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Exercise Physiology Program

Area of Study

woman running on treadmillExercise physiology faculty seek to develop new knowledge in the area of exercise training, exercise metabolism, and obesity. The current focus of the program is physical inactivity, exercise and nutrition strategies for weight management and the prevention of lifestyle related diseases. The mission of the Exercise Physiology Graduate Program is to train graduate students who will provide professional leadership and research developments in areas of human health and sports conditioning.

The Graduate Program offers MS and PhD degrees in Exercise Physiology. These exercise physiology degrees are designed to prepare students for careers in exercise physiology or exercise physiology/nutrition.

The curriculum has a scientific basis with core courses in exercise physiology, nutrition, biochemistry, and physiology. Exercise physiology research emphasizes human studies, but other exercise models are available on campus, including the pig (Vet. Biomedical Sci.) and the rat (Medical School and VA).

Teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. There are approximately 15 Exercise Physiology graduate students in the program.

  • Steve Ball, Assistant Professor
    PhD, Arizona State University
    Research Interests: exercise and body composition; youth fitness
  • Jill Kanaley, Professor
    PhD, University of Illinois
    Research Interests: exercise endocrinology; metabolism with obesity + T2D
  • Heather Leady, Assistant Professor
    PhD, The Pennsylvania State University
    Research Interests: metabolic, hormonal, and neural regulation of appetite; food intake and body weight in overweight and obese individuals across the lifespan
  • Jaume Padilla, Assistant Professor
    PhD, Indiana University
    Research Interests: physical activity, obesity, blood flow, vascular health
  • Scott Rector, Professor
    PhD, University of Missouri
    Research Interests: exercise training; liver metabolism; metabolic syndrome
  • Pam Hinton, Assistant Professor
    PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Research Interests: nutrition; physical activity; bone health
  • Elizabeth Parks, Associate Director, Clinical Research Center
    PhD, University of California-Davis
    Research Interests: Cephalic phase of food intake and sensory effects on absorption of lipids; Effect of dietary macronutrients on the development of obesity-related disorders; Non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis, liver inflammation, and postprandial metabolism; Modeling of non-steady state kinetics in metabolism
  • Catherine Peterson, Associate Professor
    PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Research Interests: nutritional approaches to bone health; vitamin D and its implications on human health including and beyond bone
  • Vicki Vierra Potter, Assistant Professor
    PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Research Interests: behavioral and biological factors influencing metabolic function

Exercise Physiology research and graduate training take place in a number of departments and laboratories at MU. Faculty members in affiliated programs and department are listed below:

  • Vet Biomedical Sciences:
    M. Harold Laughlin, Frank Booth, Doug Bowles, Lane Clarke, Eileen Hasser, M. Harold Laughlin, Richard McAllister, Ron Terjung, Steve Yang. Contact Lane Clarke or Marc Hamilton for information on the graduate program.
  • Physiology:
    Kerry McDonald and Paul Fadel. Contact Ronald Korthuis for information on the graduate program.
  • Physical Therapy:
    Marybeth Brown, Marian Minor, Stephen Sayles, Erin Dannecker. Contact Marion Minor for information about research programs.
  • Internal Medicine/Cardiology:
    Kevin Dellsperger, William Fay, Anand Chockalingham. Contact William Fay for information about research programs.

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