Dr John Babraj

Lecturer

School School of Applied Sciences

Department Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8165

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology. My research interests focus on health and performance adaptations to high intensity training or omega 3 intake. This research on high intensity training focusses on determining the minimum frequency of exercise required to promote meaningful adaptations in the body for health and performance. My research on omega 3 intake focusses on its use to promote recovery from exercise and its importance in the regulation of tendon and ligament function. I also have a keen interest in physiological adaptations for combat sports.

I am chief scientific adviser to Edinburgh Biotec Ltd and work with Dundee FC, Dundee United FC, Dundee Stars and Wakeboarding to provide scientific support around training and nutrition. I also work within combat sports on an individual basis to provide training and nutrition support.

Before joining Abertay in 2010, I was a Lecturer in Exercise Metabolism at Heriot Watt University. I carried out my doctoral research at Dundee University. This work focused on the response of the extracellular matrix proteins within skeletal muscle, tendon, ligament and bone to both exercise and nutritional stimuli.

I am module tutor for the following modules:

3rd year - Physiological adaptations for performance

4th year - Advanced exercise physiology

My major area of research is in the development of novel paradigms to promote cardio-metabolic health and improve sports performance.  This focuses on 3 different paradigms - high intensity training, whole body vibration and omega 3 supplementation.

High Intensity Training

High intensity training involves supramaximal bouts of exercise that last for no more than 30 seconds. This makes it an exceptionally time efficient training paradigm with sessions lasting no more than 15 minutes (of which only 1-3 minutes is exercise). My research in this area focuses on both the health and performance improvements that can be gained by using this type of training and working towards discovering what the minimum amount of exercise that is needed to promote health improvements. Most people fail to meet government advice on physical activity levels and as such we are seeing a rapid increase in lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. My research also explores the underlying mechanisms by which high intensity training elicites these health and performance effects.  

Whole Body Vibration

Whole body vibration training is a novel resistance like training paradigm which efficiently recruits muscle fibres whilst the person is standing on the vibration plate. As such the physical demands placed on the body are greatly reduced with type of training. My research in this area focuses on whether whole body vibration can deliver similar health benefits as more traditional exercise paradigms. With the lower perception of effort this type of training can have a major effect on how people age and offers a training paradigm that could be used with frail adults.

Omega 3 for performance and health

Westernised diets are extremely low in omega 3 fatty acids and high in omega 6 fatty acids which has health consequences due to the pro-inflammatory effects of omega 6 fatty acids. Supplementation with omega 3 results in increased incorporation of these fats into cellular membranes that results in improved cellular function. Unaccustomed exercise produces muscle damage due to inflammation during the recovery process. My research focuses on the role of high EPA on improvements in health and exercise recovery.

2019

Changes in lactate kinetics underpin soccer performance adaptations to cycling-based sprint interval training

Thom, G., Kavaliauskas, M. & Babraj, J. A. (2019) Changes in lactate kinetics underpin soccer performance adaptations to cycling-based sprint interval training. . . .
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2018

The role of mock job interviews in enhancing sport students’ employability skills

Lord, R., Lorimer, R., Babraj, J. A. & Richardson, A. K. (2018) The role of mock job interviews in enhancing sport students’ employability skills. . . .
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Early adaptations to a two-week uphill run sprint interval training and cycle sprint interval training

Kavaliauskas, M., Jakeman, J. & Babraj, J. (2018) Early adaptations to a two-week uphill run sprint interval training and cycle sprint interval training. . . .
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Active recovery induces greater endurance adaptations when performing sprint interval training

Babraj, J. A. & Yamagishi, T. (2018) Active recovery induces greater endurance adaptations when performing sprint interval training. . . p. 922-930. .
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2017

Extremely short duration sprint interval training improves vascular health in older adults

Adamson, S., Kavaliauskas, M., Yamagishi, T., Phillips, S. M., Lorimer, R. & Babraj, J. A. (2017) Extremely short duration sprint interval training improves vascular health in older adults. . . p. 123-131. .
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The effect of low volume sprint interval training in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

