Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Associate Professor Dr Barbora de Courten writes about her SPHPM travel grant

Associate Professor Dr Barbora de Courten received an SPHPM travel grant award this year, allowing her to attend and present two oral presentations (for which she was the first author) at the International Congress on Carnosine and Anserine in Tokyo, Japan, 5-7 August 2014.

The International Congress on Carnosine and Anserine brought together clinicians (endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, nephrologists), exercise physiologists, psychologists and scientists interested in food additives called carnosine and anserine, and their preventive and therapeutic potential in age-related chronic diseases as well as improvement of exercise performance.

I gave two oral presentations at the conference. In the first one, Role of carnosine in obesity related insulin resistance in humans, I presented a cross-sectional relationship between muscle carnosine in vastus lateralis muscle, anthropometric measures, insulin resistance and cardiovascular parameters. These were the first data investigating carnosine and metabolic and cardiovascular parameters in humans. 

In the second one, Role of carnosine supplementation in prevention of insulin resistance, I reported the results from randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical trial where we investigated effects of carnosine supplementation on insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular parameters in overweight and obese individuals. Both presentations were well received, and generated lot of discussion among the conference attendees in particular with regards to the implications for prevention and clinical practice in real life setting.

Attendance at the Congress provided me with the opportunity to disseminate findings. Importantly, I was also able to meet with and network with clinicians and researchers working in the field of carnosine and anserine and establish new collaborations. Feedback from my presentations and discussion as well as presentations by other researchers has provided me with ideas for other possible areas for future research. Attendance at the Congress has been invaluable in strengthening my research career.

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