Dr Scott Bowen

Dr Scott Bowen

Profile

My research interest is in muscle biology, with a key focus on the mechanisms of skeletal muscle wasting and weakness in health and disease. The main research aim of the lab is to better understand and find optimal treatments for skeletal muscle disorders, while the academic aim is to train young scientists to a high level and prepare them for a career in the scientific field.

My research training included working at the Institue of Systems and Membrane Biology at the University of Leeds (UK), Department of Cardiology at Leipzig Heart Center (Germany), Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), and Applied Physiology Laboratory at Kobe University (Japan). I returned to the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leeds in 2017 as an independent investigator.

Research funding includes support from the Medical Research Council (MRC), Heart Research UK, EU commission, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Leducq Foundation, and the British Council.  

 

Responsibilities

  • Admissions Tutor Sport and Exercise Science

Research interests

Mechanisms of muscle weakness and wasting.

Loss of muscle mass and strength occurs in many clinical conditions, and plays a critical role in pulmonary complications and disabilities observed in patients and leads to significant reductions in quality of life and survival. The aim of this laboratory is to identify key mechanisms contributing to muscle dysfunction in various diseases such as heart failure, and how this can be prevented through the development of novel therapies that include small-molecule inhibitors and exercise training. One particular area of interest is investigating why the main muscle of respiration, the diaphragm, becomes weak in acute and chronic disease.    

Key research areas include:

  • Molecular mediators contributing to skeletal muscle weakness in heart failure and other clinical disorders
  • Rescue treatments for attenuating muscle wasting, including exercise training and the development of novel small-molecule therapeutics 
  • Mechanisms of exercise intolerance 
  • Impact of major trauma on muscle regeneration 

 

International collaboration 

One major aim of the lab is to develop sustainable links with international institutes and colleagues in order to aid scientific progress and cultural exchange. Current ongoing collaborations include working with Professors Volker Adams (Dresden Heart Center) and Siegfried Labeit (Heidelberg University) in Germany, Professor Anselmo Moriscot (USP) in Brazil, Professors Harry Rossiter (UCLA) and Daniel Cannon (San Diego) in the USA, Professor Shunsaku Koga (Kobe University) in Japan, and Professor Ulrik Wisloff (NTNU) in Norway. The lab aims to foster strong links using multiple appoaches, including regular student exchanges and small workshops. Examples include:

Newton Funded Researcher Links Workshop coordinated with Professor Anselmo Moriscot at the University of Sao Paolo. This UK-Brazil cooperation (supported by the Newton Fund, British Council, FAPESP, and CONFAP) brought together early career researchers to discuss the major issue of gunshot-related injuries and muscle regeneration. Future collaboration will now focus on developing better treatments for patients who suffer such traumatic injuries. 

The focus was to discuss gunshot wounds and muscle regeneration

 

The laboratory group

One key factor allowing the lab to progress science is the involvement of excellent postgraduate researchers, which is fostered by our regular social events. Here is what the current members of the group would like you to know:

Espino Gonzalez, MSc (2018-2022)I am a PhD researcher in Biomedical Sciences funded by Conacyt. My research focuses on the cellular mechanisms and novel treatments of skeletal muscle weakness in heart failure. I use in situ and in vitro functional analysis, histological assays of fibre type distribution and capillarity, and in situ experiments on mitochondrial respiration in rodents and patients in order to provide new insights into the heart failure-induced skeletal muscle impairments.  

Nathanael Wood, MSc (2019-2023): I am a PhD researcher supported by an internal FBS programme. My project is focused on the mechanisms of muscle atrophy in patients with heart failure and diabetes. I work closely with clinicians in the LGI to collect muscle biopsies from patients and assess gene and protein expression alongside histological techniques for assessing structural alterations.  

Dr Sam Straw MBChb (2019-2021): I am a medical doctor specialising in cardiology, with an interest in heart failure and diabetes. I am undertaking a PhD on the effects of heart failure on exercise intolerance for these patients.

Ellen Butler (2018-2020): I am currently completing my integrated Masters in Sports Science and Physiology. I am currently focusing on muscle dysfunction in smokers and the molecular drivers responsible. My techniques include western blotting, histology, and enzyme assays. . 

 

Undergraduate Projects 

Undergraduate students are considered an important component to supporting the labs development. Undergraduates will first be commonly exposed to group and one-on-one sessions providing an introduction to the topic area. Basic lab training will then follow, allowing development of some key research skills. Thereafter students will be offered a range of projects to pursue and independently investigate, which may lead to a published manuscript and co-authorship. 

 

Positions

The lab is always interested in recruiting highly motivated and enthusiasic reseachers, ranging from postdoctoral to PhD to MSc level. Opportunties may be available and anyone with an interest should contact Dr Bowen on t.s.bowen@leeds.ac.uk.  

 

Funding and support

The laboratory would like to thank the following for their generous support:

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<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • BSc (University of Leeds), MSc (Loughborough University), PhD (University of Leeds) 2008-2012, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Heart Center Leipzig) 2013-2017

Professional memberships

  • American Physiological Society
  • Physiological Society UK

Student education

Modules Managed

SPSC 3326  – Exercise Prescription for Health and Disease

SPSC 5203M – Physical Activity, Health and Exercise Prescription

 

Modules Taught

SPSC 1223 – The Physiology of Exercise Testing and Performance

SPSC 1224 – Exercise Bioenergetics

SPSC 2321 – Exercise Physiology

SPSC3061 - Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science

SPSC 3326  – Exercise Prescription for Health and Disease

SPSC 5203M – Physical Activity, Health and Exercise Prescription

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
Projects
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/335-characterisation-of-a-systemic-and-peripheral-metabolic-phenotype-unique-to-patients-with-chronic-heart-failure-and-type-2-diabetes-mellitus">Characterisation of a Systemic and Peripheral Metabolic Phenotype Unique to Patients with Chronic Heart Failure and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/334-elucidating-the-molecular-mechanisms-of-exercise-to-identify-new-therapeutics-for-cardiometabolic-disease">Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of exercise to identify new therapeutics for cardiometabolic disease</a></li>