MacLean, C., Dillon, J., Babraj, J. A. & Vollaard, N. B. J. (2017) The effect of low volume sprint interval training in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. . . p. 87-92. .
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2016

Anabolic resistance does not explain sarcopenia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared with healthy controls, despite reduced mTOR pathway activity

Cuthbertson, D. J., Babraj, J., Leese, G. & Siervo, M. (2016) Anabolic resistance does not explain sarcopenia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared with healthy controls, despite reduced mTOR pathway activity. . . p. 1716-1719. .
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Cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic performance adaptations to a 4-week sprint interval training in young healthy untrained females

Kavaliauskas, M., Steer, T. & Babraj, J. A. (2016) Cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic performance adaptations to a 4-week sprint interval training in young healthy untrained females. . . p. 17-23. .
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Effect of an acute dose of omega-3 fish oil following exercise-induced muscle damage

Jakeman, J. R., Lambrick, D. M., Wooley, B., Babraj, J. A. & Faulkner, J. A. (2016) Effect of an acute dose of omega-3 fish oil following exercise-induced muscle damage. . . p. 575–582. .
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Efficacy of a four-week uphill sprint training intervention in field hockey players

Jakeman, J. R., McMullan, J. & Babraj, J. A. (2016) Efficacy of a four-week uphill sprint training intervention in field hockey players. . . p. 2761–2766. .
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Whole body vibration training and its application to age-related performance decrements

Hawkey, A., Griffiths, K., Babraj, J. A. & Cobley, J. N. (2016) Whole body vibration training and its application to age-related performance decrements. . . p. 555–560. .
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Effects of reduced-volume of sprint interval training and the time course of physiological and performance adaptations

Yamagishi, T. & Babraj, J. A. (2016) Effects of reduced-volume of sprint interval training and the time course of physiological and performance adaptations. . . p. 1662-1672. .
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Improved insulin sensitivity following a short-term whole body vibration intervention

Babraj, J. A. & Hawkey, A. (2016) Improved insulin sensitivity following a short-term whole body vibration intervention. . . p. 3-9. .
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2015

Influence of recovery intensity on oxygen demand and repeated sprint performance

Yamagishi, T. & Babraj, J. A. (2015) Influence of recovery intensity on oxygen demand and repeated sprint performance. . . p. 1103-1112. .
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Effects of in-season uphill sprinting on physical characteristics in semi-professional soccer players

Kavaliauskas, M., Kilvington, R. & Babraj, J. A. (2015) Effects of in-season uphill sprinting on physical characteristics in semi-professional soccer players. . . p. 165-170. .
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High-intensity cycling training

Kavaliauskas, M., Aspe, R. R. & Babraj, J. A. (2015) High-intensity cycling training. . . p. 2229-2236. .
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2014

Extremely short–duration high-intensity training substantially improves the physical function and self-reported health status of elderly adults

Adamson, S. B., Lorimer, R., Cobley, J. N. & Babraj, J. A. (2014) Extremely short–duration high-intensity training substantially improves the physical function and self-reported health status of elderly adults. . . p. 1380–1381. .
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High intensity training improves health and physical function in middle aged adults

Adamson, S., Lorimer, R., Cobley, J. N., Lloyd, R. & Babraj, J. A. (2014) High intensity training improves health and physical function in middle aged adults. . . p. 333-344. .
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2013

The potential influence of perception of achievement on performance in volitional time-to-exhaustion cycle ergometer trials

Lorimer, R. & Babraj, J. A. (2013) The potential influence of perception of achievement on performance in volitional time-to-exhaustion cycle ergometer trials. . . p. 1546–1548. .
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2012

Human 825C > T polymorphism in GNB3 gene promotes enhanced cell migration by inducing cytosolic calcium influx and hyper phosphorylation of ERK regulated mTOR pathway

Tummala, H., Khalil, H. S., Ascanio, I. D., Wehner, D., Lester, D. H., Babraj, J. & Zhelev, N. (2012) Human 825C > T polymorphism in GNB3 gene promotes enhanced cell migration by inducing cytosolic calcium influx and hyper phosphorylation of ERK regulated mTOR pathway. . . p. 141-141. .
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Towards the minimal amount of exercise for improving metabolic health: beneficial effects of reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training

