Photo of Julien Baker

Julien Baker, PhD, DSc, FPhysiol, FRSM, FHBA, FIBiol, FICR, CBiol, CSci

Professor

1990 …2018
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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

2015 - Association of Colleges Gold Award, Presented by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, at the House of Commons, Westminster, London 

2012 - Director of Research, Institute for Clinical Exercise & Health Science,

2010 - Member of the elite athlete testing network in conjunction with the Thoracic Society

2009 - Subject Development Group Chair, Sport, Health & Exercise, School of Science; University of the West of Scotland

Awarded best International Researcher Award by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists in 2008

Member of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Elite performance development group

2002-2009 - Head of the Muscle Metabolism Research Group, University of Glamorgan

European Congress of Sport Science (ECSS) Physiology Section chair 2021

PUBLICATIONS, TALKS AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Professor Baker is a member of the European Space agency physiological advisory group investigating the effects of counter measures in anti-gravity environments.

Professor Baker currently sits on the committee for investigation into the use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDS) in collaboration with the Advisory Coucil on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) based at Home Office Science, the Home Office, London.

Professor Baker is also the President of the International Society for the Study of Physical Activity and Health Research (Physical Activity and Health https://paahjournal.com/about/

Professor Baker has published over 350 full papers in peer-reviewed journals, published over 300 peer-reviewed abstracts, provided 74 invited key-note presentations, presented at 91 prestigious international conferences, contributed to 19 academic book chapters, written 2 books in partnership, and published 13 invited full papers. His key research areas include high intensity exercise, immune function, hormonal control, cardiovascular disease in children and ethnic minorities, obesity, diabetes, cerebrovascular physiology, oxidative stress and muscle damage, steroid abuse and exercise biochemistry.

Professor Baker holds fellowships with important and relevant professional organizations these include; Fellow of the Physiological Society (FPhysiol), Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM), Fellow of Human Biology Association (FHB), Fellow of the Institute of Clinical Research (FICR), Fellow of the Institute of Biology (FIBiol), member of the Society for the Study of Biology (SSOB). Professor Baker is also a Chartered Biologist (CBiol), and Chartered Scientist (CSci). He is also a Fellow of the Institute for Clinical Research, and a member of both the Physiological Society of Great Britain and the American Physiological Society. He also has membership with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the British Pharmacological Society. In addition, Professor Baker is a visiting Professor at the University of Ningbo China, the University of Sydney, Hong Kong Baptist University and at Ningbo Ninth Hospital Medical Research Centre.

INSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL EXERCISE AND HEALTH SCIENCE

The institute will focus on the health agenda, integrating the multifaceted areas of physical activity such as the physiological, psychological, biomechanical, and sociological aspects as well as taking an ecological perspective. Research areas related to exercise science that the group are currently researching include biochemistry of exercise, exercise physiology, immune function, oxidative stress, and steroid abuse/misuse, hormonal control of exercise, cerebral physiology, exercise psychology, cardio metabolic structure and function. In particular, work has been undertaken using short term, repeated bouts of intense exercise, with changing frequency, intensity and recovery periods. The relationship between physical fitness, physical activity, CVD risk factors, overweight and obesity is poorly understood, particularly in youth. Schools have an ideal setting to practice health-promoting behaviours, and are a critical part of the social environment that shape future behaviours. No empirical study has directly compared how different training strategies might affect the health status in Scottish youth. In addition, we are investigating the role of endothelial function following high intensity exercise. This has been currently observed to the best predictor of all-cause mortality, and this measure is an exciting addition to our experimental portfolio. Finally, we are currently designing an experiment to evaluate, the effects of exercise modality on telomere length (TL). Leukocyte telomere length is the most commonly used human telomere sample and is a proposed marker of systemic biological aging. TL is measured in genomic DNA extracted from isolated leukocytes. Telomere length is a measure of replicative senescence and a proposed marker of biological aging. TL decreases progressively with aging and is associated with numerous pathologies and all-cause mortality.

Moreover, cellular senescence induced by telomere shortening is a potential mechanism underlying reductions in physiological function with aging. Part of this study will examine cardiovascular risk TL length and the aging process. This is the first time that this type research has been undertaken, and is both novel and unique. Our hypothesis suggests that TL is at least partly preserved with aging in humans, who perform regular vigorous exercise, and is positively related to exercise capacity. In this context, habitual exercise generally is associated with better cellular function with aging, compared to a sedentary lifestyle. However, associations between TL and habitual physical activity are inconsistent, and there are no objective measures on TL and exercise intensity. Hopefully, we can identify exercise intensities that will impact on the aging profile while establishing links between telomere length and established markers of cardiovascular disease, while further investigating genetic predisposition to cardiovascular/diabetic risk.

