Yannis Pitsiladis (GRC)

Yannis PitsiladisProfessor Yannis Pitsiladis has an established history of research into the importance of lifestyle and genetics for human health and performance. Following 15 years at the University of Glasgow, Scotland where he created the largest known DNA biobank from world-class athletes, he was appointed (in 2013) Professor of Sport and Exercise Science and Director of the FIMS Reference Collaborating Centre of Sports Medicine for Anti-Doping Research at the University of Brighton. His current research priority is the application of “OMICS” (i.e. genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics) to the detection of drugs in sport with particular reference to recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) and growth hormone (rHuGH).  His most recent research is funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), he is currently a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical and Scientific Commission, a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Scientific Commission of the International Sports Medicine Federation (FIMS), and has sat on two WADA committees. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and an expert committee pool member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). He is an adjunct Professor of Medical Physiology at Addis Ababa University (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). He has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers, written and edited a number of books and has featured in numerous research documentaries (e.g. BBC, NHK Japan, CNBC) and popular books (e.g. Bounce, The Sports Gene). Professor Pitsiladis is the founding member of the SUB2 marathon project (www.sub2hrs.com): the SUB2 marathon project is the first dedicated international research initiative made up of specialist multidisciplinary scientists from academia, elite athletes and strategic industry partners with the aim to promote clean marathon running i.e. high performance marathon running without doping. He is also the founding member of the Athlome Project: The main aim of the Athlome project is to characterize the genetics and biology of sport and exercise medicine, as a platform to understanding healthy body function and major chronic disease conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes). The Athlome project captures genotype and phenotype data of elite athletes, adaptation to exercise training (in both human and animal models), and muscle-related injuries from excising studies and consortiums worldwide. To achieve this ambitious goal, different approaches are being used including (but not limited to) genome-wide association studies (GWAS), whole exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, genotype-phenotype association, and epigenetic analyses. Particular priority is also given to tissue-specific and systemic “omics” analysis (such as transcriptomics in the first instance) to develop personalized medicine applications including “intelligent training” and the discovery of “omics” signatures of doping.

Doping: Next essential steps