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Zofia Wicik, MSc, PhD from the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology will receive 50,000 PLN in the MINIATURA grant for preliminary study on application of metabolomics, proteomics and computational tools to determine pathophysiological changes due to endurance training in ultramarathon runners.

Regular aerobic physical exercise of moderate intensity is undeniably associated with improved health and increased longevity. The focus of most sport-related research has been the benefits of exercise on the cardiovascular and muscular systems. Acute excessive physical activity triggers complex molecular responses including direct damage to cartilage and micro-tears in muscles, leading to changes in acute inflammatory markers and metabolic pathways.

Metabolome provides the closest link to the phenotype and its complex metabolic processes in real-time. Metabolomic analytical approaches are transferable across different biological systems. Experimental evidence suggests that metabolites potentially indicate the specific mechanisms causing pathological changes in the musculoskeletal system. Additionally, any change in the protein stability and degradation can bring changes in the metabolome allowing their co-investigation allowing identification of unknown pathways related to musculoskeletal damage. 

The main objective of this study is to assess the effects of high intensity and long-lasting exertion on the simultaneous proteomic and metabolomic changes in a unique population of high-level long-term ultra-marathon runners.