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Exercise & Disease

Exercise and Disease (MS / PhD) Overview

The Exercise and Disease faculty conduct state-of-the-science research aimed to advance the understanding of the role of exercise in the context of chronic disease prevention and amelioration of health outcomes attributed to chronic disease.

Graduate programs in Exercise and Disease provide translational and transdisciplinary training through coursework, directed experiences in research and teaching, and culminate in student-driven research.  Students must be accepted into the Graduate School and then recommended for admission into the program by the Exercise and Disease faculty.  Students train primarily under the guidance of a faculty mentor, yet all students participate collectively in the program.

Upon completion of the MS-thesis track, examples of career opportunities include but are not limited to the following: clinical exercise physiologist, research coordinator, research associate, health and wellness operations manager, and instructor at a university. Examples of career opportunities upon completion of the PhD track include but are not limited to: tenure-track faculty at a university, non-tenure track faculty as part of a research team, medical science liaison, academic program coordinator, and institutional review board officer.

 

Research Pillars

  • Women’s Health
  • This pillar addresses health challenges and opportunities women face across the lifespan and intersects with other pillars in the theme.  We study the role of physical activity and nutrition along with biological factors as they relate to conditions that disproportionately affect women.
  • Metabolism, Diabetes, and Obesity
  • In the MDO pillar, we investigate the influence of lifestyle (exercise, diet, and behavior change interventions) on appetite regulation, cardiometabolic disease prevention, and weight management. Understanding the integration of hormonal and behavioral appetite regulation on obesity-related disease progression is expected to lead to improvements in clinical care and evidence-based practice guidelines. 
  • Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Survivorship
  • In the cancer pillar we investigate how exercise can be used as an effective strategy across the cancer care continuum (e.g. before, during, and after treatment) to attenuate cancer treatment-related side effects, and improve quality of life and overall survival. We also investigate how exercise can be used as an effective strategy to prevent cancer occurrence and, in the context of cancer survivorship, prevent cancer recurrence or occurrence of new cancers. 
  • Sleep and Circadian Physiology
  • Sleep and circadian disruption are risk factors for cardiometabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. We study the interactions between sleep and circadian physiology, physical activity, and nutrition, with the primary goal of developing sleep and circadian based interventions designed to promote optimal cardiometabolic health.  
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Research Facilities

  • The Human Performance Research Laboratory, located in HPR N 235, provides educational and research experiences in exercise physiology. Topics include energy metabolism, oxygen consumption, cardiovascular and pulmonary function, muscular power, and body composition. Exercise Physiology Laboratory (KINES 4301) and Applied Exercise Programming (KINES 4466) courses, as well as exercise testing, and research studies conducted by faculty members in the Health & Kinesiology Department are performed in The Human Performance Research Laboratory. Students interested in the research being conducted in this lab should contact Dr. Shaw, Dr. ColettaDr. Halliday, or Dr. Depner. Questions regarding lab courses should be directed to Dr. Groot, the Laboratory Director.
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MS Thesis Program Details

You will have a primary mentor but also be supported by all of the faculty in the Exercise and Disease Research Theme.  You will complete a 36 hour program of study along with your thesis.  Your courses will emphasize content area knowledge, research methods and statistics, seminar experiences with your mentors, and the completion of your thesis.  Your completed thesis will be in manuscript form and submitted to a journal upon completion. 

Required for this Program

  1. BS in Kinesiology, Nutrition or related field within the biological sciences
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  3. The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2021 application cycle due to Covid-19.  You do not need to submit your scores during the application process.

Prerequisite Courses

  1. Anatomy
  2. Physiology
  3. Exercise physiology
  4. Statistics
  5. Biochemistry

Preferred Courses, Competencies, and Prior Training

  1. Exercise physiology laboratory
  2. Biostatistics
  3. Prior research experience
  4. Exercise testing experience in fitness or clinical settings
  5. Scientific writing

 

PhD Program Details

You will have a primary mentor but also be supported by all of the faculty in the Exercise and Disease Research Theme.  You will complete a 67 hour program of study along with your dissertation.  Your courses will emphasize content area knowledge, research methods and statistics, specialized content knowledge, seminar experiences with your mentors, and the completion of your dissertation.  Your dissertation will consist of multiple manuscripts. 

Required for this Program

  1. MS thesis* in Kinesiology, Nutrition, or related field within the biological sciences
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  3. The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2021 application cycle due to Covid-19.  You do not need to submit your scores during the application process.

Prerequisite Courses

  1. Anatomy
  2. Physiology
  3. Exercise physiology
  4. Statistics
  5. Biochemistry

Preferred Courses, Competencies, and Prior Training

  1. Exercise physiology laboratory
  2. Biostatistics
  3. Prior research experience
  4. Exercise testing experience in fitness or clinical settings
  5. Scientific writing

*MS non-thesis may be acceptable with research and manuscript writing experience.  How these competencies were met should be addressed in the letter of application.

 

Our Team

Core Faculty
Graduate Students
  1. Emily Dunston
  2. Selene Tobin
  3. Jason Thomas

 

 

 

Contact Us

Director of Graduate Studies
Maria Newton, PhD

Program Manager
Andrea Moss