Michael Plyley: Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, and Professor, Physical Education and Kinesiology
Research: oxygen transport to tissue, capillary supply of skeletal muscle fibres in health and disease, Angiogenesis, adaptive strategy of muscle in response to changing conditions
If you tell Michael Plyley that he’s flexing some seriously tiny muscles, he won’t be insulted. In fact, he’s dedicated his research to discovering more about the structure of muscle in health and disease.
Plyley’s research involves the study of capillaries, the smallest of the blood vessels, and their relationship with muscle fibres. He is particularly interested in studying how various cellular environmental factors can lead to the addition or loss of capillaries and impact muscle adaptation.
Working with microscopic images of muscle sections, Plyley’s research follows what happens to the capillary supply of muscle in response to exercise, or lack of exercise, including endurance and resistance training, as capillaries adapt to changing cellular conditions. He also researches the effects of environmental factors, such as cold and space flight, and various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease, which negatively affect the capillary supply of muscle. He is a researcher with the Centre for Muscle Metabolism and Biophysics.
The new research space in the Cairn's Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex will provide Plyley’s group with much-needed space and updated equipment for their research. The layout of the new complex will encourage collaboration both within and across disciplines, allowing questions and issues to be explored from multiple perspectives.
Now that’s flexing some serious academic muscle.