Thomas Hawke
Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicine

The Hawke Lab at McMaster studies skeletal muscle. We are interested in the ability of skeletal muscle to maintain metabolic function and physical capacities in response to stressors such as exercise, disease and pharmacological insults.
Recently, we have published a number of articles on the impact of statin therapy (to lower cholesterol) on skeletal muscle and even provided a novel mechanism underlying why people on statin therapy develop muscle pain (in the absence of muscle damage). We also have a keen interest in the impact of Type 1 Diabetes on skeletal muscle health. Our recent human studies have demonstrated that persons with Type 1 Diabetes display alterations to muscle in the form of structural changes, metabolic capacity and function. We also, for the first time, demonstrated that the muscles of males and females respond differently to Type 1 Diabetes. These studies would suggest that exercise guidelines to improve health may require different exercise prescriptions. Finally, we are interested in the role of a novel protein (Xin) and how mutations/altered protein levels could impact muscle health.
The lab thanks NSERC for their consistent and generous financial support, CFI for their infrastructure support, as well as other granting agencies and industry partners who have supported our studies.
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