Contact Us

Main Campus
Health & Human Services Bldg.

Room: HH 2503

Phone: 419.530.2741

Exercise Biology Lab

Principal Investigators

Frank Pizza, PhD

Our research focuses on the cellular and molecular processes that restores structure and function to skeletal muscle injured by physical activity and disease, and that facilitate muscle growth/hypertrophy after increased muscle use (e.g., resistance exercise). In particular, we seek to identify mechanisms through which components of the inflammatory response augment muscle repair/regeneration and muscle hypertrophy. Findings from our laboratory have identified a novel mechanism through which the inflammatory response regulates growth processes in skeletal muscle by demonstrating that adhesion molecules of the inflammatory response are critically important in restoring and enhancing the structure and function of skeletal muscle. Results from our studies will help define novel therapeutic targets that restore structure and function to injured muscles, and facilitate the maintenance and/or growth of skeletal muscle, particularly in older individuals and those with inflammatory muscle disease. Dr. Pizza’s research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Frank Pizza

Tom Mcloughlin, PhD

Dr. McLoughlin’s research focuses upon the study of the molecular regulation of skeletal muscle growth and the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass associated with physical activity and inactivity.    Specifically, forkhead (FoxO) proteins constitute a sub-family of winged-helix transcription factors (i.e. FoxO1, FoxO3, and FoxO4) responsible for maintaining cell survival, growth, and metabolic regulation.   Currently, our research team is investigating the contribution of FoxO1 in regulating the interplay between skeletal muscle growth and metabolic flux using both cell culture and rodent models.  



Tom Mcloughlin


The Exercise Biology Research Laboratories consists of five separate work areas; two skeletal muscle physiology labs, a cell culture lab, a microscopy lab, and a comprehensive small animal vivarium. These labs include equipment such as water purification systems, a compound microscope, an inverted microscope equipped with phase contrast, Nomarski optics and camera, a high speed centrifuge, pH meters, analytic balances, CO2 incubator, refrigerated centrifuge, a cell harvester, ultra-low temperature freezers, cryostat, a liquid nitrogen storage dewar, and a hematology analyzer (Coulter), rodent treadmills, and surgical supplies and equipment. The labs are used primarily by Drs. Pizza and McLoughlin and their undergraduate and graduate students.




 Exercise Biology Laboratories


Research Team - Graduate Students

Nicole Dier

Nicole graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in 2013 with a B.S. in Exercise Science. While there, she played varsity basketball all four years. She is currently working towards her Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Science under Dr. Tom Mcloughlin.


Olivian Porter

Olivia graduated fromthe University of Cincinnati in 2014 with a BS in Exercise and Movement and is currently working on her Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Science. She is a teaching assistant for the Kinesiology Department and works under Dr. McLoughlin in the Exercise Biology Laboratories.  Outside of school, she loves coaching swimming, and playing with her dog Ruxin!





Shannon Novin

Shannon Novin obtained her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science in 2014 from the University of Toledo.  Continuing her education in Toledo, she is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology and is expected to graduate May 2016. She will be then move on to Ohio University to obtain her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University to complete her life-long goal to be a physician. 

Professional & Research Interests: ICAM-1 homophilic binding, access to care, rural and urban care.



Maria Torres-Palso

Maria is a Licensed Physical Therapist and a graduate from the DPT program at UT in 2011.  She works at Flower Hospital in the acute and inpatient rehab setting.  She sees an array of patient cases, including orthopedic and neuromuscular conditions.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina.  She is currently working towards her PhD in Exercise Science with a focus in Exercise Biology.  Specifically, she is interested in looking at the regeneration process in skeletal muscle.  Currently, she is investigating the expression of a specific protein of the inflammatory process, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and its role in skeletal muscle regeneration in a disease and injury state.  She has been teaching undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology Labs at UT since 2009, and also assisting with different Physical Therapy graduate courses.  In the Fall of 2015, she started teaching Neuro-muscular and Pathological Foundations of Rehabilitation class for undergraduates who are interested in pursuing a degree and career as Physical and Occupational Therapists.





Last Updated: 10/5/15