Category Archives: 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

QinghuiChen

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

Chapp

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

Shan

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

Steven_Elmer

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.

Steven_Elmer
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

Steven_Elmer
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.

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Alex Gabe, exercise science undergraduate student, leading a group high school students through the analysis of the experiment.
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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Houghton High School Visits Anatomy & Physiology Classes

Houghton School LogoThe Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology hosted  students from Houghton High School’s Anatomy and Physiology class last week. Department chairs Dr. Shekhar Joshi (BIO) and Dr. Jason Carter (KIP) kicked off the visit with an informational session about the many ways each department prepares students for health-related careers.  Students then toured labs in both departments engaging in lab activities.

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Ida Fonkoue engaging students in an experiment about the influence of stress on blood pressure. Ida recently earned her PhD studying under Jason Carter.
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Derek Walli demonstrating a concentric and eccentric exercise experiment with a Houghton High School student. Derek is a master’s degree student studying under Steve Elmer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Mining Gazette also covered this visit.



KIP Coordinates National Biomechanics Day Outreach with Local Schools


Slide2National Biomechanics Day is Thursday (April 6), a world-wide event for high-school teachers and students to advance the science and education of human biomechanics.

This year’s theme is, “Science Meets Fun on National Biomechanics Day.” The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Department has collaborated with several departments across campus to invite local students to engage in fun, hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research.

Students will start their visit with KIP faculty, Steve Elmer and Tejin Yoon. Elmer will engage students in building a wooden apparatus that they will use to investigate the influence of rotational inertia on turning performance. To do this students will navigate a slalom course with and without the wooden apparatus. Yoon will demonstrate the many tools used to analyze and describe human motion during exercise, and students will even get a chance to test their strength compared to Michigan Tech football players.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit additional biomechanics laboratories across campus. Physical Therapist, Caroline Gwaltney, and several Central Michigan University doctorate of physical therapy students will demonstrate how foot position can alter posture.

Students will also make imprints of their foot type and analyze how different foot type impacts movement across multiple joints.

In Mo Rastgaar’s (MEEM) HIROlab, students will place EMG sensors on their arms and move a robotic arm, as well as investigate an agile robotic prosthesis as it moves on a circular treadmill.

Finally, students will wear trackable sensors to experiment with creating sound from their own movement and dance in Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon’s (CLS) Mind Music and Machine lab.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with lab activities scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m.


Carter Begins Term as American Kinesiology Association’s President-Elect

JasonCarter_Portrait.2011Department chair, Jason Carter, assumed duties as president-elect for the American Kinesiology Association this month.

Current AKA President Mary Rudisill, director of the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University, says, “The American Kinesiology Association is dedicated to advancing our academic discipline through providing advocacy, resources and leadership development and training. We rely on the top leaders in the field to lead this effort. Dr. Jason Carter meets this criteria and is already making significant contributions in his new role.”

AKA Executive Director Amelia Lee, says she’s had the chance to work with five different AKA presidents over the years, comparing Carter favorably to his predecessors.

“President-Elect Jason Carter ranks among the best as far as having the qualities that I consider good leadership skills,” she says. “He is confident, has the ability to inspire others, is willing to listen, follows through on issues, makes good decisions, is inclusive and always builds consensus.”

Lee says the AKA is very fortunate to have Carter on the leadership team. “I look forward to working with him over the next three years.”

Under the association’s structure, Carter will serve as president-elect beginning next month and continue in that capacity throughout 2017. He will assume the duties of AKA president in 2018 and will serve as past-president throughout 2019.

Carter has been a member of the AKA leadership team for the past five years, three as a board member and two years as an executive committee member. Carter says he’s “humbled and honored that my colleagues have entrusted me with such an important leadership role.”

“I’ve been blessed to have great mentorship throughout my career, both here at Michigan Tech and with colleagues across the country. I’m eager to pay it forward with other kinesiology chairs and faculty.”

Bruce Seely, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Sciences and Arts says Carter’s election to this prestigious position is a positive reflection on him, his department and the University.

“Jason’s election as president-elect of the American Kinesiology Association is yet another indication of the recognition that he has built for his program of teaching, research, and scholarship,” Seely says.

“The endorsement of his peers, which is well-earned indeed, reflects the hard work and dedication that he brings in abundance to everything he does. But almost as important, this type of honor also serves to increase the awareness of his peers concerning the program of education and research built-in KIP over the past dozen years or so. So it’s good for him and for the University as a whole.”

