Episode 63: Keith Baar talks about collagen synthesis, ketogenic diet, mTORC1 signaling, autophagy, post strength training nutrition, and more…

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May 8, 20181h 2m
Episode 63: Keith Baar talks about collagen synthesis, ketogenic diet, mTORC1 signaling, autophagy, post strength training nutrition, and more…
May 8 '181h 2m
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Dr. Keith Baar joins Ken and Dawn today for the second of his two-part interview for STEM-Talk. Keith is a renowned scientist in the emerging field of molecular exercise physiology who has made fundamental discoveries on how muscles grow bigger, stronger, and more fatigue resistant. He is the head of the Functional Molecular Biology Laboratory in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. In his lab, he leads a team of researchers attempting to develop ways to improve muscle, tendon and ligament function. Part one of our interview, episode 62, covered Keith’s childhood in Canada and his undergrad years at the University of Michigan as well as his time at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a master’s degree in human biophysics. We talked about Keith’s work at the University of Illinois, where he received a doctorate in physiology and biophysics. We also covered Keith’s time in the lab of John Holloszy, who is known as the father of exercise research in the United States, as well as the five years Keith spent at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Episode 63 picks up with Keith explaining his decision to return to the states and join the faculty at the University of California, Davis.  Ken and Dawn then talk to Keith about his most recent research, some of which is looking at how to determine the best way to train, as well as what types of foods compliment training to decrease tendon and ligament injury and accelerate return to play. This work has the potential to improve muscle function not only in athletes, but also improve people’s quality of life as they age. Another key topic covered in part two of our interview is the research Keith is doing on a ketogenic diet and its potential to reduce cancer rates and improve cognition. Keith also provides his thoughts on what optimal workouts and nutrition should look like. Links: Baar’s UC Davis physiology department bio: https://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/physiology/faculty/baar.html Baar’s UC Davis biology department bio: https://biology.ucdavis.edu/people/keith-baar Functional Molecular Biology Lab website: http://www.fmblab.com/  Molecular brakes regulating mTORC1 activation in skeletal muscle paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137116/ Age-related Differences in Dystrophin article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27382038 Show notes: 2:54: Dawn begins part 2 of our interview by mentioning that for the past eight years, Keith has been working at the University of California Davis. She asks Keith what prompted him to return to the U.S. from Scotland and join the faculty at UC Davis. 3:37: Dawn points out that Keith’s Functional Molecular Biology Lab conducts research across a range of related topics, including musculoskeletal development and adaptation as well as methods for engineering functional musculoskeletal tissues in vitro. She asks Keith to give a high-level overview of some of that research. 4:16: Dawn comments that some of Keith’s recent work has shown that we can use specific nutrition and training strategies to optimize injury recovery and prevention. She goes on to say that musculoskeletal injuries are among the most common problems that active people have. 8:45: Ken talks about how Keith has noted that tendon stiffness is dependent upon collagen content, and the amount of crosslinks within. He goes on to mention that Keith has developed various training modalities, as well as nutritional protocols, that can increase and decrease tendon stiffness. Ken begins this line of inquiry by asking about the training methods for this purpose. 12:04: Following up on the previous question, Ken asks whether anyone has looked at how blood flow restriction training, which is increasing in popularity, affects tendon stiffness. 13:32: Dawn moves on to asking about nutrition. She mentions that Keith’s lab has done a great deal of...

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