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Dr Oliver Gibson
Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Research area(s)

Oliver's research spans two broad areas within exercise and environmental physiology, 1) the role of heat shock proteins in facilitating adaptation to environmental stressors and 2) the benefits of acute and chronic heat, and/or hypoxic (altitude) alleviation strategies on physiological and perceptual responses to environmental stressors. This work includes specific lines of inquiry associated with healthy ageing and between sexes. 

The primary and most current area of interest involves determining the role of heat shock proteins in supporting therapeutic responses, and ultimately adaptation to environmental stimuli such as passive heating. This work involves understanding the time course and magnitude of response utilising pharmacological and nutritional manipulation to perturb the heat shock response pathway thus elucidating the mechanistic underpinnings of adaptation. These experiments involve tissue sampling via muscle biopsy techniques and collection of circulating blood markers via venepuncture/cannulation. The collected samples are ultimately analysed using RT-PCr, Western Blotting and ELISA techniques. The cellular/molecular responses are complimented by cardiovascular and thermoregulatory measures to understand the systemic stimuli for the cellular/molecular responses using bespoke physiological assessment tools.

Secondary to the understanding the cellular responses to environmental stressors with a focus on therapeutic advancements, Oliver is also currently engaged in a wide body of research which seeks to understand the physiological responses to environmental stressors such as heat and altitude on the body. This work encapsulates assessment of multiple physiology systems including the cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic responses during steady state and performance (endurance and intermittent sprint) trials.

Research Interests

  • Acute physiological and cellular/molecular responses to heat and/or hypoxia (altitude)
  • Dehydration
  • Heat adaptation
  • Hypoxic (altitude) adaptation
  • Cross adaptation between environmental stressors
  • Performing in environmental extremes

Research grants and projects

Research Projects

Grants

Summer Studentship - Morvarid Osmani
Funder: The Physiological Society
Duration: July 2018 - August 2018
Travel Grant
Funder: The Physiological Society
Duration: -

Travel Grant to attend European Congress of Sports Science (2018)

Sex-specific effects on HSP72
Funder: Physiological Society
Duration: October 2017 - September 2018
Sex-specific effects on HSP72
Funder: Physiological Society
Duration: October 2017 - September 2018
Travel grant
Funder: The Physiological Society
Duration: -

Travel Grant to attend European Congress of Sport Science (2016)

Project details

Oliver's latest experimental work is externally funded by The Physiological Society's Early Career Researcher grant scheme. Specific details of this project can be found on the Centre for Human Performance, Exercise and Rehabilitation web pages (https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Projects/Muscle-heat-shock-proteins-with-passive-heating).

Oliver is also internally funded by Brunel University London's BRIEF award scheme.