Carter agrees that his ascension to a national post reflects positively on Michigan Tech.

“While I’m excited for this as a professional growth opportunity, I’m perhaps more happy the position contributes to Michigan Tech’s strategic goals of fostering national recognition of the institution. Kinesiology programs are typically one of the largest majors at most comprehensive universities, including the top-ranked public institutions across the U.S. It’s a great opportunity for broadened national exposure for Michigan Tech.”

Carter earned both his bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan Tech. He began teaching in the then-Department of Health and Physical Education. He was named chair of that department in 2006 and remained chair when it became the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology in 2011. He has served as associate dean of the College of Sciences and Arts and is currently assistant to the vice president for research for research development.

The American Kinesiology Association promotes and enhances kinesiology as a unified field of study and advances its many applications. The AKA defines kinesiology as an academic discipline that involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. This includes, but is not limited to, areas of study such as exercise science, sports management, athletic training and sports medicine, socio-cultural analyses of sports, sport and exercise psychology, fitness leadership and more.


Summer 2017 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 8.39.25 AMApplications for summer 2017 Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 14 to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.

Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Must be a PhD student participating in health-related research that is aligned with the PHF’s mission
  • Must be eligible for or in Research Mode at the time of application
  • It must be two years after starting the graduate program at the time of application
  • Must not have previously received a PHF Graduate Assistantship

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be catalysts for promoting and improving the overall health of residents in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties through one of the following:

  • Health research and technology development
  • Health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • Rural healthcare access, informatics and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.


Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarship Winners Named

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Hali Evans, a participant in Michigan Tech’s Athletic Training Internship Program treats a student-athlete. Evans, an exercise science major, is one of five recipients of the Portage Health Foundation/Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarship.

Five undergraduate students at Michigan Technological University have been selected to receive inaugural Portage Health Foundation/Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarships.

Randy Owsley made an impact that would last a lifetime, in fact, beyond his lifetime. During the 18 years he was the Head Athletic Trainer for Michigan Tech, he worked with a group of student trainers who bonded with him and with each other. Even after Randy left Tech in 1988, he continued to influence them and their careers. That cadre of former student trainers have remained close today.

Owsley died on Thanksgiving morning, 2015. Although his former students are a living legacy of his impact, these former students wanted to establish a lasting tribute here at Michigan Tech. Working in partnership with Portage Health Foundation, these alumni have created and funded the Randy Owsley Memorial – Portage Health Foundation Scholarship. Every dollar the alumni gave, the campus-wide Portage Health Foundation grant matched to help them reach their initial goal of providing five, $1,000 scholarships this year to five student athletic trainers. The long-term goal is to endow the scholarship fund as a lasting tribute to Randy and his influence.

The scholarships are designed to create opportunities for students participating in Michigan Tech’s Athletic Training Internship Program, for those enter health science and engineering professions.

The $500 scholarships, which are renewable for an additional semester, are named after the late Randy Owsley, who spent 18 years as the Huskies’ head athletic trainer and passed away in 2015. Former student athletic trainers who worked with Owsley worked in launching the scholarship as a means of keeping his name associated with Michigan Tech and to show gratitude for the service he provided athletes and life lessons he taught student trainers.

The scholarships were presented at a ceremony this past fall.

This year’s scholarship winners are:

  • Marissa Kinney, Berkley, Michigan, a fourth-year medical laboratory science major now in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Kelsey Saladin, Maple Grove, Minnesota, a third-year exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Emily Gilkes, Edgewood, Kentucky, a fourth-year biological sciences/pre-med major in her third year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Sydney Smuck, Traverse City, Michigan, a second-year exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Hali Evans, Lake Isabella, California, a third-year (transfer) exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.

In addition to submitting their resume, applicants were required to submit a 300-word written response or one-to-three minute video response addressing two questions; “How has athletic training internship played a role in health promotion in our local community” and “How has the athletic training internship helped you academically and in the profession that you desire.”

Jason Carter, Professor and Chair of Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, says he was impressed with the quality of the applicants.

“These are excellent students from multiple majors and I am very pleased they will have a chance to be rewarded for their high levels of engagement with our athletic trainers and our sports teams. They deal with amazing real-world situations that will prepare them well for careers in health care professions,” Carter said.

Read the full story.