Category: News

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. 

KIP Department Recognizes Student Achievements

The KIP department congratulates our graduate students, undergraduate students, and alum for their recent accomplishments. Our compliments go out to them and the faculty who support their efforts.

Undergraduate Students
Megan Keranen and Leah Preston earned 2nd and 3rd place awards for the top World Water Day Presentations.  PFAS Groundwater Contamination in Michigan
The Physical Impacts of Water Carrying in Relation to Groundwater

MS Students
Isaac Lennox and Carmen Scarfone were awarded the Midwest American College of Sports Medicine President’s Cup Award for their Exercise is Medicine on campus research. They will now travel to the National ACSM Meeting to compete against the other regional winners for the National-Level President’s Cup Award. This is one of the most prestigious student awards through the ACSM. 
Exercise is Medicine on Campus: A National Analysis and Implications for Rural Health

PhD Students
Isaac Wedig was awarded 1st place for one of the top oral presentations at the MTU Graduate Student Research Colloquium.  A Practical Application of Blood Flow Restriction Exercise

Alumni  Josh Gonzalez had part of his dissertation research accepted for publication in American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, a very reputable APS physiology journal. Gonzalez JE and Cooke WH. The influence of an acute fast on ambulatory blood pressure and autonomic cardiovascular control. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. In Press, 2022.

Michigan Tech University Recognized by Exercise is Medicine® for Efforts to Create Culture of Wellness on Campus

Michigan Tech University is one of only 156 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Michigan Tech’s “UP and Moving” Program housed in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology played a large part in helping the university to earn a silver level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program. The University also increased awareness of the health benefits of physical activity through a series of public seminars and town hall presentations. 

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”

For substantial health benefits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in at least 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each week and limit the amount of time spent sitting. To facilitate physical activity on campus and in the community, the UP and Moving program offers free virtual home-based workouts to keep students, staff, faculty, and community members active. Steven Elmer, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, emphasized, “Engaging in regular physical activity promotes good physical and mental health, improves quality of life, and reduces risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Importantly, regular physical activity also lowers risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.”

The home-based workouts do not require any specialized equipment and are easily adapted to fit a wide range of ages and ability levels. Workouts are led by a team of graduate students (Isaac Wedig, Carmen Scarfone, Isaac Lennox) at Michigan Tech and range from muscle strengthening exercise (i.e., weightlifting) to aerobic exercise (i.e., walking) to yoga and everything in between. The live workouts are also recorded and available to watch anytime on the program’s website and YouTube Channel. “Moving forward, the UP and Moving program at Michigan Tech aims to partner with local health care providers to establish physical activity as a health vital sign,” explained Isaac Lennox, a master’s student in Kinesiology.

Of the 153 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 60 silver and 23 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized on June 1 as part of the 2022 Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. Professor William Cooke, ACSM Fellow and Acting Chair of the Department of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology at Michigan Tech, said, “faculty and students in our department were instrumental in educating both university and community members about the necessity of activity during the worst of the pandemic. The positive response we received from their outreach efforts was overwhelming.”

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools earn gold, silver or bronze status based on their activities. Gold level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess students’ physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture while bronze level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity.

View a complete list of EIM-OC recognized schools at the Exercise is Medicine website and learn more about the UP and Moving program at UP and Moving’s website.

About Exercise Is Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. Visit www.ExerciseisMedicine.org for additional information.

About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details at www.acsm.org

KIP March Seminar: Creating Systems that Promote Equity, A Journey Across Disciplines

Please join us in-person or through Zoom this Friday, March 25, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm for this month’s KIP Seminar.

This event is co-sponsored by CLS, KIP, and CSA, and is sponsored in part by the Michigan Tech Visiting Professor Program, which is funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

Please see the flyer for more details about Dr. Rupa Valdez and for the Zoom link. 

KIP Faculty and Graduate Student Featured in “Kinesiology Today” to Highlight COVID Community Outreach

Faculty members Dr. Kelly Kamm and Dr. Steve Elmer, along with PhD student Isaac Wedig, were featured in the latest edition of Kinesiology Today, which is a quarterly publication of the American Kinesiology Association.

The article discusses how the KIP department has become a resource for Michigan Tech and the Upper Peninsula during the pandemic for factual, evidence-based information. Also noted is the three-step initiative that the students and faculty have executed to achieve success in broadcasting their message.

To read the full article, follow the link to the 2022 Winter Edition of Kinesiology Today.

Kelly Kamm is Recipient of Outstanding Faculty Award at 16th Annual Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Ceremony

Dr. Kelly Kamm was recognized at the 16th annual Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Ceremony on January 23 at the Rozsa Center. Order of Omega, the Greek Life Honor Society, coordinates the event to honor exceptional faculty and staff, who are nominated by individual students and supported by entire sororities and fraternities.

All of the nominees and winners can be found in Tech Today’s announcement of the ceremony.

Congratulations to Dr. Kamm on this well-deserved award!