Professor Avan Sayer ranked in top 10 global ageing research experts
Professor Avan Sayer, Director of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre is recognised as one of the leading experts in sarcopenia globally, according to a recent list published by Expertscape.
Professor Sayer is one of several NIHR Newcastle BRC researchers to have been recognised in the list, demonstrating that Newcastle University is leading the way, in both the growing understanding of sarcopenia, but also in tackling age-related health challenges through translational research.
Sarcopenia is a condition characterised by loss of muscle mass and strength, associated with ageing. It can lead to serious health challenges such as frailty, increased risk of falls, and in some cases, mortality. People living with sarcopenia can also experience a loss of independence due to increased disability, making it a concern for both the health and social care sector.
The Newcastle BRC’s multidisciplinary approach studies sarcopenia from basic science right through to clinical care, ensuring that we have a solid understanding of the mechanisms behind muscle loss and decreased strength, but also the health burden experienced by patients in their day-to-day lives.
Newcastle’s expertise in ageing research and sarcopenia
A total of 25 researchers were recognised as experts in the list published by Expertscape, totalling approximately 150 publications on the theme of sarcopenia, funded by the Newcastle BRC.
Amongst the researchers, was Dr Richard Dodds, Honorary Consultant with Newcastle Hospitals and Research Fellow at Newcastle University. As an early career researcher, Dr Dodds is making significant impact in this field; carrying out research around the life course approach to sarcopenia, including the mechanisms involved in the loss of muscle strength and mass in mid-life and old age. He was able to continue his research alongside his clinical role when he was awarded an Intermediate Clinical Fellowship (ICF) with Newcastle BRC. ICFs are a key part of Newcastle BRC’s support for trainees and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and were designed to provide funding to bridge the gap for newly qualified researchers who wanted to pursue research activities.
Professor Avan Sayer comments:
It is fantastic to see our research in sarcopenia make such an impact on a global scale. More and more we see evidence of how a better understanding of conditions like this can translate to significant improvements in healthcare and a person’s standard of living.
The research we carry out links closely with patient care at Newcastle Hospitals. As clinicians we have seen first-hand the effect that sarcopenia can have on a person’s life – sometimes being the difference between health ageing and more complex ageing, where loss of strength is enough to kick-start a series of challenges that lead to poor health and mobility.
Professor Sayer and her team have made significant steps in understanding and setting a strategic focus for the future of sarcopenia research. In June this year, Newcastle University’s AGE Research Group and the Newcastle BRC hosted the first International Sarcopenia Translational Research Conference, welcoming almost 200 delegates from 25 countries worldwide. The conference was a great success, initiating positive partnerships between people from healthcare, academic and industry, all dedicated to growing capacity for translational sarcopenia research in the UK.
Find out more about our Ageing Syndromes research with the Newcastle BRC here