Calcium cycling and heat generation in skeletal muscle fibres (2018–2021)
This project will uncover the mechanisms that enable mammalian skeletal muscle to play a major role in generating the heat required to maintain a constant body temperature. The ability to modulate body heat played a defining role in the evolution of species, their behaviour and global distribution. All vertebrates have muscle but only mammals and birds can use muscle to provide an essential modulatory role in whole body resting heat production. The muscle spends most of its time in a resting state (not contracting), when vital heat production must occur. How heat production occurs in resting muscle is of fundamental importance and will be defined for the first time, providing new avenues to manipulate metabolic rate and counter obesity.