Dr. David Wright

A photograph of Dr. David Wright.
Phone number: 
ext. 56751
ANNU 334
ANNU 322

During my undergraduate studies in the faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary I became fascinated with understanding how the body adapts to regularly performed exercise. These initial learning experiences prompted me to pursue graduate studies in exercise physiology first at Arizona State University for the completion of my MSc and then at Ball State University where I received my doctorate in Human Bioenergetics.

After the completion of my PhD I completed  a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. John Holloszy’s laboratory at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. During this time my research was focused on examining the biochemical pathways activated by exercise that lead to 1) increases in skeletal muscle glucose uptake and 2) enhanced skeletal muscle mitochondrial content. Towards the end of my postdoctoral fellowship several papers were published demonstrating that commonly prescribed anti-diabetic medications such as rosiglitazone can increase mitochondrial content in adipose tissue. While effective in improving insulin action these compounds have many unwanted side effects. Since we have known for over 4 decades that exercise increases mitochondrial density in skeletal muscle, I wondered if exercise would have the same effect in other tissues such as adipose, and if so, what mechanisms could be mediate this effect.

In 2006, I began my first faculty position as the University of Alberta and investigated the effects of exercise and diet on adipose tissue function and metabolism, and in turn how these alterations, regulate skeletal muscle and whole body glucose homeostasis. Since 2010 I have held a tier II Canada Research Chair in Lipids, Metabolism and Health in the department of HHNS. My research continues to focus on how diet and exercise effect adipose tissue metabolism.

BPE - University of Calgary
MS - Arizona State University 
PhD - Ball State University

Ritchie IR, Macdonald TL, Wright DC, Dyck DJ. Adiponectin is sufficient, but not required, for exercise-induced increases in the expression of skeletal muscle mitochondrial enzymes. J Physiol. 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

Castellani L, Root-McCaig J, Frendo-Cumbo S, Beaudoin MS, Wright DC. Exercise training protects against an acute inflammatory insult in mouse epididymal adipose tissue. J Appl Physiol. 2014. [Epub ahead of print].

Beaudoin MS, Perry CC, Arkell A, Chabowski A, Simpson JA, Wright DC, Holloway GP. In the ZDF rat, impairments in mitochondrial palmitoyl-CoA respiratory kinetics that precede the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy are prevented by resveratrol supplementation. J Physiol. 2014. [Epub ahead of print].

Wan Z, Root McCaig J, Castellani L, Kemp BE, Steinberg GR, Wright DC. Evidence for the role of AMPK in regulating PGC-1 alpha expression and mitochondrial proteins in mouse epididymal adipose tissue. Obesity. 2014; 22(3):730-8.

Beaudoin MS, Snook LA, Arkell AM, Stefanson A, Wan Z, Simpson JA, Holloway GP, Wright DC. Novel effects of rosiglitazone on SMAD2 and SMAD3 signaling in white adipose tissue of diabetic rats. Obesity. 2014. [Epub ahead of print].

Wright DC. Exercise- and resveratrol-mediated alterations in adipose tissue metabolism. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014; 39(2):109-16.

Williams CB, Zelt JG, Catellani LN, Little JP, Jung ME, Wright DC, Tschakovsky ME, Gurd BJ. Changes in mechanisms proposed to mediate fat loss following an acute bout of high-intensity interval and endurance exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013; 38(12):1236-44.

Smith BK, Perry CG, Herbst EA, Ritchie IR, Beaudoin MS, Smith JC, Neufer PD, Wright DC, Holloway GP. Submaximal ADP-stimulated respiration is impaired in ZDF rats and recovered by resveratrol. J Physiol. 2013; 591(Pt 23):6089-101.

Macdonald TL, Wan Z, Frendo-Cumbo S, Dyck DJ, Wright DC. IL-6 and epinephrine have divergent fiber type effects on intramuscular lipolysis. J Appl Physiol. 2013; 115(10):1457-63.

Mennes E, Dungan CM, Frendo-Cumbo S, Williamson DL, Wright DC. Aging-Associated Reductions in Lipolytic and Mitochondrial Proteins in Mouse Adipose Tissue Are Not Rescued by Metformin Treatment. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013. [Epub ahead of print].

Beaudoin MS, Snook LA, Arkell AM, Simpson JA, Holloway GP, Wright DC. Resveratrol supplementation improves white adipose tissue function in a depot-specific manner in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013; 305(5):R542-51.

Harasym AC, Thrush AB, Harper ME, Wright DC, Chan CB. Enhanced glucose homeostasis in BHE/cdb rats with mutated ATP synthase. Mitochondrion. 2013; 13(4):320-9.

O’Neill HM, Palanivel R, Wright DC, MacDonald T, Lally JS, Schertzer JD, Steinberg GR. IL-6 is not essential for exercise-induced increases in glucose update. J Appl Physiol. 2013; 114(9):1151-7.

Wan Z, Matravadia S, Holloway GP, Wright DC. FAT/CD36 regulates PEPCK expression in adipose tissue. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013; 304(5):C478-84.

HHNS*6710 Advanced Topics in Nutrition and Exercise

Name Role
Bush, N. MSc Student
Medak, K. MSc Student
Mithwani, M. MSc Student
Townsend, L. PhD Student
Wojdyla, G. MSc Student