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Peter Emery

Professor

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Research interests

Professor Emery's current research interests relate to the detection, prevention and management of malnutrition, both in hospital patients and in older people in the community. It is estimated that 28% of patients are at risk of malnutrition when they are admitted to hospital and nutritional status often deteriorates during the patient’s stay in hospital. More routine screening for risk of malnutrition and improved nutritional care for those identified at risk is needed to counteract this problem. In the laboratory, Professor Emery maintains an interest in the response of skeletal muscle and other tissues to various forms of injury, including surgical trauma and oxidative stress. The main focus is on protein metabolism, in particular the rates of protein synthesis and degradation, as well as the formation of protein adducts. Protein synthesis has been shown to increase during the healing of a surgical wound and this increase appears not to be affected by mild or moderate malnutrition, although severe malnutrition is known to inhibit wound healing. Further work remains to be done to define the interrelationships between nutritional status, wound healing and the metabolic response to trauma. The main experimental approaches being used at present are proteomic techniques including 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis to separate proteins and mass spectrometry to identify the separated proteins. A method is currently being developed to measure the rate of synthesis of individual proteins in vivo.

Research interests (short)

Protein metabolism, injury, disease-induced malnutrition

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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