New Faculty Profile: David Wright
David Wright joined UBC as a Professor in Exercise, Metabolism, Nutrition and Health, with a joint appointment in LFS and the School of Kinesiology. Previously, he was a professor at the University of Guelph where he recently held a Canada Research Chair in Lipids, Metabolism and Health (Tier 2).
Wright also holds a concurrent appointment as an investigator at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR), where his lab is currently located with multiple ongoing projects.
Wright’s research interest has always been in the entanglement of nutrition and exercise: “I’ve always believed that exercise and nutrition go hand in glove. I don’t think you can really understand one without understanding the other.”
One of his current projects focuses on identifying ways to counteract the side effects of antipsychotic drugs: “We’ve been using exercise as a model to try to identify pathways that we can target that might ‘mimic’ some of the beneficial effects of exercise.”
Wright noticed a doubling of the prescription of antipsychotic drugs in North America over the last decade. Some of these drugs, including those prescribed for schizophrenia, anxiety, and bipolar disorders, have significant metabolic side effects such as weight gain and rapid increases in blood sugar with each dose.
“Once individuals take these drugs, they are pretty much on them for their entire life. I think it’s really important that we come up with some ways to mitigate these metabolic side effects,” says Wright.
On a personal level, Wright, who enjoys the outdoors, is excited to be back in Vancouver where he grew up. Professionally, he wishes to bridge LFS and the School of Kinesiology.
“I am really looking forward to being able to facilitate some further collaborative research between those academic units.”