Category: News

Gervais Receives McFarland Award


Add The McFarland Award to the list of  awards and honors Brett Gervais has received throughout his time at Michigan Tech. The McFarland Award is given for excellence in athletics, academics and civic leadership. Brett will graduate this semester with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.  Brett has been accepted into CMU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program on Michigan Tech’s campus.  Congrats Brett and best of luck to you in PT school.





Brett with Michigan Tech, Defensive Backs Coach, Josh Wood at the awards banquet.


Read the full story.

New Lecturer Christopher Schwartz

Christopher Schwartz
Christopher Schwartz

Christopher Schwartz joins the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology as a lecturer. Before coming to Michigan Tech, Schwartz was a lecturer at University of Iowa. Schwartz earned a PhD in Biological Sciences and Bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science and Biological Sciences (pre-professional) from Michigan Tech.

He was a postdoctoral research fellow at New York Medical College. He is also a member of the American Physiological Society and has been USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach.

Read more at Tech Today.

Andrew Chapp Awarded AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Andrew Chapp for receiving a Predoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association. Andrew is a Biological Sciences PhD student working in Dr. Qinghui Chen’s electrophisyiology lab.  Andrew will continue to work in Dr. Chen’s lab focusing on a project titled, “Acetate as an Active Metabolite of Ethanol: Neural and Cardiovascular Implications.”

Andrew recently published a portion of his ethanol research in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology and has given several oral presentations pertaining to the effects of acetate on neuronal excitability.  The project Andrew has proposed is expected to have a positive impact on providing insight into the neuronal mechanisms of an alcohol associated hypertension and stroke. Additionally, this proposed study will provide not only a known cellular mechanism for pharmacological intervention of alcohol induced hypertension, but also broader implications to future studies in the alcohol research community related to acetate on learning/memory, motor control, and addiction/depression.



Students of Kinesiology, Kurt Kitti


Meet current Sports and Fitness Management (SSFM) student, Kurt Kitti. Kurt is a non-traditional student coming back to school after living a life full of adventure. He is married with six children and has held many different positions in both private and government sectors, including 21 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and nine years as an Army Civilian and private consultant. Kurt holds multiple degrees, including two MS degrees.

Why come back to school? Why SSFM? Kurt responded, “I’ve always loved sports and exercise.” Since it has been awhile, he had some initial reservations about coming back and his ability to remember lots of technical material and details required to be a successful student. What he is finding is that the life experiences and skills developed over the years have prepared him well for this new challenge. He also commented that the program course progression quickly ties together what you are learning in the different classes. He is still exploring options for after graduation but would like to help people learn ways to develop and maintain their personal health and wellness throughout their lifetime.

Like Kurt, many people might have reservations about coming back to school as an adult. He’s proving that no matter your age or circumstance it is possible. He offered this suggestion, “Don’t set self-imposed limits.”

As a veteran, we salute you this Veteran’s Day, Kurt! Thank you for your service to this country and your determination to never say never to learning. We wish you continued success on your life’s journey and your time with us at Michigan Tech.

Faculty and Students Attend Society for Neuroscience Conference

Several faculty and KIP students attended the 2015 Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago last week.

Dr. Tejin Yoon and graduate student Andrea Lee were among the group that attended.  Andrea presented on “Muscle Fatigability from Repeated Lengthening Contractions in Young Men and Women”.

Dr. Kevin Trewartha presented a research project aimed at elucidating the role of working memory resources, supported by dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), in motor learning. This research used a sensorimotor adaptation task in which participants learned to adapt to mechanical perturbations imposed by a robotic device. To test whether dlPFC contributes to our ability to learn this novel skill I used a “virtual lesion” method called continuous theta-burst stimulation which temporarily disrupts targeted brain areas prior to performance of the task. The results demonstrated that learning was impaired following dlPFC stimulation, indicating that working memory resources are important during the acquisition of novel motor skills.

The conference brings together scientists and clinicians from all over the world, and from a broad range of disciplines, who are generally interested in the function of the nervous system. As such, the conference was an excellent opportunity to present these findings to the neuroscience community and receive feedback from other experts in the field.

