Faculty & Staff

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Charles Putman, PhD

Associate Professor

Physical Education and Recreation | Medicine & Dentistry

About Me

Degrees

  • PhD – Medical Sciences, Physiology and Pharmacology, McMaster University
  • BHK – Kinesiology, University of Windsor 


Background

  • Dr. Putman’s academic interests began in the areas of Kinesiology and Biology at the University of Windsor where, as an undergraduate (BHK), he developed an interest in skeletal muscle biochemistry.
  • After a short period working in the health and fitness industry, he resumed his academic training in the Medical Sciences Graduate Program at McMaster University (PhD) where he investigated metabolic regulation in human skeletal muscle.   
  • After completing a 3-year Postdoctoral Fellowship (funded by the Medical Research Council of Canada & the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada) in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Konstanz (Germany), Dr. Putman joined the University of Regina as an Assistant Professor (Exercise Biochemistry) in the Departments of Kinesiology and Biology.
  • Dr. Putman was subsequently recruited by the University of Alberta to join the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation (Exercise Biochemistry) as an Assistant Professor and Medical Scholar of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR). 
  • As an Associate Professor he received an AHFMR Senior Scholar Award for integrated multidisciplinary research investigating cellular and molecular aspects of skeletal muscle adaption in healthy and diseased states.
  • Dr. Putman also holds a cross appointment in Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry).



Research

Skeletal muscle contractions generate the forces that allow us to interact with our environment.  The structural and functional characteristics of skeletal muscle fibres determine the nature and quality of those interactions.  A post-mitotic tissue, skeletal muscle possesses considerable plasticity that allows it to dramatically change its structural and functional properties to meet new demands placed on it by the external environment.  My research uses a rodent model of muscle training (chronic low-frequency electrical stimulation - CLFS) that converts fast contracting (fast-twitch) muscle that fatigues rapidly into a slower contracting, fatigue resistant phenotype.  This model forms the primary experimental basis to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of skeletal muscle plasticity in vivo.  Current studies focus on determining: (1) how calcineurin signalling directs CLFS-induced fast-to-slow fibre type transitions; (2) the contributions of muscle progenitor cell populations in directing fast-to-slow fibre type transitions.




Teaching

• Senior undergraduate course in Human Gross Anatomy (KIN 400)

• Graduate course in Biochemistry Laboratory Techniques (KIN 517)

• Currently provides supervision to several graduate students.

•  Dr. Putman is available to supervise 2 additional graduate students and is now accepting applications.