KIP September Seminar

Join us Friday, September 30, at 3:00 pm in ATDC 101 for the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology’s September Seminar. The seminar theme this semester will focus on promoting “Women in Health Science, Medicine, and Physiology”  and includes a great line-up of local, regional, and national level speakers. 

Ida Fonkoue, MD, PhD (University of Minnesota) and Audrey Stone, PhD (University of Texas – Austin) will present as part of a symposium on “Autonomic Control of Circulation for Health and Disease”. There will be plenty of time for extra questions and socializing after the presentations. At the end, there will also be time for a few rounds of the semester cornhole challenge tournament. 

In addition to the seminar, we will be hosting a virtual lunch with the speakers from 12:30-1:30 pm on Zoom. This offers some additional time to meet the speakers, talk informally, receive career advice, and network.  Please contact Jess Barish at jebarish@mtu.edu for the Zoom meeting information.

See this Friday!

Students, Staff, and Faculty Kick Off the Fall Seminar Series in Style with Jeopardy Competition

MTU-KIP and CMU-DPT students and faculty at the Jeopardy game and social.

The first Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Fall Seminar took place on Friday, September 16th. To help kick-off the series, the seminar was organized as a Jeopardy game and social for students, staff, and faculty. Teams of 3 to 4 students worked together to test their knowledge on all things related to anatomy, physiology, exercise prescription and assessment, biomechanics, and more.

Each team had to include students from both the Michigan Tech Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Central Michigan University Satellite Physical Therapy Program. Isaac Wedig, a doctoral student in Integrative Physiology, served as the Jeopardy host and faculty members helped track responses and keep score. The game was quite engaging and entertaining for all! The department’s Graduate Student Government co-representatives also provided important semester announcements, along with a sign-up for the semester cornhole tournament.

The Jeopardy game and social served as a great way to get everyone fired up for the fall semester Seminar Series theme of promoting women in health science, medicine, and physiology. The first formal monthly September Seminar will take place on Friday, September 30th, from 3:00-4:30 pm in ATDC 101. The topic will focus on “Autonomic Control of Circulation for Health and Disease” and include speakers from the University of Texas-Austin and University of Minnesota. More information to come soon!

KIP Students and Faculty Participate in UP Medical Conference

Sherry Chen, PhD student, Poster Session Winner (tied 3rd place)
Isaac Lennox, MS student, Poster Session Winner (1st place)

Students and faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and recently participated in the first annual Upper Peninsula Medial Conference, hosted by the Michigan Tech Health Research Institute, on August 26-28, 2022.

The focus of the conference was on rural health and health topics impacting rural communities (e.g., mental health, lifestyle medicine, diabetes, public health, orthopedics and sports medicine). Conference attendees included students, faculty, and clinicians from across the Upper Peninsula. The conference also provided continuing medical education credits for clinicians.

Graduate students Xingqian (Sherry) Chen, Isaac Lennox, Greg Miodonski, Isaac Wedig, and Kyle Wehmnanen presented their research and outreach-related projects. For the research category, Isaac Lennox and Sherry Chen earned awards for their poster presentations. For the physician’s choice category, Isaac Wedig and Kyle Wehmanen earned awards for their poster presentations. Isaac Lennox, Isaac Wedig, and Kyle Wehmanen, along with Dr. Elmer, delivered an interactive activity as part of the featured lecture on lifestyle medicine.

Isaac Wedig, PhD candidate, Physician’s Choice Winner (tied)
Greg Miodonski, MS student

Conference attendees also had the opportunity to tour the Exercise Physiology Laboratory and visit the Central Michigan University Physical Therapy Program – Satellite Campus. Dr. Chen and Dr. Elmer, served on the conference organizing committee. Dr. Elmer indicated that, based on feedback from attendees, the organizing committee is already discussing plans for improving the conference for next year.

Overall, the first annual Upper Peninsula Medial Conference was an excellent opportunity for students and faculty to showcase their work, learn more about rural health challenges, and network with clinicians. Thank you to the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Faculty for supporting costs for our students to attend this conference.

Upper Peninsula Medical Conference Featured in The Mining Journal

The Upper Peninsula Medical Conference was mentioned in The Mining Journal. Hosted by the Health Research Institute, the conference will take place at Michigan Tech August 26-28.

KIP faculty have assisted with the planning of the inaugural conference, and the department’s students and faculty will be participating in its events. More details can be read about in a press release featured on The Mining Journal’s website.

KIP Students Present at Michigan Physiological Society Meeting

Students and faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Department of Biomedical Engineering recently participated in the ninth annual Michigan Physiological Society (MPS) Meeting, held virtually June 16-17, 2022.

The virtual meeting included a distinguished lecture, student presentations (oral, thematic poster, traditional poster), professional development session, trivia competition, and a business meeting. The meeting presentations had a “bench to beside” theme and included work focused on basic mechanisms of health and disease, applied human physiology, and public health.

Graduate students Xinqian (Sherry) Chen, Ashley Hawke, Isaac Lennox, Greg Miodonski, and Isaac Wedig, along with undergraduate student Madeline English, presented their research and outreach-related projects. All students did a great job with their presentations. Isaac Wedig and Greg Miodonski earned awards for their featured oral presentations and Sherry Chen earned an award for her thematic poster presentation. Sherry Chen stated “I think the greatest part of presenting at the MPS meeting is that I can receive research advice and be inspired by new ideas from professional scientists who are in the same field as me. The small size MPS meeting also enables me to present my initial research no matter how it progresses.”

A highlight of the meeting was the distinguished lecture given by Karyn Esser, Professor of Physiology and Functional Genomics at the University of Florida, whose presentation was titled “Exercise and Muscle Clocks: Partners in Health and Performance.” Professor Esser highlighted how a muscle circadian clock is necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism and muscle strength. The presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

During the professional development session, Robert Larson (BioSci) shared insight into the job application process and Steven Elmer (KIP) discussed graduate degree options. Graduate students, Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox, helped moderate the thematic poster and standing break activities respectively.

