Departmental Research

The Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences doesn't just train students how to develop programs that make a difference in public health, athletic performance and disease prevention. We develop new techniques through our forward-looking research, including projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and charitable foundations.

The department has adopted the charge of "Exercise is Prevention." We direct a large portion of our research toward disease prevention because that's where we believe physical activity can have the greatest impact on public health.

Our research focuses on the benefits of specific types of physical activity on health and human performance. Current research includes:

  • Our novel study of "exergaming" on energy expenditure in school children (Todd A. Miller, PhD), funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  • Clinical studies of the effects of post-meal exercise on glycemic control in older people (Loretta DiPietro, PhD, MPH), funded by the National Institute of Aging. These studies are the first of their kind to provide simultaneous and continuous measurements of substrate utilization and glucose over 48 hours in older people.
  • Developing projects, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to study the effects of post-exercise nutrition on insulin sensitivity in young adults (Jean Gutierrez, PhD).
  • Working with colleagues in other departments to determine the effects of basketball team building on cancer survivorship (Mary Barron, PhD).
  • Developing a novel method of predicting adherence to youth sport participation among children and their families (Amanda Visek, PhD).