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HHPR Graduate Faculty Research Interests


Dr. Joe Shim (Biomechanics)
My research includes the areas of sports biomechanics and visual perception of motion and illusion. I am interested in the techniques involved with sports performance and how performance can be enhanced through the perception of anticipatory visual cues such as in determining ball type and direction in racquet sports, baseball, and soccer. For example, how is it that a highly skilled tennis player, batter, and goal keeper can anticipate ball type and direction when the opponent player serves, throws, and kicks, respectively? I am also interested in visual illusion and the underlying cognitive processes involved. Currently, I am investigating Müller-Lyer illusion and how human body adopting an amputated Müller-Lyer posture can bring a taller or shorter perceived height.


Dr. Paul Gordon (Exercise Physiology; Epidemiology)
My research interests have focused on physical activity and lifestyle-based research related to obesity and associated cardio-metabolic health in both adult and pediatric populations. Most recently I have been investigating how skeletal muscle and adiposity influence systemic inflammatory responses and metabolic dysfunction. Furthermore, as an ongoing member of the Genetics and Exercise Research Consortium, I continue to investigate the role genetics play on physical activity adaptation and the genetic contribution to targeted or personalized health outcomes. Having been trained in exercise physiology and epidemiology, I have a breadth of research experience from the molecular to the community level.

Dr. Peter Grandjean (Exercise Physiology; Exercise Nutrition)
My research addresses human metabolic and cardiovascular responses to exercise and weight loss. More specifically, my research is aimed at determining the immediate and short-term metabolic and cardiovascular responses to a variety of exercise interventions, including the combined and unique influence of pharmacological agents, functional foods, and exercise on cardiovascular and metabolic health. I am currently characterizing body tissue and humoral changes that occur with weight loss - through diet and exercise - in obese men. The information from our study is preliminary work designed to further develop hypotheses related to the influence of ectopic fat, lipotoxicity, and the role that novel cytokines play in the etiology of obesity-related metabolic disturbances. This line of inquiry has implications for identifying the unique contributions of exercise in improving cardiovascular and metabolic health in the absence of weight loss or when accompanying modest weight loss.

Dr. Paul LaBounty (Exercise Physiology; Exercise Nutrition)
My primary research interests are twofold, although they are somewhat interrelated. First, I am interested in the roles of whole food nutrition, nutritional supplementation, and exercise on various aspects of exercise performance, recovery, and body composition, particularly in physically demanding sports (i.e., mixed martial arts, wrestling, and boxing). My second area of research interest is the effect of whole food nutrition, nutritional supplements, and exercise on chronic disease states such as metabolic syndrome, hypertension, sarcopenia, etc.

Dr. Brian Leutholtz (Exercise Physiology; Exercise Nutrition)
My general research interests involve writing exercise prescriptions for individuals with chronic diseases and also the performance benefits of sport supplements and plant and herbal extracts. More specifically some of my research projects are: body composition effects of discontinued use of creatine monohydrate (washout), Spinal Cord Disabilities (FES) research, altitude training study, Creatine and aerobic recovery, L-carnitine and peripheral vascular disease/heart disease, Glycerol and body fluid hydration, Creatine supplementation and ESRD (homocysteine levels), site specific changes in body composition vs. overall body composition changes in resistance training, Folic acid supplementation to lower homocysteine levels in the prevention of cardiovascular heart disease (CHD), plant extracts/herbal supplements, sugar substitutes and blood glucose and insulin levels, CoQ10 levels and statin drugs, and evodamine rutaecarpa and its effects on metabolism.

Dr. Darryn Willoughby (Exercise Physiology; Exercise Nutrition)
My research interests involve both the young and old and deal with the effects of resistance exercise and training and/or nutritional intervention on the: 1) the pre- and post-translational mechanisms which govern muscle-specific gene expression, along with up-stream signal transduction pathways that are involved in regulating skeletal muscle gene expression, protein synthesis and subsequent hypertrophy; 2) the oxidative-and inflammation-mediated signaling mechanisms which play a role in up-regulating atrophic-related genes thereby impacting muscle proteolysis and atrophy.

Dr. Yunsuk Koh (Exercise Physiology)
My research interests include the role of exercise and obesity on risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome. More specifically, my research topics are focused on the effects of exercise interventions on blood lipid and lipoprotein metabolism related to atherosclerotic events in overweight and obese individuals or patients with CVD by examining the responses of pro-inflammatory biomarkers including monocyte, macrophage, Lp(a), CRP, and oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) along with its biochemical mediators such as lipoxygenase and myeloperoxidase.