Metcalfe, R. S., Babraj, J. A., Fawkner, S. G. & Vollaard, N. B. J. (2012) Towards the minimal amount of exercise for improving metabolic health: beneficial effects of reduced-exertion high-intensity interval training. . . p. 2767–2775. .
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Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes

Jakeman, J. R., Adamson, S. & Babraj, J. A. (2012) Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes. . . p. 976-981. .
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2011

Exploring the possibility of early cataract diagnostics based on tryptophan fluorescence

Gakamsky, D. M., Dhillon, B., Babraj, J. A., Shelton, M. & Smith, S. D. (2011) Exploring the possibility of early cataract diagnostics based on tryptophan fluorescence. . . p. 1616-1621. .
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2010

Integration of microRNA changes in vivo identifies novel molecular features of muscle insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes

Gallagher, I. J., Scheele, C., Keller, P., Nielsen, A. R., Remeny, J., Fischer, C. P., Roder, K., Babraj, J. A., Wahlestedt, C., Hutvagner, G., Pedersen, B. K. & Timmons, J. A. (2010) Integration of microRNA changes in vivo identifies novel molecular features of muscle insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. . . .
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2009

Blunting of AICAR-induced human skeletal muscle glucose uptake in type 2 diabetes is dependent on age rather than diabetic status

Babraj, J. A., Mustard, K., Sutherland, C., Towler, M. C., Chen, S., Smith, K., Green, K., Leese, G., Hardie, D. G., Rennie, M. J. & Cuthbertson, D. J. (2009) Blunting of AICAR-induced human skeletal muscle glucose uptake in type 2 diabetes is dependent on age rather than diabetic status. . . p. E1042-E1048. .
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2008

Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males

Babraj, J. A., Vollaard, N. B. J., Keast, C., Guppy, F. M., Cottrell, G. & Timmons, J. A. (2008) Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. . . .
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2007

Using systems biology to define the essential biological networks responsible for adaptation to endurance exercise training

Keller, P., Vollaard, N., Babraj, J., Ball, D., Sewell, D. & Timmons, J. (2007) Using systems biology to define the essential biological networks responsible for adaptation to endurance exercise training. . . p. 1306-1309. .
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2006

Tendon collagen synthesis at rest and after exercise in women

Miller, B. F., Hansen, M., Olsen, J. L., Schwarz, P., Babraj, J. A., Smith, K., Rennie, M. J. & Kjaer, M. (2006) Tendon collagen synthesis at rest and after exercise in women. . . p. 541-546. .
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5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-beta-D-ribofuranoside acutely stimulates skeletal muscle 2-deoxyglucose uptake in healthy men

Cuthbertson, D. J., Babraj, J. A., Mustard, K. J., Towler, M. C., Green, K. A., Wackerhage, H., Leese, G. P., Barr, K., Thomason-Hughes, M., Sutherland, C., Hardie, D. G. & Rennie, M. J. (2006) 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-beta-D-ribofuranoside acutely stimulates skeletal muscle 2-deoxyglucose uptake in healthy men. . . p. 2078-2084. .
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2005

Anabolic signaling and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle after dynamic shortening or lengthening exercise

Cuthbertson, D. J., Babraj, J. A., Smith, K., Wilkes, E., Fedele, M. J., Esser, K. & Rennie, M. (2005) Anabolic signaling and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle after dynamic shortening or lengthening exercise. . . p. E731-E738. .
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Coordinated collagen and muscle protein synthesis in human patella tendon and quadriceps muscle after exercise

Miller, B. F., Olesen, J. L., Hansen, M., Dossing, S., Crameri, R. M., Welling, R. J., Langberg, H., Flyvbjerg, A., Kjaer, M., Babraj, J. A., Smith, K. & Rennie, M. J. (2005) Coordinated collagen and muscle protein synthesis in human patella tendon and quadriceps muscle after exercise. . . p. 1021-1033. .
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No effect of menstrual cycle on myofibrillar and connective tissue protein synthesis in contracting skeletal muscle

