McMaster University

Medical Sciences
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Brian Timmons

Brian Timmons

 

PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests

Dr. Brian Timmons is the Canada Research Chair in Child Health & Exercise Medicine, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University. He is Research Director and Clinical Development Lead of the Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program, Associate Member in the Department of Kinesiology and Offord Centre for Child Studies, and Scientist with CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research. Brian’s research program examines 3 inter-related themes: translational science, clinical innovation, and public health, using a lab bench to park bench approach to study the role of exercise as medicine for children and youth.

The Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program encompasses research, education, and clinical components. Integration of these 3 pillars makes the program unique in the world. The diversity of the Child Health & Exercise Medicine program creates a rich training environment. Students and trainees are exposed to a combination of clinical research methods and basic science techniques. Exercise laboratory protocols include cycle ergometry, indirect calorimetry, and spirometry. We use accelerometry to measure physical activity. ELISA, cell isolation and flow cytometry, metabolite analysis and stable isotope methods are also used in our studies.

 


 

Research in the CHEM program spans 4 broad themes in pediatric exercise science and medicine:

  1. We are interested in how the immune system is involved in the adaptation to physical activity during growth. Studies are investigating the impact of exercise on inflammation in children with a chronic inflammatory disease. To overcome some of the ethical limitations in exercise research with children, we are now developing an in vitro model of skeletal muscle adaptation. This model should prove useful in understanding the mechanisms linking physical activity with healthy growth and development.
  2. Another research theme deals with growth-related changes in energy metabolism during exercise and nutritional considerations for active children. In these studies we used stable isotope methods to examine the utilization of different macronutrients.
  3. Other studies investigate children’s exercise responses in different environmental conditions. We are currently investigating thermoregulation and rehydration in children.
  4. While most of our research deals with school-aged children, we also study the relationship between physical activity and health during early childhood. Current projects in this area have investigated the reliability of fitness tests in preschool children and the relationship to objectively measured physical activity using accelerometers.

 


 

Students and trainees at CHEM are exposed to a unique combination of clinical research methods and basic science techniques. Exercise laboratory protocols include cycle ergometry, indirect calorimetry, and spirometry. We rely heavily on accelerometry to measure free living physical activity in healthy children and in children with a chronic disease. ELISA, cell isolation and flow cytometry, metabolite analysis and stable isotope methods are also used in many of our studies.

Contact

McMaster University
HSC 3N27G

telephone: (905) 521-2100 ext. 77615/77218
email: timmonbw@mcmaster.ca

 

Program Area

Physiology & Pharmacology

 

Research Focus

Children and Adolescents, Physical Activity and Exercise, Health and Disease, Inflammation, Energy Metabolism, Nutrition

Selected Publications

Sharma B, D Allison, P Tucker, D Mabbott, and BW Timmons. Cognitive and neural effects of exercise following traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of randomized and clinical controlled trials. Brain Inj, doi: 10.1080/02699052.2019.1683892, 2019

Colley RC, J Clarke, CY Doyon, I Janssen, JJ Lang, BW Timmons, and MS Tremblay. Trends in physical fitness among Canadian children and youth. Health Rep, 30(10): 3-13. doi: 10.25318/82-003-x201901000001-eng. PMID: 31617932, 2019

Proudfoot NA, S King-Dowling, J Cairney, S Bray, MJ MacDonald, and BW Timmons. Physical activity and trajectories of cardiovascular health indicators during early childhood. Pediatrics, 144(1). pii: e20182242. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2242.

Spreafico F, M Murelli, BW Timmons, M Massimino, and R Barr. Sport activities and exercise as part of routine cancer care in children and adolescents. Pediatr Blood Cancer, 66(8): e27826, 2019