June 23, 2022Print | PDF
Thanks to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Wilfrid Laurier University researchers will receive ongoing operating funds toward their long-term research goals. Ten faculty members were successful in NSERC’s Discovery Grants Competition for a total of nearly $1.7 million in research funding.
“At NSERC, we dedicate significant resources to our Discovery research programs precisely because we cannot predict where successes will occur,” says Alejandro Adem, president of NSERC. “We foster excellence by providing thousands of exceptional researchers at various stages in their careers with the stable foundation needed to lead thriving research programs and create unparalleled training opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
Among Laurier’s Discovery Grant recipients is Tom Hazell, an associate professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Hazell was awarded $140,000 over five years to study the mechanisms involved in exercise-induced appetite suppression.
Appetite regulation involves the integration of appetite-stimulating and appetite-inhibiting hormones in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that helps manage functions such as temperature regulation, sex drive and sleep. While eating is known to influence these hormones, Hazell’s long-term objective is to understand how exercise affects these peripheral signals in humans.
His previous research, also funded by an NSERC Discovery Grant, suggests that appetite is suppressed after acute exercise and may be modulated by the accumulation of lactate, a substance generated by muscle tissue. However, there could be additional mechanisms involved and Hazell wants to examine the contributions of these other exercise-related factors in appetite regulation, such as blood glucose, insulin and the sympathetic nervous system.
Hazell will also study the role of ovarian hormones in appetite. Females have typically been excluded from this type of research because “hormonal fluctuations across the menstrual cycle have been viewed as an inconvenient confounding factor, rather than a relevant physiological modulator of appetite," he says.
“Worldwide obesity rates are reaching epidemic proportions. Approximately eight million people are living with obesity in Canada alone,” says Hazel. “This excessive body fat accumulation results in negative physical and mental health consequences that increase the risk of all-cause mortality by 18 per cent. It is important to understand how exercise alters appetite so that we can structure exercise to suppress appetite, and therefore improve body composition and overall health.”
Additional Laurier Discovery Grant recipients include:
Also included in NSERC’s funding announcement was a Research Tools and Instruments Grant for Assistant Professor of Biology Christian Danve Castroverde. He was awarded of $51,649 to support his project “Environmentally controlled tissue culture chamber for high-throughput genetic screens and functional studies in plant immunity under warming conditions.”
All recipients are supported by the federal government’s Research Support Fund.
We see you are accessing our website on IE8. We recommend you view in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE9+ instead.×