Miller, B. F., Hansen, M., Olesen, J. L., Flyvbjerg, A., Schwarz, P., Babraj, J. A., Smith, K., Rennie, M. J. & Kjaer, M. (2005) No effect of menstrual cycle on myofibrillar and connective tissue protein synthesis in contracting skeletal muscle. . . p. E163-E168. .
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Collagen synthesis in human musculoskeletal tissues and skin

Babraj, J. A., Cuthbertson, D., Smith, K., Langberg, H., Miller, B., Krogsgaard, M., Kjaer, M. & Rennie, M. (2005) Collagen synthesis in human musculoskeletal tissues and skin. . . p. E864-E869. .
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Selective activation of AMPK-PGC-1alpha or PKB-TSC2-mTOR signaling can explain specific adaptive responses to endurance or resistance training-like electrical muscle stimulation

Atherton, P., Babraj, J. A., Smith, K., Singh, J., Rennie, M. & Wackerhage, H. (2005) Selective activation of AMPK-PGC-1alpha or PKB-TSC2-mTOR signaling can explain specific adaptive responses to endurance or resistance training-like electrical muscle stimulation. . . p. 786-788. .
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2004

Myofibrillar and collagen protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle in young men after maximal shortening and lengthening contractions

Moore, D. R., Phillips, S. M., Babraj, J. A., Smith, K. & Rennie, M. J. (2004) Myofibrillar and collagen protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle in young men after maximal shortening and lengthening contractions. . . p. E1153-E1159. .
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Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle

Cuthbertson, D. ., Smith, K., Babraj, J., Leese, G., Waddell, T., Atherton, P., Wackerhage, H., Taylor, P. M. & Rennie, M. J. (2004) Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle. . . p. 422-424. .
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Protein synthesis rates in human muscles

Mittendorfer, B., Anderson, J., Plomgaard, P., Saltin, B., Babraj, J., Smith, K. & Rennie, M. (2004) Protein synthesis rates in human muscles. . . p. 203-211. .
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Human bone collagen synthesis is a rapid, nutritionally modulated process

Babraj, J. A., Smith, K., Cuthbertson, D. J., Rickhuss, P., Dorling, J. S. & Rennie, M. J. (2004) Human bone collagen synthesis is a rapid, nutritionally modulated process. . . p. 930-937. .
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2003

No effect of creatine supplementation on human myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic protein synthesis after resistance exercise

Louis, M., Poortmans, J. R., Francaux, M., Berré, J., Boisseau, N., Brassine, E., Cuthbertson, D. J., Smith, K., Babraj, J. A., Waddell, T. & Rennie, M. J. (2003) No effect of creatine supplementation on human myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic protein synthesis after resistance exercise. . . p. E1089-E1094. .
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2002

Creatine supplementation has no effect on human muscle protein turnover at rest in the postabsorptive or fed states

Louis, M., Poortmans, J. R., Francaux, M., Hultman, E. ., Berré, J., Boisseau, N., Young, V. R., Smith, K., Meier-Augenstein, W., Babraj, J. A., Waddell, T. & Rennie, M. J. (2002) Creatine supplementation has no effect on human muscle protein turnover at rest in the postabsorptive or fed states. . . p. E764-E770. .
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Sequential extracts of human bone show differing collagen synthetic rates

Babraj, J. A., Cuthbertson, D. J., Rickhuss, P., Meier-Augenstein, W., Smith, K., Bohe, J., Wolfe, R. & Rennie, M. (2002) Sequential extracts of human bone show differing collagen synthetic rates. . . p. 61-65. .
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More Information

Esteem

 Scientific Advisor to Edinburgh Biomedical Ltd

Meet the rest of the team

Professor David Lavallee

Professor David Lavallee

Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences | Professor of Duty of Care in Sport

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Dr Luis Calmeiro

Dr Luis Calmeiro

Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences | Lecturer

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