Bye Receives the Horwitz/Horowitz Abstract Award

aps_masthead_logoCongrats to exercise science major, Thomas Bye, on his recent award from the American Physiological Society (APS).  Bye was one of 30 recipients of the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Undergraduate Research Abstract Award for his abstract entitled “Effects of Respiratory Muscle Fatigue on Upper-Body Exercise Tolerance.”

Recipients receive $100, a 2-year membership to APS, and will present their research at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in April with an opportunity to compete for the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award.

Fonkoue Recognized as 2018 Young Investigator

Congratulations to recent Michigan Tech doctoral graduate, Ida Fonkoue on her latest award.   Ida was awarded the 2018 Southern Society Clinical Investigation (SSCI) Young Investigator Award at the Southern Regional Meeting in February.  This award recognizes and encourages excellence in investigation by physicians and medical students during research training.

Ida finished her doctoral degree in May 2017 working under the advisement of Dr. Jason Carter and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in the Division of Renal Medicine.

Ida Award cropped
Ida accepting the 2018 Young Investigator Award at the SSCI Southern Regional Meeting











Bye featured in Life Science Teaching Research Community Blog

What is it like to be an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology?  Thomas Bye, an exercise science major and student-athlete, shares his experience working under the mentorship of KIP Assistant Professor, Steven Elmer, in a recent blog featured on Life Science Teaching Research Community’s website.   In the post, Bye not only describes his current research project and the technology he’s able to utilize but also discusses the lab environment and advantages of working alongside other undergraduates, graduate, and doctoral students.

You’ll want to make sure you read this one!  It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Breathe! ~Maroon 5



Robert Larson Receives Best Basic Science Autonomoic Research Award

A little over a year into his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa, recent Michigan Tech doctoral graduate, Robert Larson, continues to excel.  Larson was recently awarded the Best Basic Science Autonomic Research Award by the American Autonomic Society.

Larson earned his masters and doctoral degrees in Biological Sciences from Michigan Tech.  Jason Carter and Qinghui Chen from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology served as his advisors.

AAS 2017 Rob Larson with mentor Mark
Larson with current mentor Mark Chapleau.

Students Participate in Cancer Rehabilitation Workshop

A total of 14 stCancer Rehab Workshop. croppedudents (seven exercise science, one biomedical, six physical therapy) and 15 clinicians from across the Upper Peninsula recently participated in a weekend-long cancer rehabilitation workshop.  UP Health System-Portage and the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology hosted the event in an effort to inspire future cancer rehabilitation research.

Lead by Nicole Stout DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA, a renowned healthcare researcher, consultant, educator, and advocate, the workshop created an excellent opportunity for students to work side-by-side with physical therapists.

Joel Kangas, a third-year graduate physical therapy student, describes the event in detail below.

UP Health System-Portage (Physical Therapy) and Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology hosted a two-day Cancer Rehabilitation Continuing Education Course. The course was led by Dr. Nicole Stout.  Stout is nationally recognized as an expert and leader in cancer rehabilitation, has given over 200 lectures, and published more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. There were over 30 individuals that participated including experienced physical therapists, graduate physical therapy students from Central Michigan University’s satellite physical therapy program, and undergraduate exercise science and biomedical engineering students from Michigan Tech. The course primarily consisted of lectures and case study breakout sessions. Additionally, student participants had the opportunity to network with physical therapists and talk with Dr. Stout. 

Dr. Stout did an incredible job of offering an exciting and interactive experience for everyone. The course has made it quite clear that physical therapy plays a crucial role in cancer rehabilitation for many forms and stages of cancer. Regardless of whether you are a physical therapist with 15+ years of experience, a graduate physical therapy student, or an undergraduate pre-physical therapy student there was much to learn from this experience.

Following the conclusion of the course, several individuals were asked to reflect on how they felt about the experience.

Colleen Toorongian, an exercise science undergraduate student commented that the course opened up her thoughts on cancer rehabilitation and “The need for rehab providers and doctors to come together and approach treatment options differently”.

Alyssa Vinckier, a second year graduate physical therapy student stated, “The course allowed me to expand on my knowledge from school and helped me realize how beneficial physical therapy can be for individuals who have cancer or have a history of cancer”.

From a patient care standpoint, Katie Temple, a physical therapist with UP Health System-Portage, had a few words to say. She emphasized how highly regarded Dr. Stout is in the physical therapy profession, “We are so lucky to have someone of her expertise and experience come up here. Dr. Stout has made some great accomplishments having received service awards from the National Institute of Health Clinical Center, the Navy Surgeon General, and the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association”. Katie expanded on the course saying “there is much more we should be doing as a physical therapy profession in cancer rehabilitation beyond addressing just lymphedema, fatigue, and soft tissue stretching”. Katie also adds, “Dr. Stout talks about the much greater risk of falls in patients who have undergone cancer treatment, and the role that we as physical therapists have in appropriate screening and prehabilitation options to reduce that risk”. 

