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Muscle: Form and Function

Harridge Group


Steve Harridge has been Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King's College London since 2005. He is the Head of the Centre for Human and Applied Physiological Sciences (CHAPS) 

He obtained his PhD at the University of Birmingham and then undertook post-doctoral work with Professor Bengt Saltin at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm and at the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Denmark. He then moved to a Lectureship position in the University Department of Geriatric Medicine at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and subsequently to the Department of Physiology at University College London where he held Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship and Senior Lectureship positions.

He is currently Editor in Chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 

Research Interests                                                                  

'My research group has a wide ranging interest the function and plasticity of human skeletal muscle, with a particular interest in ageing.

The loss of muscle mass (sarcopaenia) and function as we get older is one the key changes that occur in later life as we get older. Sarcopaenia is strongly associated with the decline in the ability of older people to physical task for everyday living and is a key predictor of falls.

We have an ongoing interest in a number of the different factors which may play a role in regulating mass and function and which may change with age. Muscle “satellite cells” (myoblasts) for instance are needed for muscle repair and ultimately for hypertrophy. We are using cell culture approaches to study the behaviour of human satellite cells in vitro. Their myogenic potential is regulated by factors such as Wnt signaling which we are currently investigating.

High resistance strength training is the most effective means of ameliorating the effects of sarcopaenia, whilst inactivity and disuse are confounding factors in interpreting the effects of the human ageing process generally from lifestyle factors. Indeed, master athletes are arguably the most appropriate model to use to study the inherent human ageing process.

In combination with studies of ageing muscle my group is interested in the mechanism involved in regulating muscle loss with disuse (spinal cord injury) and in critical illness.'

Publications and Funding

 A full list of publications can be found here

Click here for funding information.

Group Members

Tom Francis (PhD student - 1st supervisor)

Yotam Levy (PhD student - 2nd Supervisor)

Tess Morris (PhD student - 2nd Supervisor)

Duncan O'Sullivan (PhD student - 2nd Supervisor)

Andrei Dobrin (PhD student - 2nd Supervisor)

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