Athletic performance and adaptations to exercise training are influenced by genetics. Genetic variants (i.e., polymorphisms) present throughout the human genome are vital to understand the potential influence of genes on performance and exercise adaptations; identification of these variants has been of interest for the last three decades. Along with environmental factors, such as training and diet, it is assumed that athletes and high-responders to training possess a ‘blueprint’ of genetic variants that enable them to succeed. The current paradigm is that this trait is polygenic (i.e., involves many genes), with minor contributions of each variant to the unique athletic phenotype.
After more than 20 years of research in the field there remains no set of genetic variants available to predict performance. However, the field of is undergoing an urgently needed paradigm shift as an ever increasing number of scientists realise that working together is the best way to advance the field.
The recording is of a webinar presented by ESSA on 9 April 2018.
Presented by A/Prof Nir Eynon, PhD
A/Prof Eynon is NHMRC Career Development Fellow (2018-2021), a former ARC DECRA Fellow (2014-2016) and a Group Leader (Genes, and Exercise Biology Group) at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University. Nir is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, and an Associate Editor for BMC Genomics, and PLOS ONE Journals.
He earned his PhD degree with distinction, in 2010, from Porto University, Portugal. In September 2011 he was appointed as a Research Fellow under the supervision of Professor David Bishop, at ISEAL.
In late 2017, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recognised Dr Nir Eynon as one of Australia’s top early-to-mid-career researchers, awarding him a highly competitive Career Development Fellowship for his ground-breaking work on genes. His research project has received $431,000 over four years to target or discover new genes related to muscle metabolism and performance.
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