With the European Space Agency

Dr Diane Cooper was awarded a contract with PRODEX and the European Space Agency to conduct metabolic research on a bed rest study which took place in the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Cologne, Germany.

For this particular bed rest study, healthy males were recruited to go to bed for 60 days. They were divided into two groups, a control group (bed rest only) and an intervention groups (short duration but high intensity jumps using a horizontal sledge system). The participants could not get up for any reason and they have always had one shoulder in contact with the bed at all times. All activities were undertaken in this position including scientific testing, eating, sleeping, social activities, shower and bathroom activities. 

Dr Kiera Ward, worked with Dr Diane to investigate novel biomarkers of insulin resistance with the aim of identifying a “best set” of biomarkers to reflect overall and organ specific metabolic health. Dr Kiera completed her PhD research based on this research. Their first paper looked at Fetuin-A, a novel hepatokine, and you can read our findings/research paper HERE. You can listen to Dr Kiera Ward speak about her research in the video below.

Dr Donal O’Gorman and his team in DCU are conducting very interesting metabolic work on the muscle biopsies taken from the participants in this study and the publications are to follow. Diane and Kiera are continuing with this work and additional papers will follow soon.

We would sincerely like to thank Dr Donal O’Gorman, PORDEX, the European Space Agency and all of the team in the DLR for the opportunity to be part of this fascinating research.