Wednesday 7th September - Friday 9th
September 2016 at Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere
The Psychobiology Section is celebrating
its 33rd birthday in 2016 making this Annual Scientific Meeting our one-third
of a century anniversary. Registration and abstract submissions at this extra
special event will be open until 10th July. Please register soon to avoid
The meeting is open to all researchers and
scientists interested in psychobiology providing a friendly and sociable forum
for networking, showcasing research findings, developing collaborations and
keeping up to date with the latest developments in the field. Book Here
Trending Saliva Research and Diagnostics, this month we feature:
"A Milestone in Salivary Cortisol Research"
Last year marked a milestone in Salivary Bioscience history. Salivary Cortisol has now been featured in over 25,000 scientific research publications. For this issue of the Salivary Bioscience Bulletin, we wanted to take a moment to thank the scientific community for allowing Salimetrics to be a part of this journey.
Since its release in 1998, the Salimetrics Salivary Cortisol Assay Kit has evolved from being a novel alternative to radioimmunoassays to becoming a fundamental building block of Salivary Bioscience Research. During this evolution, the number of scientific publications involving salivary cortisol has increased over 2,000%. Salivary Cortisol is now widespread across many fields of research.........
Each month we will feature an expert from the Salimetrics Saliva Research Community. We will bring together University Researchers around the World in order to encourage the sharing of ideas. We want to encourage Collaborative Research and to maximise Grant Applications / Awards in these challenging economic times. We have made it possible for you to communicate directly with the "Expert" featured.
Helen Hanstock, Teaching Fellow in Sports
Physiology and Nutrition, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
Helen completed her
first degree in Physiological Sciences at the University of Oxford, UK, before
pursuing a PhD in exercise immunology under the supervision of Prof. Neil Walsh
at Bangor University. In August 2015 Helen took up a Teaching Fellowship at Mid
Sweden University, home to the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre.Her research interests focus on the
interplay between physical, psychological and environmental stress, immune status,
health and performance outcomes.
Interview with Helen:
1. Can you tell us something about the themes of research programme?
I completed my PhD under the supervision of
Professor Neil Walsh at Bangor University. We were very interested in the
potential of using non-invasive markers of immune status to monitor infection
susceptibility. Non-invasive immune monitoring could be of particular use to
athletes and military personnel undertaking strenuous training who may become
immune-compromised and therefore be at increased risk of contracting an upper
respiratory tract infections (URTI). URTIs have been linked to missed training
and a decreased chance of success in achieving competitive goals (Raysmith
& Drew, 2016).
2. If you had to pick one publication in the past 5 years as "the best of the best", what would it be an why?
Hanstock, H.G., Walsh, N.P., Edwards, J.P.,
Fortes, M.B., Cosby, S.L., Nugent, A., Curran, T., Coyle, P.V., Ward, M.D. and
Yong, X.H., 2015. Tear Fluid SIgA as a Noninvasive Biomarker of Mucosal
Immunity and Common Cold Risk. Med Sci Sports Exerc 48(3):569-77. This paper contains the bulk of data from my
PhD thesis which set out to explore the potential of tear SIgA as a biomarker
of immune competence. We first were able to demonstrate a fall in tear SIgA
secretion rate in the week before participants reported with upper respiratory
symptoms, suggesting that a fall in tear SIgA may be indicative of compromised
immunity to common colds. We then saw that both 2 hours moderate-intensity
treadmill running and a brief (2 min) psychological stressor caused transient
depression of tear SIgA concentration – showing initial evidence of a tear SIgA
response to acute stress of a magnitude that may compromise immunity to the common
cold. We also measured saliva, and although our salivary SIgA data were less
promising in this study, previous work has also shown a relationship between
saliva SIgA and common cold risk, such as the paper by Gleeson et al (2013).
3. How did you get interested in using tears in your research?
Like saliva, tears are a non-invasive medium that have the potential to
be developed for bio-monitoring purposes. Unlike saliva, there has been no work
done to-date on the potential of tears for bio-monitoring within my field of
sport, health and exercise sciences. We know that transmission of common colds
can occur via contact with the eyes and nose, whilst the mouth and saliva
appears to be more robust to common cold exposure. Therefore, we were
interested to investigate the capability of tear SIgA analyses to predict
common cold risk.
4. Which tear analytes are you working with?
To date we have successfully measured SIgA, lactoferrin and lysozyme in the tear fluid. However, there is a whole world of possibility for undertaking work on other tear analytes in the future!
5. How has working with tears changed the direction of your research plans?
started my PhD with the aim of carrying out a series of feasibility studies to
assess the potential of tear SIgA as an immune monitoring tool. The outcomes
from my PhD serve to strengthen the rationale to continue with our work
exploring the relationship between tear SIgA secretion, stress and immune
6. What analyte is not measured in tears now that you would hope could be measured in the future?
are some challenges with working with tears. Our unstimulated tear samples were
typically little more than 1 μl in volume which makes for a very precious small
sample! So, large dilution factors are required in order to generate the volume
of tear required for assay detection. It would be great to see some
high-sensitivity assays optimised for tear analyses for other biomarkers such
as cortisol, for example
7. What advice would you give to a young investigator who might be considering working with tears in their research?
Take time to practice the technique and familiarise your participants so that you can avoid stimulating tear production. If the ELISA kit you are using is not optimised for tears, take care to ensure that your dilutions are appropriate for the range of the assay based on normal tear concentration ranges for the analyte you are interested in.
8. Tell us something about yourself ( a hobby or special interest) that we would be surprised to know?
I love to try new sports, which has led me to get involved with some quite niche activities along the way. I once went to the World Championships in Biathlon Orienteering (orienteering combined with rifle shooting), representing GB against seven other nations in a rural Swedish forest!
Gleeson, M., Bishop, N., Oliveira, M. and
Tauler, P., 2013. Influence of training load on upper respiratory tract
infection incidence and antigen‐stimulated cytokine production. Scand J
Med Sci Sport, 23(4), pp.451-457. Link to Salimetrics SIgA Assay