The overall focus of the Energy Metabolism Research Laboratory (EMRL) is the effect of exercise and nutrition on energy balance which is the difference between energy intake (food) and energy expenditure (physical activity and exercise). We have been very interested in the effects of exercise intensity on both energy intake (specifically appetite-regulation, for which we are funded through NSERC) and energy expenditure both during and following exercise.
Appetite regulation involves the integration of the orexigenic (appetite stimulating) and anorexigenic (appetite inhibiting) hormones in the arcuate nucleus region of the hypothalamus. The main implicated peripheral gut-derived signals include ghrelin (orexigenic), PYY (anorexigenic), and GLP-1 (anorexigenic). These signals are integrated in the brain to ultimately affect energy intake. The proposed research program will improve our understanding of appetite regulating hormones by assessing a number of their potential physiological mediators.
Overall, the long-term goal of my research program is to provide a more thorough understanding of the specific mechanisms/signals responsible for human appetite-regulation (Hazell et al. 2016) and develop new insights and improved strategies to induce body fat loss, ultimately aiding the treatment of metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves brief repeated bouts of near maximal exercise (80%–100% maximal heart rate interspersed with short recovery periods and has been shown to elicit comparable health and performance benefits to moderate-intensity (70% maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)) continuous training, albeit with much less time-commitment and exercise volume.
Similar benefits are achieved with a more intense form of intermittent exercise known as sprint interval training (SIT) that involves supramaximal (>100% VO2max) work bouts, traditionally structured as four to six 30-second “all-out” efforts separated by four minutes of recovery. We are interested in the effects of both HIIT and SIT on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and its ability to promote fat loss in response to a training program.
Masters student, 2017 to present
Abbey completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2018. She undertook a fourth year undergraduate thesis project in the EMRL studying the effects of fasting and feeding on post-exercise metabolism. Abbey is now beginning her Master’s program where she will focus on studying exercise and appetite regulation. Outside of the lab she keeps active by going to the gym every day, playing soccer, hiking, and teaching spin classes at the university’s athletic complex.
Masters student, 2018 to present
Dan completed his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Laurier in 2017 and took a year off to mull over his career options. He decided he wasn't ready to be finished with school and will be joining the EMRL in fall 2018. Dan's research interests are in the effects of resistance training on post-exercise metabolism and appetite.
Masters student, 2017 to present
Sara completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Laurier in 2017. During her undergrad she completed a fourth year Honours thesis focusing on dance experience and joint position sense. Throughout her third and fourth year, she took several courses in exercise physiology and nutrition that sparked her interest in energy metabolism. During her first year in the lab Sara was supported by a NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship and coming into her second year this fall will be supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarships.
Her research is examining whether sex hormones influence appetite regulation and perceptions of appetite. Outside of the lab she keeps busy by teaching spinning classes and dance classes at Laurier's Athletic Complex.
Masters student, 2018 to present
Seth completed his undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor in 2018. During his undergrad he took many physiology classes which sparked his interest in exercise metabolism. Additionally, his time spent as a participant in HIIT and SIT training studies has lead to his interest in interval training. Now, he is entering his first year of the Master of Kinesiology program, where he will be researching sprint interval training. Outside of the lab, Seth likes to enjoy the outdoors, exercise and watch sports.
Masters student, 2017 to present
Kyle recently completed his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016. He has taken several courses with Dr. Hazell and has developed a keen interest in exercise nutrition, with a focus in ergogenic aids and performance. Now, he is entering his second year of the Master of Kinesiology program, where he is researching the individual responses various sprint interval training protocols, as well as the psychological perceptions of these protocols. Outside the lab Kyle keeps busy by playing volleyball and basketball, as well as hiking and camping across Ontario.
Greg's research focused on sprint interval training and adherence. His undergraduate degree is from Vancouver Island University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sport, Health and Physical Education and a minor in Psychology. During his undergraduate degree he was a four year varsity athlete for the men’s volleyball team where he competed at the provincial championships four times and at the national championships once. Upon graduation, he completed his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification and spent the following two years as a strength coach in a high performance centre for varsity athletes and members of the community.
Hashim received his BSc in Exercise Science at the University of Lethbridge in 2014. After completing an undergraduate project with Dr. Hazell, he moved to Ontario to pursue his MSc in exercise physiology at Laurier.
His Master’s thesis research examined the effect of exercise on appetite-regulating hormones, focusing specifically on the mechanisms that alter the release of these hormones in response to various intensities of exercise. After completing his Master’s degree in the summer of 2016, he moved to Kingston where he is currently pursuing a PhD in muscle physiology at Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Brendon Gurd. He is supported by an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship for his thesis work examining the molecular mechanisms underlying changes in muscle phenotype in response to various environmental stimuli. Specifically, he is interested in the biochemical pathways underlying increases in muscle mitochondrial content (i.e. mitochondrial biogenesis) in response to exercise and nutrition.
Greg completed his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Laurier in 2016. During his undergrad he worked as a research assistant in the EMRL while also completing a fourth year undergraduate honours thesis focusing on the aerobic and anaerobic effects of manipulating the work-to-rest ratios of sprint interval training. Initially, he had plans of going into physiotherapy after he graduated, and it wasn’t until after he started researching in the EMRL during his fourth year that he even considered applying to grad school. Greg was supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship during his second year where his Masters research examined whether muscle derived interleukin-6 mediates the effects of exercise on appetite regulation in healthy obese men. When he's not in the EMRL he likes to spend his time outdoors, at the gym, or enjoying a cold beverage! Greg will begin his PhD this fall at the University of Guelph, again supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
Logan started in the lab while an undergraduate student at the University of Lethbridge, where he researched sex differences in the metabolic response to sprint interval training. After receiving his BA in Kinesiology from Lethbridge, Logan decided to make the trek to Ontario and began his Master's in the fall of 2014 at Laurier. His MSc research explored how the menstrual cycle might influence appetite-regulating hormones. After completing his master's degree, he is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. David Wright where he is supported by a NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship for his work in the area of obesity-induced inflammation and glucose intolerance.
Luke's research interests included identifying mechanisms involved in appetite suppression following exercise as well as the role of nutritional supplements and interventions for improving exercise performance. He also worked as a strength and conditioning intern with Laurier Athletics where he helped organize sessions and coach athletes to improve their conditioning and sports performance.
He completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster University receiving an Honors Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology, where many influential professors intrigued his 'appetite' for research in exercise physiology. Exercise and physical activity have always been at the forefront, where playing various sports throughout his academic career has influenced his research and career interests.
Funding for EMRL is provided by Laurier, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
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