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Young Researcher Award Winner 2016 : Dr. Colleen Muñoz

Bringing a fresh perspective on hydration science, the first female H4H Young Researcher of the Year award winner was named on June 29th in Évian, France at the 8th annual Hydration for Health Annual Scientific Conference.
Colleen Muñoz, PhD, shared her research on exercise, hydration and stress physiology with more than 170 participants in attendance.

Currently assistant professor at the University of Hartford (Connecticut, USA), Prof Muñoz has published research in peer-reviewed journals such as the European Journal of Clinical NutritionJournal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  Prof Muñoz’s research examines stress responses associated with dehydration, exercise and heat exposure in humans at the cellular and genetic level.  This was not Dr Muñoz’s first time at the H4H Annual Scientific Conference, as she presented research on the efficacy of hydration biomarkers in daily life activities in 2013.  

The purpose of the research presented at the H4H Annual Scientific Conference, “Combined Dehydration, Exercise and Environmental Heat Stress Increase Lipid Peroxidation and DNA Damage” was to examine the effect of combined exercise, dehydration and environmental stress on both circulating and cellular markers of lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, and lipid-peroxidation induced DNA damage.  With 30 healthy male subjects, the study induced dehydration through an overnight (16h) fluid deprivation and added exercise (2h of cycling) plus heat (temperature 38XX C) to determine if these changes would increase lipid peroxidation and DNA damage in the subject’s cells.  While dehydration alone did not result in increases in selected markers, the combination of the three resulted in elevated levels, although 24 hours after recovery, the markers did return to near baseline levels. (for complete study, click here)

Dr Muñoz is the fifth H4H Young Researcher of the Year award winner.  Healthy hydration is growing as a topic of increasing popularity in the scientific community. The Young Researcher of the Year award recognizes innovative research in the field of hydration and health done by a young researcher.  Applications are reviewed and the winner selected by the Expert Working Group of the H4H Initiative.