A special thanks goes out to Dr. Stout for her time, to Physical Therapist Mark Randell from UP Health Systems-Portage, and Professor Steve Elmer from the Department of Kinsiology and Integrative Physiology for sponsoring the event. The two institutions hope this course sparks an initiative to perform future research pertaining to cancer rehabilitation.

Celebrating Physiology Friday

With tPhysiology Friday logohe assistance of exercise science student, Thomas Bye, KIP Assistant Professor Steve Elmer, and Advisor/Outreach Coordinator Kathy Carter were recently awarded a $500 Physiological Society Outreach grant for funding activities that promote Physiology Friday. As part of Biology Week during October 9-13, Physiology Friday was an international event with students all over the world participating in events and celebrating Physiology,  the function of the human body.

Lead by Elmer and Carter, students from Kinesiology and Biomedical visited 6 area schools. Over 135 area high school students took part in numerous engaging activities that demonstrated how basic knowledge of physiology is important for understanding how we move.

In addition to bringing the awareness of Physiology to area high school students, this event creates learning opportunities for our students as well.  Here are a few quotes from the MTU students that participated:

“I learned a lot about myself in doing this project. It was really fun, I found that I wasn’t as nervous about presenting as I thought I would be and I sort of just let my enthusiasm and passion take over.  It’s really easy to present on a topic you’re already excited and possionate about!” 

– Abby Sutherland, Second Year Exercise Science 

“This experience actually alowed me to learn more about physiology, because when you educate others about a topic it helps you to better understand it as well.  I was also able to learn how to be a more effective speaker from my fellow outreach participants in our preparation meetings.”

– Jana Hendrickson, Second Year Exercise Science 

“I learned that I love teaching and I may want to try and pursue more things related to the area.  It was nice to step out of my departments and experience more of the physiology and athletic sciences research opportunities.”

– Levi Oxner, Fourth Year Biomedical and Electrical Engineering

“From this experience I learned how to problem solve, we had two mess ups during our activity but easily solved them.”

– Thomas Bye, Fourth Year Exercise Science

“I helped with this event because I enjoy teaching.  Also, when I was in high school I was unaware of what kinesiology was and all the cool job opportunities that came with a degree in this field.  It feels great to introduce students to this and help them realize what they may want to do in the future.”

– Kevin Phillips, PhD Student Integrative Physiology


Pic News

KIP Faculty and Students Attend Experimental Biology 2017

EB 2017 home logoExperimental Biology 2017 (EB) was held in Chicago, IL the end of April.   Faculty, numerous graduate students and one undergraduate student were in attendance from The Department of Kinesiology and Intregrative Physiology.  EB is an annual meeting of six societies comprised of more than 14,000 scientist and 50 guest societies.  The conference focus areas include anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, nutrition, pharmacology, and physiology.  Conferences like EB provide faculty opportunities for collaboration with top scientists from around the world, preview latest technologies from exhibitors, and allows a platform to present their latest research.  Students gain valuable presentation experience and acknowledgment of their work through oral presentations and poster sessions.

Integrative Physiology Laboratory
Jason Carter, PhD

JasonCarter_Portrait.2011 (2)Dr. Carter, department chair and professor, participated in a Sleep, Circadian Clocks and Metabolism symposium where he presented “Consequences of Sleep Deprivation and Circadian Misalignment on Sympathoneural and Adrenomedullary Control”.  Carter had two students presenting work from his laboratory.

ida_portraitIda Fonkoue, recent PhD graduate
Oral Presentation Title: Black Adults Display Reduced Sympathetic Reactivity to Mental Stress Compared to Non-Hispanic White Adults, I.T. Fonkoue, C.E. Schwartz, B.M. Gervais, J.R. Carter

Poster Title:  Sympathetic Neural Control in Chronic Insomnia, J.R. Carter, D. Grimaldi, I.T. Fonkoue, L. Medalie, B. Mokhlesi, E.Van Cauter

WakehamTravis Wakeham, master’s student and laboratory supervisor (BIO)
Oral Presentation Title: Reliability of Heart Rate Variability as an Assessment of Cardiac Sympathetic Activity in Humans, TR. Wakeham, I.T. Fonkoue, J.J. Durocher, W.H. Cooke, J.R. Carter

Carter Lab Group Pic

Ida.Jason.EB2017Congratulations to Dr. Fonkoue who was the recipient of the Neural Control and Autonomic Regulation (NCAR) Research Recognition Award for her first author abstract.  This award recognizes an outstanding investigator in the early stages  of their independent career.   Dr. Fonkoue adds this to a long list of awards and accomplishments throughout her time as a Michigan Tech graduate student.



