Linder selected for UAB’s CCTS TL1 program

February 15, 2022

Braxton Linder headshotKinesiology doctoral student Braxton Linder was selected to be a trainee for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s Predoctoral Clinical/Translational Research Program. As a 2022-2023 CCTS TL1 trainee, Linder will spend 12 months in an immersive program where he will develop projects focused on reducing health disparities and/or diseases that disproportionately affect the Deep South. In addition, as a fellow, Linder will complete a core curriculum, gain experience writing a manuscript, and present his research at a national conference.

“This fellowship will provide me protected time to invest into data collection, analysis, and presentation/publication for aspects of my dissertation project,” he said. “This fellowship will allow me the resources and experiences to continue to grow my knowledge as a physiologist, specifically more deeply understanding the mechanics of cardiovascular physiology, and allow me to begin developing an interdisciplinary specialty in immunology.”

As a former collegiate runner and undergraduate and graduate student researcher, Linder’s research interests have ranged from optimizing performance in elite athletes to assisting with chronic disease and disabilities interventions. Braxton now aims to improve his understanding of how the immune and autonomic nervous systems regulate cardiovascular responses in health and disease. His other research interests include researching the ability of dietary supplements, such as dietary nitrate and ketones, and lifestyle interventions to prevent or treat cardiometabolic disease states and improve human performance.

Linder conducts research in the Neurovascular Physiology Laboratory under the direction of Assistant Professor Austin Robinson, Ph.D. During this fellowship, Linder will continue working with Dr. Robinson in addition to Dr. Jianzhong Shen of Auburn’s Harrison College of Pharmacy and Dr. Craig Maynard of UAB’s pathobiology department.

“With their mentorship, we will be able to thoroughly investigate the consequences of specific nutritional interventions on vascular health and function, and innate immune cell physiology and metabolism,” Linder said. “In the short term, I hope this collaboration also allows us to investigate outcomes in acquired immune cell physiology as well; but the bigger picture is to identify potential therapies that could help improve the health of people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, investigating these supplemental strategies may lead to findings that would make exercise safer for at-risk populations to begin a training program, allowing them, in a sense, cardiovascular “training wheels” while they work to get their health back under control through exercise programming and further lifestyle dietary interventions.”

The specific project that was funded through this fellowship will be investigating whether ketone supplementation may improve sodium-induced cardiovascular and immune cell metabolism and function dysregulation in humans.