Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • muscular dystrophy
  • Muscle wasting in cancer induced cachexia and aging sarcopenia
  • Dietary supplementation
  • Exercise/muscle physiology
  • Clinical Exercise Science – Metabolic function and muscle mass and neuromuscular function

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Alan Hayes

Professor Alan Hayes is the Deputy Director of the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Sciences (AIMSS) and has made a number of important contributions to the application of exercise and dietary supplements in muscle disease and dysfunction.

Current projects focus on:

  • effects of dietary supplements on skeletal muscle
  • improving ageing muscle & developing models of sarcopenia
  • delaying severity and/or improving function in muscular dystrophy
  • reducing the impact of sarcopenia and prostate cancer with exercise.

Alan was one of the first to examine exercise in models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy demonstrating beneficial effects, even in older animals. He was the first person to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of b2-agonists (such a clenbuterol) as a treatment for muscular dystrophy, sparking a wave of research into other b2-agonists, and other anabolic compounds as treatment strategies for muscular wasting conditions.

In 1997 Alan began his career at Victoria University (VU) and received a Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Teaching Excellence in 2000. He expanded his research to be inclusive of the importance of muscle mass and function in a variety of health conditions, becoming Head of the Exercise Metabolism Unit in 2003.

Alan published seminal papers on the effect of the timing of protein supplementation on resistance exercise-induced increases in skeletal muscle mass and strength. This work won a Victorian State Government award for Applied Research.

Professor Hayes was one of the first to propose, and then directly demonstrate, that mitochondria are a major contributor to the deleterious phenotype of muscular dystrophy, with this research leading to the commencement of numerous clinical trials addressing mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic dysfunction in various myopathies.

Alan played a pivotal role in designing a unique three-way research partnership between The University of Melbourne (UoM), VU and Western Health at Sunshine Hospital.

He was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Research Excellence in Research Supervision in 2011, made an Honorary Associate Professor with the Department of Medicine at UoM in 2016 and promoted to Professor at VU in 2017.

His recent work has shed light on our understanding of the complex interplay between protein synthesis and muscle wasting in human prostate cancer patients. His current work focuses on the risk factors associated with the loss of bone mass, muscle mass and muscle strength with ageing that is leading to new treatment options and/or or prevention strategies.

Qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Melbourne, Australia, 1995
  • BSc(Hons), The University of Melbourne, Australia, 1991

Key publications

Year Citation
2010 Williams, A. D., Capitanio, N., & Hayes, A. (100101). Skeletal muscle in heart failure and type 2 diabetes.

Year Citation
2018 Cooke, M. B., Rybalka, E., Stathis, C. G., & Hayes, A. (180501). Myoprotective potential of creatine is greater than whey protein after chemically-induced damage in rat skeletal muscle. Nutrients, 10(5),

doi: 10.3390/nu10050553

2017 Hanson, E. D., Nelson, A. R., West, D. WD., Violet, J. A., O'Keefe, L., Phillips, S. M., & Hayes, A. (170301). Attenuation of resting but not load-mediated protein synthesis in prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 102(3), (1076-1083).

doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-3383

2015 Timpani, C. A., Hayes, A., & Rybalka, E. (151201). Revisiting the dystrophin-ATP connection: How half a century of research still implicates mitochondrial dysfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy aetiology. Medical Hypotheses, 85(6), (1021-1033).

doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.08.015

2014 Rybalka, E., Timpani, C. A., Cooke, M. B., Williams, A. D., & Hayes, A. (141226). Defects in mitochondrial ATP synthesis in dystrophin-deficient Mdx skeletal muscles may be caused by complex I insufficiency. PLoS ONE, 9(12),

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115763

2014 Scott, D., Hayes, A., Sanders, K. M., Aitken, D., Ebeling, P. R., & Jones, G. (140101). Operational definitions of sarcopenia and their associations with 5-year changes in falls risk in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults. Osteoporosis International, 25(1), (187-193).

doi: 10.1007/s00198-013-2431-5

2008 Williams, A. D., Cribb, P. J., Cooke, M. B., & Hayes, A. (080101). The effect of ephedra and caffeine on maximal strength and power in resistance-trained athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 22(2), (464-470).

doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181660320

2007 Cribb, P. J., Williams, A. D., Stathis, C. G., Carey, M. F., & Hayes, A. (070201). Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(2), (298-307).

doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000247002.32589.ef

2006 Cribb, P. J., & Hayes, A. (061101). Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(11), (1918-1925).

doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000233790.08788.3e

1996 Hayes, A., & Williams, D. A. (960101). Beneficial effects of voluntary wheel running on the properties of dystrophic mouse muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology, 80(2), (670-679).

