derby.

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BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.

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