Electrophysiology Laboratory
Qing-Hui Chen, PhD


Dr. Chen, associate professor, chaired a section and presented an oral presentation.  He had two graduate students in attendance from his laboratory.
Oral Presentation Title: Small-Conductance Ca2+-Activated K+ (SK) Channels Regulate Pre-Sympathetic Neurons in the Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus (PVN) and Parasympathetic Cardiomotor Neurons (CMN) in the Nucleus Ambiguus (NA): Pathological Changes, Z. Cheng, M. Lin, G.M. Toney, Q. Chen


Andrew Chapp, PhD student
Poster Title: Acetate, an Ethanol Metabolite increases Neuroinflammation and Neuronal Death: Implications in Ethanol Neurodegeneration,  A.D. Chapp, K.M. Driscoll, J. Behnke, Z. Shan, Q.Chen

Jessica Behnke,  master’s student
Poster Title: Acetate, the Metabolite of Ethanol, Increases Cytosolic Calcium and mRNA Expression Levels of EGR1 and TNFα in Dopaminergic Like PC12 Cells,  J.E. Behnke, A.D. Chapp, K.M. Driscoll, Z. Shan, Q. Chen

Chen & Behnke Chen & Chapp







Molecular Physiology Laboratory
Zhiying Shan, PhD


Dr. Shan, assistant professor, also attended the conference.  There were three posters presented from her laboratory.

Taija Hahka, master’s student
Poster Title: High Salt Diet Plus Fructose Water Intake Induces Hypertension, T. Hahka, Y. Fan, E. Jiang, Q. Chen, Z. Shan

Enshe Jiang, visiting scholar
Poster Title: High Salt Intake Induces Sympathetic Activation in Dahl Salt-Sensitive Rats Through Activation of Orexin-TNFa Signaling in the PVN, E. Jiang, M. Huber, Y. Fan, F. Zhu, Q. Chen, Z. Shan

Yuanyuan Fan, visiting student
Poster Title: Orexin A Receptor 1 (OX1R) Activation Increases Cam K2 Expression in PC12 Cells, Y. Fan, E. Jiang, T. Hahka, Q. Chen, Z. Shan

Exercise Physiology Laboratory
Steven Elmer, PhD


Dr. Elmer, assistant professor, attended and presented a teaching section poster.  He also had one undergraduate student attend from his labratory.
Poster Title: The “Locomotion”: Not the Pop Song But an Activity Designed to Link Energetics and Mechanics to Understand Human Movement


IMG_6206Thomas Bye, undergraduate student, presented a Physiology Understand (PhUn) Week poster.
Poster Title: Use of Course-Based, Required Service Learning Assignment to Increase Physiology Understanding in Local Schools, T. Bye, K. Carter, J. Carter, S. Elmer

Bye EB Poster 2017
Christopher Schwartz, PhD

Christpoher Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz, lecturer, also attended this year and was a co-investigator on an oral presentation.
Oral Presentation Title: Elevated Sympathetic Nerve Activity Mediates Increases in Large Central Elastic Artery Stiffness Independent of Changes in Blood Pressure in Humans, S.W. Holwerda, D.P. Credeur, L.E. DuBose, R.E. Luehrs, C.E. Schwartz, P.J. Fadel, G.L., Pierce


KIP Faculty Awarded Research Excellence Fund Awards

Three KIP faculty members were awarded internal Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards this week.  There are four internal REF categories for researchers to select from and new for 2017 were three health-oriented Portage Health Foundation REF (PHF-REF) categories.  All three KIP faculty were awarded grants from the PHF-REF categories.

Steve Elmer, PhD
Kelly Kamm 1
Kelly Kamm, PhD
Kevin Trewartha, PhD
Kevin Trewartha, PhD

Trewartha’s Article Published in Cognition

Kevin Trewartha
Kevin Trewartha, PhD

Assistant Professor Kevin Trewartha (CLS/KIP) was recently published in Cognition, an international journal that publishes theoretical and experimental papers on the study of the mind.  His article titled “Linking actions and objects: Context-specific learning of novel weight priors” is a fun read that explores how context impacts our memory for objects.

His work was also featured in Michigan Tech News.

Steve Elmer Recognized for Teaching by Dean

Steve Elmer, PhD

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Steve Elmer for his recognition from College of Sciences and Arts Dean, Bruce Seely, as the final member of the Spring 2017 Dean’s Teaching Showcase.

Elmer continues to strive for excellence in his teaching approach.  Students studying and working with him experience hands-on learning and are encouraged to be involved in his research.

You’ll find his students everywhere on campus and around town.  His students lead area visiting high school students through experiments, they can be seen buying parts at local hardware stores to make a model for his lab, predicting when a runner will break the two hour barrier for a marathon, or pushing each other to find their VO2 max.

The full story about Steve’s nomination by Dean Seely can be read on Tech Today.

Alex Gabe, exercise science undergraduate student, leading a group high school students through the analysis of the experiment.
Tom Bye and Kirsen Hudak, both exercise science undergraduate students, explaining to a group of high school students how to make the wooden apparatus needed to navigate a slalom course as part of an experiment to determine the rotational inertia on turning performance.