Kurt A. Escobar, Ph.D.
Exercise produces robust effects on health and aging, including improved metabolic function, the prevention, and mitigation of degenerative disease, and the promotion of healthy aging. However, the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon have yet to be fully elucidated. In the Physiology of Exercise and Sport (PEXs) Laboratory, BUILD students would be involved in the study of the acute and chronic responses to exercise that underlie the positive effects exerted on health and aging as well as performance, including mitochondrial biogenesis, muscular hypertrophy, heat shock protein response, and autophagy. Different modes of exercise are used including endurance exercise, high-intensity interval training, and resistance training. Nutritional interventions are employed as well.
BUILD students will learn whole-body metabolic and physiological measurement techniques, such as VO2max testing, substrate utilization assessment, and lactate measurement, as well as blood and tissue processing and analysis. This includes blood assay kits and cellular protein and mRNA quantification. BUILD students may also be involved in cell culture model research; students will learn cell culture (C2C12 myotubes) maintenance, differentiation, experimentation, and harvesting techniques.
Ideally, potential mentees would have a course background in Human biology and physiology, and nutrition. They would also have the following skills: pipetting, western blot analysis, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.