Excellence, Innovation, and Collaboration: A Day at the MHRC with Arthur Cheng

Muscle Health Research Centre (MHRC)
Aurora Scientific

Aurora Scientific has had a long-standing collaborative relationship with numerous labs at York University. This past April, we further cemented this by partnering with InsideScientific to highlight the Faculty and the Muscle Health Research Centre (MHRC) at York University, an innovative research centre that facilitates the interdisciplinary study of muscle biology and the importance of skeletal muscle to the overall health and well-being of Canadians. We had the privilege of interviewing a number of Faculty and Trainees to bring a focus to the research being done as well as the opportunities provided to each as a member of the MHRC. In this blog post, we summarize an interview with Dr. Arthur Cheng, who provides an overview of his research into skeletal muscle fatigue, and highlights how our instrumentation facilitates this research.

Arthur Cheng

Arthur Cheng, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Muscle Health Research Centre at York University and his lab primarily investigates the mechanisms of skeletal muscle weakness and fatigue, and focuses on how calcium handling affects these mechanisms. As the skeletal muscles comprise approximately 40% of our total body mass, researching ways to optimize these muscles can benefit almost anyone. Arthur is particularly interested in optimizing exercise programs for athletes and hopes to accompany these programs with effective nutritional aids. One of the ultimate goals of Arthur’s lab is to translate the mechanisms that control or regulate muscle fatigue and weakness into the clinic to help populations such as those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

The Cheng lab employs a number of different techniques to assess overall force and strength and the role of calcium handling. In addition to analyzing whole body exercise in humans, Dr. Cheng models the effects of fatigue in single, intact skeletal muscle fibers using our 1500A Small Intact Muscle System. This instrument can control and measure mechanical properties of an intact fiber such as force, power and fatigue. In addition, the power of the single intact fiber allows the lab to investigate the contribution of free calcium on force production by integrating 955A FluoroTrack to measure calcium transients. Because of this technique, the fiber can also be challenged with pharmaceuticals or nutritional interventions such as glucose to parse out the real time effects on fatigue and recovery over a period of hours or even days.

Keep an eye out for our next set of interviews with graduate students from York University to learn about the exciting research and innovation happening throughout the MHRC!

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