Kinesiology doctoral students win National Leadership and Diversity Awards

Kinesiology doctoral students in lab

The American College of Sports Medicine awarded three doctoral students from Auburn University’s School of Kinesiology with 2019 National Leadership and Diversity Awards. Lola Adeyemo, Dulce Gomez, and Matt Romero were all selected to the ACSM Leadership and Diversity Training Program. Auburn had more award recipients than any other member school.

Adeyemo is a doctoral candidate in the Hypertension and Vascular Health Lab in the School of Kinesiology. Michael Brown, Ph.D., is the lab director. Lola investigates the effect of glucose on vascular health and will defend her dissertation this summer.

“Lola is an extremely talented scientist who is dedicated to research in vascular health, particularly in African Americans,” said Dr. Brown. “Her research is helping to improve the health and wellness of minority populations.”

Gomez is also a doctoral student in Dr. Brown’s lab and studies the health benefits of virtual reality gaming. Her research is focused on gaming as an alternative form of exercise. This unique approach to physical activity can positively impact lifelong health for many people by making exercise more enjoyable.

Romero is a doctoral candidate in the Molecular and Applied Science Lab directed by Mike Roberts, Ph.D. His research examines the effects of exercise on LINE-1 regulation. LINE-1 stands for Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements which make up 17 percent of our genome. LINE-1 copies and reinserts itself in our DNA as we age, but the MASL lab at Auburn has shown that DNA methylation can inhibit this “copy and paste” mechanism through exercise, including both resistance training and endurance training.

“Matt has become an expert on LINE-1 and will continue this important area of research at UCLA next fall as a post-doctoral fellow under Dr. April Pyle,” said Roberts. “Understanding the pathways and mechanisms of LINE-1 through his research will play a huge role in combating several metabolic diseases that have been associated with LINE-1, including Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy and cancer.”

ACSM’s Leadership & Diversity Training Program exists to mentor and retain minority members by offering three different levels that require ACSM membership, involvement in ACSM meetings (regional and national) and committees, and pursuit of ACSM professional presentations, publications, and fellowship. The program also provides mentors to participants at each level and provides participants with funding to perform the necessary steps to remain involved with ACSM from student member to ACSM Fellowship.

ACSM is one of the largest and most prestigious sports medicine and exercise science membership organizations in the world. Its motto is “Exercise is Medicine” and aims to develop professionals to promote this mission globally for better health for all.

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