Facilities – University of Nottingham

Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing - Metabolic physiology and clinical academic units experienced in ageing and rehabilitation research collaborate, and include the University of Nottingham Rehabilitation and Ageing Group that has an excellent record of translating potential interventions from the laboratory to real life.

The University of Nottingham also has a substantial infrastructure to support clinical translational research, a priority of a multidisciplinary Priority Group led by the Dean of Medicine.

The University of Nottingham has world-leading facilities for invasive human physiology based investigations located in state-of-the-art human physiology laboratories within the Medical School on the Queen’s Medical Centre campus and satellite School of Graduate Entry Medicine & Health on the Derby campus. These sites include a clinical trials ward, exercise and resting metabolism laboratories, gymnasium for resistance training and volunteer screening rooms. Dedicated facilities exist for body composition (DEXA), muscle function, exercise intolerance and cardio-respiratory capacity. World-leading whole-body MRI facilities or human imaging and spectroscopy are available in the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre.

From an analytical perspective, mass spectrometers, amino acid and clinical analysers are maintained, with in-house expertise, to measure human muscle, tendon and bone turnover using stable isotope tracer approaches, which is dovetailed with comprehensive expertise and facilities for cellular and molecular biology focussed on the musculoskeletal system.

The spectrometry facility will be updated and expanded using MRC-ARUK Centre funds. Together with the Mass Spectrometers located in SportExR at the University of Birmingham, the Centre will provide a national technology platform for this methodology and this is predicted to be available to UK researchers from January 2013. This is vitally important given, for example, reports of a dissociation between muscle protein turnover and the molecular signalling events regulating muscle mass in humans, i.e. measuring molecular events alone is inadequate.

 

The Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham add large animal facilities and most notably models of musculoskeletal development and decline in animals with similar joint anatomy and physiology to those of humans. Longitudinal studies of musculoskeletal ageing are facilitated via a collaboration with the group of Prof Gustaffson at the Karolinska Institute which has a 20-year study of human ageing.