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A comparison of the role of testosterone in male and female human skeletal muscle growth

Despite representing 50% of the human population, females remain significantly understudied in the area of muscle physiology, meaning that our current knowledge is mostly inferred from findings from male only cohorts. A typical example is the role played by testosterone, a male sex hormone that regulates skeletal muscle growth. We know that testosterone is also present in females, albeit at concentrations about 10-fold lower than typical male level. However, the role played by testosterone in the regulation of female skeletal muscle growth is not well understood. Some evidence even suggests that testosterone may not be necessary to reach peak muscle mass or strength in females. This human muscle physiology project will aim at exploring and comparing the molecular mechanisms at play when males and females grow muscle following an intensive resistance training program.

Aim of the project

This project aims to compare the role played by the hormone testosterone in male and female muscle growth. To this end, male and female human participants will undergo an intensive resistance training program. Muscle biopsies and blood samples will be collected at different time points and analysed using molecular biology techniques.

Supervisors

Dr Severine Lamon

Prof. Aaron Russell

Pre-requisites

Undergraduate degree with Honours (First class) or Masters by Research (>80%) in a relevant discipline, such as Exercise Sciences, Health Sciences, Biology or Biochemistry. Interest in exercise sciences and molecular biology. Eligible for enrolment in a PhD program at Deakin University and eligible to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award or equivalent. Applicants must meet Deakin’s PhD entry requirements.

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