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Phil SheardAssociate Professor Phil Sheard is interested in sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength that has profound implications for the elderly.

He is specifically interested in the role of the motor nerve terminal because progressive withdrawal of the motor nerve from the muscle fibre seems to be a conspicuous feature of elderly muscle. He is currently examining age-related changes to the neuromuscular junction with a view to using this information to establish whether motor nerve withdrawal is a cause of muscle fibre death, or a consequence of it.

Associate Professor Sheard uses electrophysiology, electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, fluorescence and transmitted light microscopy, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and anterograde and retrograde cell tracing techniques.

Find out more about Associate Professor Phil Sheard's research


Peeters, W. M., Gram, M., Dias, G. J., Vissers, M. C. M., Hampton, M. B., Dickerhof, N., Bekhit, A. E., … Bayer, S., … Sheard, P. W., Danielson, K. M., … Cornwall, J., & Rowlands, D. S. (2023). Changes to insulin sensitivity in glucose clearance systems and redox following dietary supplementation with a novel cysteine-rich protein: A pilot randomized controlled trial in humans with type-2 diabetes. Redox Biology, 67, 102918. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2023.102918

Redmond, A. K., Davies, T. M., Schofield, M. R., & Sheard, P. W. (2023). New tools for the investigation of muscle fiber-type spatial distributions across histological sections. Skeletal Muscle, 13, 7. doi: 10.1186/s13395-023-00316-0

Lal, N. N., Cornwall, J., & Sheard, P. W. (2023). Use of a novel technique to assess impact of age-related denervation on mouse soleus muscle function. Biogerontology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10522-023-10021-6

Sheard, P. (2022, March). Is age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass primarily a neurodegenerative disease? UOC Research Seminar Series, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand. [Research Presentation].

Sheard, P. (2022, February). The cellular basis for age-related loss of muscle mass. Verbal presentation at the Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence (CARE) Research Symposium, [Online].

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