Steven Elmer assisted with organizing and delivering the meeting and will now begin his term as MPS President. His MPS responsibilities for the upcoming year include increasing membership, delivering the mid-year symposium and annual meeting, and dissemination of meeting reports.

Finally, thank you to the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology faculty for their efforts supporting and mentoring students with their research.

KIP Students Present at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting and World Congresses

Graduate students Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox accepting EIM-OC recognition certificate from former ACSM President Robert Sallis and EIM-OC Committee Chair Neil Peterson  
Isaac Lennox, Masters student, giving his presentation titled “Exercise Is Medicine On-Campus: A National analysis during the President’s Cup Competition
Isaac Wedig, PhD student, presenting his poster titled “A Prediction Equation for Blood Flow Restriction Exercise That Accounts of Cuff Width”

Graduate students from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology recently participated in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting and World Congresses, held in San Diego, California from May 31- June 4, 2022.

The meeting featured over 200 hours of oral presentations and over 1,400 abstracts showcasing the latest research in exercise science and sports medicine. Two graduate students, Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox, attended the meeting where they each presented their respective research and outreach projects.

Isaac Wedig, a third year PhD student, presented a poster highlighting his research in the Exercise Physiology Lab titled “A Prediction Equation for Blood Flow Restriction Exercise That Accounts for Cuff Width.”

“Attending and presenting at the conference was a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback and meet other researchers doing similar work,” said Wedig.

After being selected as the top presenter at the regional Midwest ACSM meeting held in November of 2021, masters student Isaac Lennox was given the opportunity to present his work at the national meeting and compete in the prestigious President’s Cup competition. Competing against ten of the top presenters selected from around the country, Lennox delivered a 5-minute oral presentation to a panel of judges titled “Exercise is Medicine On-Campus: A National Analysis”.

“The opportunity to present my work at the ACSM national meeting was an experience like none other for me. Representing the regional Midwest ACSM was an honor, and I am extremely grateful to receive feedback from a panel of judges to move this project forward,” said Lennox. 

Both students attended a special ceremony hosted by the Exercise is Medicine World Congress which recognized each of the Exercise is Medicine On-Campus (EIM-OC) programs around the world. In March of 2021, Michigan Tech earned a silver level designation from the EIM-OC for their efforts to educate students, faculty, and staff about the benefits of increased physical activity and to create a culture of wellness on campus. During the ceremony, Wedig and Lennox accepted a certificate of recognition on behalf of Michigan Tech from former ACSM President Robert Sallis and EIM-OC Committee Chair Neil Peterson. “It was an honor to represent Michigan Tech as one of only 153 universities and colleges that were recognized around the world,” said Isaac Wedig. “Being acknowledged for our work was very motivating. It inspired us to push our efforts to promote physical activity at Michigan Tech even further.”

A special thank you to the students’ advisor, Dr. Steven Elmer, as well as the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, the Graduate Student Government, the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech, and the ACSM for supporting conference attendance for these students.

Dr. Zhiying Shan Receives $1.6 Million in New Funding

Dr. Zhiying Shan
Dr. Qinghui Chen

Dr. Zhiying Shan (KIP) is the principal investigator (PI), and Dr. Qinghui Chen (KIP) is the Co-PI on a R01 project that has received $1.665,903 from the National Institutes of Health.

This four-year project is titled “Contribution of Orexin System to Hypertension.”

Orexins are neuropeptides secreted from the hypothalamus. They bind their receptors and participate in regulating multiple physiological functions in healthy and pathological conditions. Orexin receptors’ expression is observed to be increased in the brain cardiovascular relevant regions of hypertensive animal models. The objective of this project is to investigate whether increased brain orexin system results in hypertension, and whether blockage of orexin signaling prevents the development of hypertension. This study has potential to identify new therapeutic targets for hypertension treatment.

Breaking Ground for KIP’s New Home

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette, Sen. Ed McBroom, left; President Rick Koubek, sixth from right; Vice President for Research Dave Reed, fourth from right; and State Rep. Greg Markkanen, right.

Friday, April 29th, members of Michigan Tech’s administration and legislative representatives broke ground on the new H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex, which will house the KIP department when it’s complete in 2024.

Read more about the ceremony and the state-of-the-art building in the Daily Mining Gazette’s article.

Dr. Steven Elmer to serve on American Physiological Society Science Policy Committee

Dr. Elmer was appointed to serve on the American Physiological Society Science Policy Committee beginning next spring for a three-year term. 

This national committee advocates for sound science policies at the federal level to advance the interests of physiological science and the broader scientific community. He was nominated for this committee largely based on his efforts with the COVID-19 Town Hall Series and also his involvement on the executive committee with the Michigan Physiological Society. 

MS Student Greg Miodonski Recalls Experimental Biology 2022 Experience

After two years of virtual conferences, we finally made it to an in-person conference: Experimental Biology 2022 in Philadelphia. Each seminar-filled day was a cornucopia of knowledge, especially the Central Nervous System session chaired by Dr. Chen (MTU) and co-chaired by Dr. Patel (UNMC). Here, some of the foremost experts on exercise and autonomic control of the cardiovascular system discussed their latest research and methods. Beyond attending seminars and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee, I had the privilege of presenting our lab’s exercise and SK channel research to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers, inside and outside our field. This was a nice opportunity to get feedback and suggestions on how to improve our research going forward. Additionally, after being worn down from months of experiments and troubleshooting, seeing how your research fits into the larger scientific field was a gratifying breath of fresh air.