It is a pleasure to serve as the ACSM topical representative for Skeletal Muscle, Bone, and Connective Tissue. The 2021 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 June 4, 2021 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM. 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, “Mitochondrial Metabolic Control: Studies Using Experimental and Computational Approaches,” is scheduled for Wednesday June 2, 2021 from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM and will feature four of the leading experts in the field of mitochondrial metabolism. Speakers include Brian Glancy, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health, Wayne T. Willis, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona, Sarah Kuzmiak-Glancy, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland, and Jason Bazil, Ph.D., from Michigan State University. This session will describe how novel computational models can be used to better understand metabolic control within mitochondria. There is an ever-growing interest in the study of mitochondrial function in the pathophysiology of chronic diseases, thus this sessions should appeal to a broad audience from basic scientists to clinicians.
The final symposium that I would like to highlight is “Lactate as a Signaling Molecule,” and features four of the leading experts in the world on the topics of lactate and metabolism. The session is scheduled for Tuesday June 1, 2021 from 3:30 PM-5:30 PM. Speakers include, George Brooks, Ph.D., FACSM, from University of California at Berkeley, Takeshi-Hashimoto, Ph.D., from Ritsumeikan University, Kristen Stanford, Ph.D., from Ohio State University, 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. Sanford 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.
In addition to these sessions there will be a symposium on “The Role of Diet in Athlete Bone Health” (Thursday, 3:30 PM), a colloquium entitled, “Skeletal Muscle Fiber Phenotype in Obesity: Can it be Modified by Exercise to the Extent that Impacts Disease?” (Friday, 8:00 AM) and the Priscilla M. Clarkson Tutorial Lecture entitled, “Rhabdomyolysis: Could this Athlete have a Metabolic Myopathy or Did they Just Push a Bit Too Hard?” (Wednesday 10:30 AM), as well as several poster sessions spread throughout the week.
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 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting 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 he holds Senior Scientist positions in the Center for Exercise Medicine, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center and the Diabetes Research Center at UAB.