Written by: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate


SFU BPK professor looking at ways to prevent cheating in sports

SFU biomedical physiology and kinesiology (BPK) professor David Clarke and his team are creating new ways to catch athletes who are doping.

     Current doping detection methods look at athletes’ blood and urine for substances and increased levels of hormones and blood markers. Clarke’s team is looking at how additional data from athlete monitoring devices, such as power meters, can create more robust tests for detecting doping.

     Power meters are training tools that measure an athlete’s critical power, which is the level of physical intensity an athlete can achieve over longer periods of times. A second test may be based on the athlete’s “work-above threshold,” which is the amount of power an athlete can expend when completing tasks that require an energy level above their critical power.

     Clarke believes that significant changes in the above two measurements could suggest doping and might even provide the specific doping method and agent.

     More work needs to be done, however, as these methods are useful only in short-duration events and data collection procedures are still uncertain.


SFU health sciences researchers look at how racism affects chronic disease

SFU health sciences professor Angela Kaida is researching the effects of racism on women living with HIV.

     Her research, published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, involved over 1,400 Canadian women and found that women experiencing racism were less likely to get HIV treatment. Ethnic identity itself did not seem to be related to loss from HIV care; rather, it was the environment in which the women lived in that affected their level of HIV care.

     Indigenous women appear to experience the highest amount of racial discrimination. Kaida believes the content of her findings “calls for culturally-competent HIV care for women living with HIV in Canada.”

     Meanwhile, PhD health sciences student Krista Stelkia who is of Syilx/Tlingit heritage is also looking at how racism affects other chronic disease rates among Indigenous peoples.

     Stelkia plans to interview Indigenous people with chronic health issues while looking at Canadian health survey data to analyze how chronic disease progression and treatment are affected by racism. She hopes to use her research to find health-care gaps and develop culturally appropriate treatments.