Professor Baker has also investigated the mechanical and pharmacological aspects of strength and power. This work has identified serious errors in the measurement of power using the Monark cycle ergometer and is emphasising the need for a new and more accurate approach to this challenge.

The influence of the work conducted by Professor Baker and his colleagues which identified the need to account for fat-free mass and the significant involvement of the arms in the ergometric assessment of power, work output and efficiency, has been substantial. These findings have outlined the considerable differences in haematological, hormonal and biochemical changes in acute and long term exercise when the correct morphological and physiological considerations are considered. Professor Baker’s current research interests include the use of high intensity exercise models in the management of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The models have been used extensively in both children and adolescent populations. In recognition of his research achievements, Professor Baker has been appointed to the editorial board of several UK and international journals and is a former Director of Research for the Welsh Institute of Sport, Health and Exercise Science (http://www.wishes-cymru.org/index.html).

Professor Baker and colleagues have investigated anabolic steroid users who were supplementing their androgen regimen with insulin and growth hormone. They also identified a large number of recreational gym users who use pharmacological substances. Working with the National Drug Testing Centre, King’s College London (Professor Cowan and Dr Kicman), this initial finding provided the Group with a unique opportunity to monitor the physiological and biochemical implications of this performance-enhancing drug regimen and remains, to the best of our knowledge, the first of its kind. This research has attracted the attention of the international scientific community and the interest in Wales and Scotland has been widespread as evidenced by the involvement of Group members in many radio and national television programmes. Particular concern was voiced by members of the Welsh Assembly Government and, as a consequence, we are currently involved in a process that will identify strategies aimed at counteracting this kind of drug abuse. This process is in collaboration with the Home Office, London and Professor Baker currently sits on the committee for investigation into the use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDS).

 

External positions

Deputy Chief Medial Officer (Scotland), British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA)

22 Mar 2018 → …

Professor, University of Glamorgan

20052009

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Research Output 1990 2018

Acute responses of cytokines and adipokines to aerobic exercise in relapsing vs. remitting women with multiple sclerosis

Majdinasab, N., Motl, R. W., Mokhtarzade, M., Zimmer, P., Ranjbar, R., Keytsman, C., Cullen, T., Negaresh, R. & Baker, J. S. 1 May 2018 In : Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 31, p. 295-301

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adipokines
Multiple Sclerosis
Exercise
Cytokines
Recurrence

A high-intensity jump-based aquatic exercise program improves bone mineral density and functional fitness in postmenopausal women

Aboarrage Junior, A. M., Teixeira, C. L. E., Nolasco dos Santos, R., Machado, A. F., Evangelista, A. L., Rica, R. L., Castilho Alonso, A., Barroso, J. A., Serra, A. J., Baker, J. & Bocalini, D. S. 11 Jun 2018 In : Rejuvenation Research.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bone Density
Exercise
Femur
Spine
Bone and Bones
Open Access
File
Shoes
Biomechanical Phenomena
Running
Sports
Lower Extremity

Analysis of foot kinematics wearing high heels using the Oxford Foot Model

Wang, M., Gu, Y. & Baker, J. 7 May 2018 In : Technology and Health Care.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Heel
Biomechanical Phenomena
Foot
Hallux
Foot Injuries
Open Access
File
Golf
Factor X
hexachlorocyclohexane x-factor
Prostaglandins A
Muscle Fatigue

Prizes

Association of Colleges Gold Award

Julien Baker (Recipient), 1 Jun 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Fellow of the Physiological Society

Julien Baker (Recipient), 31 Oct 2017

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Activities 2016 2017

  • 2 Editorial activity

Biomed Research International (Journal)

Danilo Sales Bocalini (Guest editor), Baker, J. (Guest editor), Leonardo dos Santos (Guest editor), Bruce Davies (Guest editor), Emmanuel G. Ciolac (Guest editor)
2017 → …

Activity: Editorial activity

Biomed Research International (Journal)

Baker, J. (Guest editor), Leonardo dos Santos (Guest editor), Bruce Davies (Guest editor), Emmanuel G. Ciolac (Guest editor), Danilo Sales Bocalini (Guest editor)
2016 → …

Activity: Editorial activity

Press / Media

Recreational steroid use

Julien Baker

1/12/1513/08/17

6 items of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Multiple sclerosis research

Julien Baker

31/12/16

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Sports Science Education

Julien Baker

1/06/15

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

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