Students Selected for Research Internship Program

Congratulations to the following undergraduate students for being selected to participate in the Undergraduate Research Internship Program. This program is supported by the Portage Health Foundation and Pavlis Honors College. Briefly, the program consists of a 20-week research internship (October – March) as well as professional development activities centered in academic research and scholarship.

Claire Eischer – Exercise Science (Dr. Yoon’s Lab)
Tessa Sprague – Exercise Science (Dr. Trewartha’s Lab)
Ashley VanSumeren – Exercise Science (Dr. Elmer’s Lab)
Olivia Ingram – Biology (Dr. Trewartha’s Lab)

This a great achievement and we are excited for these students!

New Publications

PhD Candidate Ida Fonkoue and Dr. Jason C​arter recently published a paper titled “Sympathetic Neural Reactivity to Mental Stress in Humans: Test-Retest Reproducibility” in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology.

The present study is the first to examine the reproducibility of MSNA (muscle sympathetic nerve activity) responsiveness to mental stress.  Our finding of reporducible MSNA reactivity to mental stress is an important step in providing a foundation for future research that might elucidate whether MSNA reactivity might have similar, or perhaps even superior, predictive value for hypertention compared with the CVR (cardiovascular reactivity) hypothesis.

To read the full abstract, follow this link:

KIP Offering Spring Courses in Exercise Pharmacology and Physical Therapy

Exercise Pharmacology  (EH 4990-01)
This course will bridge between basic sciences and human health.  The course focuses on understanding the 1) fundamental concept of exercise pharmacology and 2) pharmacological treatment of diseases of various systems including cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, neuronal, hormonal and renal systems.

Credits: 2.0
Semesters Offered: Spring
Pre-Requisite(s): BL2020 and BL2021 

Exercise Pharmacology_EH 4990

Exercise Pharmacology_EH 4990


Physical Therapy Seminar (EH 4700)
Seminar for students who are interested in physical therapy profession. Course will include self-directed learning and group work. Topics may include evidence based medicine, literature review writing and evaluation, healthcare reimbursement, clincal decision making, health screenings, and other current topics. 

Credits: 1.0 
Lec-Rec-Lab: (0-1-0)
Semesters Offered: Spring – Offered alternate years beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year 
Restrictions: May not be enrolled in one of the following Class(es): Freshman, Sophomore 
Pre-Requisite(s): BL 2020 and BL 2021

Physical Therapy Seminar_EH 4700

Physical Therapy Seminar_EH 4700


KIP Life Science and Technology Institute (LSTI) Merit Award Winners

Congratulations to the following students for receiving research awards at the 1st Annual Life Science and Technology Institute (LSTI) Research Forum:

Robert Larson (Dr. Qinghui Chen’s Lab) – Graduate Student LSTI Merit Award
Dakota Anderson (Dr. Steven Elmer’s Lab) – Undergraduate Student LSTI Merit Award

KIP laboratories  had students from all levels, undergraduate, MS, DPT, and PhD presenting their research.  We commend all of you for your hard work and dedication.

9.28.15-LSTI Merit Awards

Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2015

Dr. Jason Carter and Dr. Qinghui Chen from Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) along with two KIP/Biological Science PhD students, Ida Fonkoue and Robert Larson, attended the Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2015 Conference in Washington, D.C. last week.

PhD student Ida Fonkoue served as co-chair on a Neurogenic Mechanisms oral session and gave an oral presentation on the following paper:

Abstract Title:
Family History of Hypertension and Sympathetic Neural Reactivity to Mental Stress in Humans
Ida T. Fonkoue, Min Wang, Jason R. Carter PhD student

PhD student Robert Larson gave an oral presentation on the following paper:

Abstract Title: High Salt Intake Augments Excitability of Pre-Sympathetic PVN Neurons through Dysfunction of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ ATPase

Robert A. Larson, Andrew D. Chapp, Michael J. Huber, Zixi Cheng, Zhiying Shan, Qing-Hui Chen

. Ida.Hypertension Larson & Chen