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USADA’s 15th Annual Science Symposium Unites International Experts to Shape Anti-Doping Research Initiatives

Leading academics and outside experts from nearly 30 countries and diverse scientific fields convened for the USADA Annual Symposium on Anti-Doping Science, in Bellevue, Washington, this past weekend, where they explored the theme, “Recovery, Repair, and Regeneration: From Steroids to Stem Cells.”

The 15th Annual Science Symposium united more than 100 world-renowned scientists and researchers from fields outside of anti-doping, as well as from WADA-accredited laboratories, national anti-doping organizations, and international sport federations, in a joint endeavor to create meaningful anti-doping research initiatives for the future.

The first day of the Symposium dealt with the structure and molecular biology of skeletal muscle, including the role of IGF-1, anabolic steroids, and satellite cells in repair and regeneration. Dr. Kristian Gundersen presented the case for muscle “memory” after exposure to anabolic steroids. On day two, Dr. Shally Bhasin spoke about the implications of recent studies on the testosterone mechanisms of enhancement in men and women. The discussion session that followed covered male hypogonadism and female hyperandrogenism in sport. At the conference, Dr. David Harris, Dr. Johnny Huard, and Dr. Rocky Tuan also discussed stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine of muscle and connective tissue. In addition, the attendees discussed a variety of new therapeutic agents and methods that affect both muscle growth and metabolism that have recently appeared.

“The Symposium once again brought together experts and the anti-doping community to focus on the challenges facing anti-doping policy; this time in light of advances in understanding muscle recovery and regeneration,” said USADA Chief Science Officer, Dr. Larry Bowers. “The topics discussed at the Symposium will result in new research and policies that address these issues in the next three to five years.”

During the Symposium, Dr. Bowers was also honored for his 16 exceptional years of service with USADA in anticipation of his upcoming retirement in November 2016. Dr. Bowers initiated the Symposium in 2002 to foster international collaboration in anti-doping science, and he has led a total of 15 Symposiums, which have become one of the world’s most important annual gatherings of anti-doping scientists.

A globally recognized anti-doping science expert, Dr. Bowers has served as USADA’s Chief Science Officer since 2009. Dr. Bowers has also published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and served on various advisory boards for major organizations as an expert in areas like testing protocol, deterrence, analytical toxicology, laboratory standards, and drug metabolism. With his cutting-edge work on anti-doping science, Dr. Bowers has been an invaluable leader at USADA and an instrumental asset to the global anti-doping community. His contributions will be greatly missed.

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