doi: 10.1152/jappl.1996.80.2.670

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Intense Exercise for survival among men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (Interval - MCRPC)
From: Movember Foundation
Investigators: Prof Nigel Stepto
For period: 2018-2020
Not disclosed
Uncovering the therapeutic effects of osteocalcin in hind-limb immobilisation induced sarcopenia and insulin resistance
From: Diabetes Australia Research Trust
Investigators: Aspr Itamar Levinger
For period: 2018-2018
$59,967

How do common childhood chemotherapy regimens induce life-long skeletal muscle dysfunction and wasting when administered to paediatric mice?
From: Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Investigators: Dr Emma Rybalka
For period: 2017-2018
$10,000
Acclimatisation how long does it really take for animals to acclimate to new housing and equipment
From: Tecniplast Australia PTY Ltd
For period: 2017-2018
$5,000
Pre-clinical Safety Evaluation of Purine Nucleotide Therapy for the Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
From: Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Investigators: Dr Emma Rybalka
For period: 2017-2018
$10,000

Whey Peptide HW.3 for the Treatment & Prevention of Sarcopenic Muscle Wasting - Stage 2
From: BEGA Cheese Grant
Investigators: Dr Craig Goodman, Dr Emma Rybalka
For period: 2016-2017
Not disclosed

Assessing and combating dynapenia in diverse ethnic groups of older adults.
From: International Collaborative Research Grant Scheme
For period: 2015-2017
$18,400

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the following organisations for their support and essential contributions to my research:

  • Uniting AgeWell

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
4 PhD Associate supervisor
7 PhD Principal supervisor
4 Masters by Research Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (4) Associate supervisor
PhD (7) Principal supervisor
Masters by Research (4) Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
5 PhD Principal supervisor
1 PhD Associate supervisor
1 Masters by Research Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (5) Principal supervisor
PhD (1) Associate supervisor
Masters by Research (1) Principal supervisor

Other supervision of research students

Alan has supervised more than 40 Honours students

Teaching activities & experience

Alan is the Course Chair of Honours in Biomedical Sciences (SHBM).

Alan is Unit Coordinator of the following units: 

  • HBM3104 Exercise is Medicine
  • HBM3203 Integrative Physiology
  • RBM2800 Cardiorespitaory and Renal Physiology
  • RBM3264 Advanced Nerve and Muscle Physiology

Key academic roles

Dates Role Department / Organisation
Dec 2016 - Mar 2019
Deputy Director
Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Jan 2010 - Mar 2019
Assistant Dean
Victoria University
Feb 2014 - Mar 2019
Chair, Animal Ethics Committee
Victoria University
Jan 2009 - Dec 2010
Academic Coordinator Research and Research Training
Victoria University
Jan 2004 - May 2007
Head of School of Biomedical Sciences
Victoria University
Jan 2003 - Dec 2009
Head, Exercise Metabolism Unit
Victoria University
Show more academic roles
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Dec 2016 -
Mar 2019
Deputy Director
Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Jan 2010 -
Mar 2019
Assistant Dean
Victoria University
Feb 2014 -
Mar 2019
Chair, Animal Ethics Committee
Victoria University
Jan 2009 -
Dec 2010
Academic Coordinator Research and Research Training
Victoria University
Jan 2004 -
May 2007
Head of School of Biomedical Sciences
Victoria University
Jan 2003 -
Dec 2009
Head, Exercise Metabolism Unit
Victoria University
Show more academic roles

Key industry, community & government roles

Dates Role Department/Organisation
Jan 2018 - Mar 2019
Chair, Human Research Ethics Committee
National Institute of Integrative Medicine
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2018 - Mar 2019
Chair, Human Research Ethics Committee
National Institute of Integrative Medicine

Awards

Year Award
2011

Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Research Excellence in Research Supervision - Victoria University

2004

Sport and Recreation Industry award for Applied Research in Sport - Victorian Government

Invited keynote speeches

Year Title/Description
2013

Dairy protein intake and resistance exercise for the prevention of sarcopenia in elderly people.

International Dairy Federation: World Dairy Summit, Yokohama, Japan

Professional memberships

  • Member, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Membership Officer, Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research
  • Member, American Physiological Society
  • Member, American Society for Nutrition
  • Member, Australian Physiological Society
  • Academic Member, Exercise and Sports Science Australia

Media appearances

13th April 2018

Health check: why do we get muscle cramps?

The Conversation