Stem cells are unspecialised cells that have the ability to differentiate into specialised cells for tissue growth, repair and regeneration, and emerging research has indicated that exercise may be used as a tool to exploit their healing capabilities. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess many properties that promote tissue repair which makes them a favourable stem cell source for treating many diseases and injuries, however little information exists about how they respond to an exercise stimulus. My PhD research is therefore investigating the effect of exercise-induced changes in blood borne factors, upon MSC characteristics. By further understanding this, the information can then be used to identify the optimal exercise for promoting the endogenous stem cell recruitment and function, and understand the principle factors involved that may lend themselves to improving in vitro culture of such cells and autologous transplant or re-infusion.
Charlotte has also received a research grant to collaborate with the Molecular Muscle Physiology Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she will continue to build upon the data obtained in her PhD studies.