GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plc have announced the opening of the GSK Human Performance Lab – a world class science facility focused on applied and discovery research, which combines GSK science expertise, external advisors and cutting edge technology dedicated to deepening our understanding of human performance to enable people to do more, feel better and live longer.
The GSK Human Performance Lab will work in partnership with individuals and organisations committed to elite human performance – professional athletes, sports National Governing Bodies, sports teams, military personal, extreme explorers –to better understand how the body and brain function. The research carried out will help GSK Human Performance Lab scientists develop improved training, recovery, nutrition and competition programmes for its partners, enabling them to break through the limits of human performance.
Once the research has been achieved, this innovative science can be applied to improving the wellbeing of the general population by informing the development of innovative products. The initial studies will focus on protein, cognition and bone health.
Emma Walmsley, President of GSK Consumer Healthcare, said “The potential of the GSK Human Performance Lab is exciting. Our elite partners will benefit from understanding what drives and improves their own performance, and the science behind their success will help us develop products that better meet the healthcare needs of all our consumers.”
The GSK Human Performance Lab has the world’s most advanced sport technology, scientists, research and development capabilities under one roof. Leading research in six core pillars of expertise: Strength, Stamina, Cognition, Hydration, Metabolism and Recovery, it will work with partners to provide:
• Cognitive assessment and training using state of the art customised, sport-specific technology.
• Dietary and nutritional assessment, including dietary analysis, sport-specific needs analysis, expert recommendations.
• Body composition assessments, including DXA scanning.
• Endurance assessments, including economy, substrate utilisation, lactate profiling, training prescription andV̇O2 max using cycle ergometry, treadmill and swim flume technology.
• Environmental physiology - acclimation and assessments of responses to environmental conditions ranging from -20⁰C to 50⁰C, 10% to 90% relative humidity, simulated altitude of 5,500m.
• Strength and Power assessment via isokinetic dynamometry and instrumented Olympic lifting platforms.
• Speed, Agility & Quickness (SAQ) on a range of surfaces, including 4G astroturf and a two lane Mondo running track.
• Hydration status and sweat composition analysis via sweat patch and blood / urine analysis.
• Recovery strategies – expert advice and analysis of bespoke strategies, including multi-depth hot and cold plunge pools.
• Training load tolerance and adaptation through specific biomarkers of immunity, stress response and anabolism
• Health and performance status through a full range of haematological assessments.
THE GSK HUMAN PERFORMANCE LAB TEAM
As Director of Research and Development, Dr. Ken van Someren will lead the research agenda, delivering quantifiable performance results for our partners and informing GSK's broader scientific development. Prior to joining GSK, van Someren was Director of Sports Science at the English Institute of Sport, leading its support for TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at London 2012.
Supporting the research agenda, will be a panel of external advisors representing leaders from across the field of sports performance. In their role, they will provide insight, guidance and relevant direction to ensure the research conducted by the facility is at the forefront of human performance and disseminating the findings back to the elite population. The panel consists of:
• Dr. Duncan French, Technical Lead Strength and Conditioning, English Institute of Sport.
• James Collins, Head Nutritionist, Arsenal Football Club.
• Dr. Kevin Currell, Head of Performance Nutrition, English Institute of Sport.
• Mark Ellison, Performance Nutritionist, GB Boxing.
• Dr. Matt Parker, Head of Performance, England Rugby Football Union.
• Dr. Scott Drawer, Head of Research & Development, English Institute of Sport.
• Professor Vincent Walsh, University College of London, Human Brain Research.
In her role as GSK Human Performance Lab Technical Advisor, Dame Kelly Holmes will work alongside the GSK science team and expert panel, bringing her expertise as a double Olympic gold medalist and former PT instructor in the Army to develop the research agenda.
The GSK Human Performance Lab already has a number of confirmed partners, including; Olympic gold and bronze medalists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, British Triathlon, McLaren, Amir Khan, and polar explorers Ben Saunders and Richard Parks.