I received my Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh in Exercise Physiology while also acquiring my M.P.H. (Physical Activity Epidemiology) in the Graduate School of Public Health. I completed formal academic training in Molecular Genetics in the Department of Human Genetics as a post-doctoral fellow and currently hold a tenure track faculty appointment at Kent State University.
The focus of my research efforts is the interaction of environmental and genetic factors on the loss of muscle mass with aging as well as the effect of these factors on the response to resistance exercise training.
The interaction of genetic and environmental factors on muscle loss with aging is being studied in the "Genetic Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Aging." I am a co-investigator on this NIH-funded ancillary study utilizing the Health Aging and Body Composition cohort (Health ABC). Dr. Robert Ferrell at the University of Pittsburgh is the Principal Investigator.
This population of 70-79 year old men and women (n˜3,000) has been followed for 7 years to determine environmental factors associated with muscle loss and disability. We are in the process of characterizing 150 genetic variations in this cohort to determine the heritable component of age-associated muscle loss and the interaction with known environmental factors.
The logical extension of this work is to determine the genetic and environmental factors associated with muscle gain with resistance exercise training.
I recently completed the study, "Molecular Epidemiology of Resistance Exercise Training," which explored these questions in young men and women (n=154). In 2003, I initiated a pilot study to examine these questions in 60-69 year old men and women.
The study design includes 12 weeks of high intensity training, nutritional education, extensive nutritional evaluation (food-logs, food frequency questionnaire), post-exercise protein supplement (Boost HP™ provided by Mead-Johnson), strength assessments (1-Repetition Maximum, isokinetic strength), performance assessment (400 M, 20 M walk, gait assessment, chair stands), body composition assessment (DEXA), physical exam and medical history, cognitive function (Stroop Color-Word test) and a battery of psychosocial variables.
In the process of developing and conducting this study, I collaborated with a wide range of faculty outside of our department and University, including 2 faculty from the School of Nursing (Ruth Lugwick, Molly Singletary), faculty in Gerontology (Greg Smith), Nutrition (Natalie Caine-Bish), Athletic Training (Kim Peer) and Genetics (Robert Ferrell, Candace Cammerer). Following the short term intervention, I will conduct longitudinal assessment of participants and controls to determine the effect of exercise training intervention on health outcomes.
Bachelor of Arts (Chemistry)
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 1987-1991
Master of Public Health (Epidemiology)
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1998-2001
Doctor of Philosophy (Exercise Physiology)
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1995-2000
Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Molecular Genetics)
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2000-2002
Brain, Behavior & Immunity Center, University of Pittsburgh 1993-1994
Graduate Research Assistant
Human Energy Research Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh 1995-1999
Health, Physical, Recreation Education Department, U. of Pittsburgh 1995-1999
Department of Exercise Sport and Leisure, Kent State University 2002-current
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh 2003-2007
1995-present American College of Sports Medicine
1995-present American College of Sports Medicine (Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference)
1998-present Sigma Xi Research Society
2000-present American Physiological Society
2000-present American Association for the Advancement of Science
2000-present Researchers Against Inactivity and Disease (RID)
2003 Kent State University Teaching Scholar
Grant Title: "Genetic Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Aging"
Principal Investigator: Robert E. Ferrell
Role in project: Co-investigator (25% effort)
Agency: National Institutes of Health
Type: RO1, 09/01/02-8/30/07, $2,215,000.00
Description: This project will assess 150 gene variants in 3000 subjects of the NIH funded Health ABC study for association to muscle and bone phenotypes during the normal aging process.
Grant Title: "Skeletal Muscle Production and Release of Interleukin-15"
Principal Investigator: Steven E. Riechman (no salary support)
Agency: Life Fitness Inc.
Type: Michael L. Pollock Memorial Research Grant 07/01/03-6/30/04, $5,000.00
Description: Quantify changes in skeletal muscle Interleukin 15 in the interstitium using microdialysis in the vastus lateralis muscle of 12 young healthy men during dynamic exercise at 75% of peak power using the Krogh ergometer modified for one-legged knee-extensor exercise. Muscle biopsies will be collected at rest, 10 minutes of exercise and at exhaustion for IL15 localization by immunohistochemistry and mRNA quantification by RT-PCR.
School of Exercise Leisure and Sport
162 B MACC Annex
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242
Department of Human Genetics
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
Date of Birth: April 11, 1969
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