Abertay University John Babraj
Dr John Babraj
Division: Division of Sport & Exercise
School/Department: School of Social & Health Sciences
Telephone Number: +44 (0)1382 308165
I completed my PhD in 2005 at Dundee University in the field of human protein metabolism. I then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Ninewells Hospital Dundee looking at interventions into improving carbohydrate metabolism in humans by utilising exercise mimetics. This resulted in the first human study into the use of the AMPK agonist AICAR to alter carbohydrate metabolism. In 2007 I was appointed as a lecturer in exercise metabolism at Heriot Watt University. Research began into the use of novel exercise regimens to improve cardio-metabolic health. In 2010 I was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Abertay Dundee. Research is ongoing into novel exercise strategies to improve performance and health.
I am module tutor for the following modules:
2nd year – Introduction to Sport and Exercise Science 2
3rd year – Nutrition for Health
4th year – Nutrition for performance
My major area of research is in the development of novel paradigms to promote cardio-metabolic health and improve sports performance. This focuses on 3 different paradigms – high intensity training, whole body vibration and omega 3 supplementation.
High Intensity Training
High intensity training involves supramaximal bouts of exercise that last for no more than 30 seconds. This makes it an exceptionally time efficient training paradigm with sessions lasting no more than 15 minutes (of which only 1-3 minutes is exercise). My research in this area focuses on both the health and performance improvements that can be gained by using this type of training and working towards discovering what the minimum amount of exercise that is needed to promote health improvements. Most people fail to meet government advice on physical activity levels and as such we are seeing a rapid increase in lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. My research also explores the underlying mechanisms by which high intensity training elicites these health and performance effects.
Whole Body Vibration
Whole body vibration training is a novel resistance like training paradigm which efficiently recruits muscle fibres whilst the person is standing on the vibration plate. As such the physical demands placed on the body are greatly reduced with type of training. My research in this area focuses on whether whole body vibration can deliver similar health benefits as more traditional exercise paradigms. With the lower perception of effort this type of training can have a major effect on how people age and offers a training paradigm that could be used with frail adults.
Omega 3 for performance and health
Westernised diets are extremely low in omega 3 fatty acids and high in omega 6 fatty acids which has health consequences due to the pro-inflammatory effects of omega 6 fatty acids. Supplementation with omega 3 results in increased incorporation of these fats into cellular membranes that results in improved cellular function. Unaccustomed exercise produces muscle damage due to inflammation during the recovery process. My research focuses on the role of high EPA on improvements in health and exercise recovery.