University of Otago.Department of Physiology.Department of Physiology.

Sheard Lab

Associate Professor Phil Sheard

Phil Sheard

Associate Professor

Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: 4797045
Fax: +64 3 479 7323

Email: phil.sheard@otago.ac.nz

Member of Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience.

Research interests

Sarcopenia - age-related loss of muscle mass and strength.

Sarcopenia is the widely described phenomenon of age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. The functional impairments that arise from progressive weakness have profound implications for the elderly, and therefore for modern society. Sarcopenia manifests as a death of muscle fibers and decrease in cross sectional area of surviving fibers, the triggers for this progressive loss of muscle remain largely unknown. We are particularly interested in the role the motor nerve terminal may play in driving sarcopenia, since progressive withdrawal of the motor nerve from the muscle fibre also seems to be a conspicuous feature of elderly muscle. We are currently examining age-related changes to the neuromuscular junction with a view to using this information to establish whether motor nerve withdrawal is a cause of muscle fibre death, or a consequence of it.

We use electrophysiology, electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, fluorescence and transmitted light microscopy, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and anterograde and retrograde cell tracing techniques.

Lab personnel

Caitlin Arpel

Caitlin Arpel

Ash Gillon

Ash Gillon

Navneet Lal

Navneet Lal

Kathrine Nielsen

Kathrine Nielsen

Charlotte Steel

Charlotte Steel


Selected publications

Caitlin Arpel

Caitlin Arpel

BBiomedSc(Hons)

Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: 479 4215
Fax: +64 3 479 7323

Email: arpca186@student.otago.ac.nz

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Ash Gillon

Ash Gillon

PhD Student

Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: 479 7093
Fax: +64 3 479 7323

Email: gilas992@student.otago.ac.nz

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Navneet Lal

Navneet Lal

PhD Student

Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: 4794093
Fax: +64 3 479 7323

Email: navneet.lal@otago.ac.nz

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Kathrine Nielsen

Kathrine Nielsen

PhD Student

Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: 470 3417
Fax: +64 3 479 7323

Email: nieka168@student.otago.ac.nz

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Charlotte Steel

Charlotte Steel

BSc (Hons) NEUR

Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: 479 4215
Fax: +64 3 479 7323

Email: stech876@student.otago.ac.nz

Show Sheard Lab page.

I believe the best way to grow as a scientist is to be thrown in the deep end early on. My summer projects gave me this opportunity in a safe and fun environment, so when I started my thesis research I was already familiar with the scientific method. Having finished my PhD, I also really appreciate the boost they give my academic CV!

Kajsa Igelstrom - Summer Research Student 2006/2007 & 2007/2008