Dr. Rodney Bowden (Health Promotion; Public Health-Community Health Emphasis)
My research agenda primarily concerns metabolic syndrome and medical, nutritional and behavioral interventions to reduce risk. Our study group has primarily investigated cholesterol and inflammatory markers in our attempts to reduce hypercholesterolemia and inflammation through dietary changes (primarily omega-3 supplementation) and through medical interventions (i.e., primarily medications designed to control cholesterol and/or inflammation). We have measured changes in traditional cholesterol measures as well as cholesterol sub-fractions. We have also studied inflammatory makers used in clinical practice and others that are not used routinely in clinical practice. Most recently we have sought to determine whether exercise participation can be improved in a chronic disease population, studying barriers to physical activity and the effects of physical activity participation on measures of cholesterol and markers of inflammation. The majority of my research is conducted using a team of local physicians in a variety of clinical/medical settings in the Waco area. Students working with me would have exposure to a variety of study populations, and would have the opportunity to gain experience working with a team of Baylor faculty and local physicians studying both apparently healthy as well as diseased populations.

Dr. Eva Doyle (Health Promotion; Public Health-Community Health Emphasis)
My research and scholarship interests include professional development issues and culturally competent approaches in community health promotion. I have worked on national taskforces to assess professional development practices of health education specialists. I also engage in community-based participatory research to assess needs/capacities and promote health in underserved communities. Project examples include working with Kurdish women in remote villages of Armenia, urban and rural populations in southeast Brazil, rural migrant and seasonal farm workers in east Texas, and an urban African American community in central Texas.

Dr. Beth Lanning (Health Promotion; Public Health-Community Health Emphasis)
My research interests are conducting research in the area of quality of life. I am interested in animal assisted interventions, specifically equine assisted interventions. I am currently working with two populations, our military personnel (soldiers and their families) and children with Autism. I have also conducted research in the area of health literacy and sexual violence.

Dr. Renée Umstattd (Health Promotion; Public Health-Community Health Emphasis)
My research interests lie in health promotion through physical activity behavior. Specifically, I am interested in the application, measurement, and evaluation of how theoretical constructs promote, explain, and predict physical activity behaviors; the translation of these applications and relationships into community-based settings; and subsequently, how physical activity impacts chronic disease, functionality, and quality of life across the lifespan. More recently, I have focused my efforts on better understanding the role of environmental support for physical activity in rural and worksite communities, measurement of this support, and implications for behavior change.


Dr. Karen Fredenburg (Sport Pedagogy)
My research interests include pedagogical issues at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I have studied how ego/mastery orientation, attitude, self-esteem, and augmented feedback influence the development of motor skills and the motivation to engage in physical activity. I am also interested in studying the complex profession of coaching with an emphasis on the values, philosophies, and practices of successful coaches. My ultimate passion is to help produce transformational physical education teachers.

Dr. Glenn Miller (Sport Pedagogy)
Most of my research interests over the past few years have focused on high school coaching in the United States and challenges facing sport management internship personnel. The coaching research has involved investigation into coaching job satisfaction and the reasons for high school coaches getting "fired" as well as the practices, views and philosophies of premier high school coaches. The sport management research has involved looking at the challenges (liability concerns, safety, etc.) confronting those college/university individuals responsible for securing quality sport management internship experiences and also discerning the most effective criteria to evaluate/assess sport management internships.


Dr. Mar Magnusen (Sport Management)
My research centers on a heartfelt desire to better understand the nature of work relationships, and to apply the social influence and effectiveness processes literatures to sport management. In this regard, my research focuses particular attention on political skill, influence strategies and tactics, reputation, and personnel selection.

Dr. Jeff Petersen (Sport Management)
My primary focus of research relates to facility design & development for physical activity, recreation, and sport. My most recent work in facilities deals with assessing facility accessibility for individuals with disabilities via the validation of the new AIMFREE survey through multiple rounds of pilot testing. In addition, my other facility research has included: collegiate and interscholastic strength facilities, hammer throw facilities, high school throws facilities, high school indoor athletic and physical education areas, and elementary physical education facilities and equipment. Other lines of my research interests focus upon Sport Management pedagogy and experiential learning by investigating the sport management practitioner influence upon the curriculum, the assessment and use of sport sales methodologies, and the benefits of service learning and experiential learning within sport management. I also am working on research with youth sport with a specific interest in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Mentoring in Sport Management, and Youth Sport & the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Investigations of the awareness and perception of the event and its initial marketing and impact of this emerging global event have created unique opportunities to be a leading voice on this topic.


Dr. Dale Connally (Recreation)
My primary research is Professionalism among Recreation and Sports Ministers, Leisure and Spiritual Attitudes and Impact on Behaviors and Constraints of Students at Faith-Based Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Chris Wynveen (Recreation)
My research focuses on the human dimensions of natural resource management. Specifically, I have a continuing interest in the meanings recreational visitors' ascribe to parks and other protected areas. I use place meaning to refer to the thoughts and feelings people hold for specific settings. The concept provides the foundation for understanding other constructs important to the human-environment relationships (e.g. sense of place and place attachment) and the sustainable management of protected areas (e.g. relationships between various resource uses and recreation users, community stakeholder involvement, and collaborative management). My other research interests include recreation behavior as it relates to the management of parks and other protected areas. I have developed my knowledge of this area through projects related to the enforcement of regulations and laws in parks, management of game species through hunter behavior, and community and stakeholder involvement in the management of publically owned recreation resource areas. Lastly, I have also been involved in projects related to the evaluation of grassroots conservation projects.