It is a pleasure to begin my first year as ACSM topical representative for Skeletal Muscle, Bone and Connective Tissue. The 2020 ACSM Annual Meeting will feature a number of outstanding sessions on the interactions between exercise, skeletal muscle, bone and connective tissue health. There are three sessions that I think will be of particular interest to conference attendees. The first is a highlighted symposium entitled, “Macronutrients and Muscle Protein Turnover During Weight Loss.” This session is scheduled for Friday, May 29, 2020 from 9:30 AM -11:30 AM. The symposium will be chaired by myself and features three outstanding speakers; Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., FACSM, from McMaster University, Stefan Pasiakos, Ph.D., FACSM, from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and Jamie Baum, Ph.D., from University of Arkansas. This session will highlight the role in which protein quality and exercise training can optimize loss of fat mass and preserve lean mass during weight loss. The key molecular mechanisms in which muscle protein turnover is regulated during different stages of energy balance and the influence of macronutrient composition on key regulatory pathways will be highlighted.
The second symposium entitled, “Lactate as a Signaling Molecule” features four of the leading experts in the world on the topics of lactate and metabolism. The session is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 2020 from 1:30 PM-3:30 PM. Speakers include, George Brooks, Ph.D., FACSM, from University of California at Berkeley, Takeshi-Hashimoto, Ph.D., from Ritsumeikan University, Laurie Goodyear, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School/Joslin Diabetes Center and Ralph Deberardinis, M.D., Ph.D., from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. This session will provide an update on the role in which lactate acts as a signaling molecule with autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine functions. Dr. Hashimoto will describe how lactate accumulation during exercise signals metabolic adaptations in skeletal muscle, Dr. Goodyear will describe how lactate influences energy substrate partitioning in exercise via the TGF-B signaling pathway, and Dr. Deberardinis will discuss the “Warburg Effect” and new findings on the role of lactate signaling in cancer.
The final symposium that I would like to highlight is entitled, “Exercise and Extracellular Vesicles (ExerVs): Identification of the Molecular Basis for Health Benefits.” This session is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, 2020 from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM and will feature four of the leading experts in the field of muscle biology. Speakers include Marni Boppart, Ph.D., FACSM, from the University of Illinois, Eva-Maria Kramer-Albers, Ph.D., from University of Mainz and John McCarthy, Ph.D., and Esther Dupont-Versteegden, Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky. Exosomes are small vesicles secreted by most cells that contain proteins and genomic materials and have recently gained attention for their ability to serve as intercellular messengers to facilitate health benefits. This session will describe how cells can release ExerVs during exercise, and how these vesicles work to deliver regenerative peptides and noncoding RNAs that mediate crosstalk between tissues and lead to skeletal muscle regenerative health benefits.
Learn more about the other featured sessions in Skeletal Muscle, Bone, and Connective Tissue and the many other sessions that will be presented at the 2020 ACSM Annual Meeting and register for the event here.
Gordon Fisher, Ph.D., FACSM, is a member of the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Human Studies and holds Senior Scientist positions in the Center for Exercise Medicine, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center and the Diabetes Research Center at UAB.