Nutrition, Exercise, Physiology & Sarcopenia (NEPS)

The Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory conducts studies aimed at the identification, evaluation, and understanding of nutritional and physical activity interventions that possess anabolic properties in skeletal muscle and have the potential to prevent or reverse impaired motor performance and/or physical dysfunction in older adults.

Lab Objectives
1. Investigate the nutritional and activity-related mediators of skeletal muscle atrophy associated with advancing age in animal and human studies.

  • Sub-objective 1A: Determine the mechanisms and efficacy of nutrient modulation on overload-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Specifically, we will evaluate anabolic capacity and putative intracellular signaling mechanisms of selected micro- and macronutrients on skeletal muscle growth in aging animals.o Sub-objective
  • 1B: Perform parallel clinical studies to determine the influence of physical activity/exercise and nutrition on the control of muscle growth in older adults with defined low muscle mass and functional limitations.

2. Evaluate the chronic effects of dietary proteins/amino acids and physical activity/inactivity on changes in skeletal muscle structure and function and physical functioning in at-risk older individuals.

  • Sub-objective 2A: Determine the efficacy of selected nutritional and lifestyle behaviors on age-related changes in skeletal muscle physiology and physical functioning. A key feature of these studies will be our approach to evaluate these responses in populations of adults who, due to a multitude of co-morbidities and behaviors, are at the greatest risk for the development of late life disability.

Lab Members
Roger A. Fielding, Ph.D., Laboratory Director
Senior Scientist
Research focus: Impact of exercise and physical activity on successful human aging; skeletal muscle alterations with advancing age in disabled and non-disabled populations; and age-related alterations in the control of skeletal muscle protein turnover

Donato Americo Rivas, Ph.D.
Scientist II
Research focus: The role of substrates on cellular signaling pathways controlling skeletal muscle metabolism and growth; and how nutrition, aging and exercise contribute to alterations in skeletal muscle energy homoeostasis.

Michael Lustgarten, Ph.D.
Scientist II
Research focus: The role of the gut microbiome and serum metabolome on muscle mass and function in older adults

Kieran F Reid, Ph.D., M.P.H
Scientist III
Research focus: Skeletal muscle performance and human aging; assessment of mobility and cognition; exercise and nutritional interventions to preserve independence with advancing age; translational science to promote healthy aging in underserved populations

Sara C Folta, Ph.D., Adjunct Scientist
Christine Liu, M.D., M.S.
, Adjunct Scientist
Edward M Phillips, M.D.
, Adjunct Scientist
Daniel K. White, PhD, PT, Adjunct Scientist
Chenchen Wang, M.D., M.Sc., Adjunct Scientist
Lee M. Margolis, Ph.D., Doctoral Student
Yassine Ezzyat, Sr. Research Technician
Davis Englund, M.S., Senior Research Technician
Jonathan Laussen, B.S., Project Coordinator
Rahul Sangar, B.S., Research Technician
Joseph Zucchi, B.A., Research Technician

Lauren Bailey, Budget & Administrative Assistant



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