GHP November 2017 - Texas A&M

6 GHP / November 2017 , SPO17004 Best for Health Research & Education - Texas With a current student body of more than 60,000 and a physical campus of more than 5,200 acres, Texas A&M is one of the largest universities in the United States of America. We profiled the University in order to explore the secrets behind its success and what will help it go further in the future. Founded in 1871 as the state’s first public institution of higher education, Texas A&M University is a unique institution in the higher education landscape, recognized in many different ways for its combination of excellence, affordability, and ability to develop leaders of character who have an impact on the state, nation, and world. It combines the principles of practical education and outreach that are legacies of its land, sea, and space grant designations with the advanced research mission characteristic of membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). The Exercise Sport & Nutrition Lab (ESNL) is housed within the Department of Health & Kinesiology which is the largest department at Texas A&M University serving over 3,900 majors and 450 minors pursuing degrees in health education, kinesiology, and sport management. Additionally, the department serves over 25,000 students taking health, fitness, and physical activity classes. Researchers and practitioners within the department conduct a wide-array of health-related research and offer numerous programs with a goal of improving quality of life. For many years the ESNL has been an international leader in conducting and disseminating research related to the role of exercise and nutrition on health, performance, disease and rehabilitation. Research emanating from the ESNL has literally impacted the lives of millions of individuals worldwide. The following provides an overview about Texas A&M University, the Exercise & Sport Nutrition Lab, and research capabilities in the Human Clinical Research Facility which serves as the new home of the ESNL. This dynamic lab was founded in 1997 by Dr. Richard Kreider in collaboration with IMAGINutrition® (Laguna Nigel, CA) whilst he was a faculty member at the University of Memphis. The ESNL is dedicated to evaluating the interaction between exercise and nutrition on health, disease, and human performance. Moreover, to help disseminate research findings to the scientific and lay communities through research presentations, publications, media interviews, and individual and group counselling. The ESNL has a long history of conducting exercise and nutrition-related research particularly with industry sponsors to assess the efficacy and safety of dietary supplements, weight loss, and/ or exercise training programs. Services include consulting with potential grant sponsors on research design and methodology; conducting fee for service exploratory/pilot studies and/or full-scale clinical research trials; providing expeditious data analysis, interpretation, and presentation of results; publishing research findings in peer-reviewed scientific publication; and, assisting in translating research findings to the media and public. It is capable of providing a wide-array of research testing services including nutritional analyses, body composition/bone density assessment, resting energy expenditure, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, muscular strength and endurance testing, anaerobic capacity testing, cognitive function testing, and psychosocial analysis. Researchers also collect blood, urine, muscle and fat samples for detailed biochemical analyses. The lab is state-of-the art with the latest research equipment and methodologies needed to conduct high quality research. The primary research foci in the ESNL has been: 1.) identifying nutritional interventions that can improve physical and/or cognitive performance and/or training adaptations in healthy individuals and individuals with managed chronic disease; 2.) identifying optimal diet and exercise interventions that can promote healthy weight loss and management; and, 3.) identifying ways to help individuals tolerate heavy training and/ or work demands and prevent overtraining. Most notably, the ESNL has been the home of seminal research on nutritional ergogenic aids such as sodium phosphate, creatine, branched chain amino acids, HMB, CLA, protein, nitrates and many other purported nutritional ergogenic aids that are now used in many sport nutrition-related dietary supplements. Additionally, in identifying nutritional strategies to optimize training, performance, and recovery in active individuals and athletes. These efforts led to co-founding the International Society of Sport Nutrition, development of a number of highly cited positions stands, and publication of Exercise & Sport Nutrition: Principles, Promises, Science and Recommendations that serve as the basis for athletes and athletic governing bodies to make informed science-based decisions about use of nutritional supplements in training and sport. Additionally, the ESNL has conducted seminal research on women’s health and fitness that has led to development of exercise and weight management programs used worldwide in collaboration with Curves International. Conducting research at Texas A&M University is ideal due to community interest in participating in research as well as the diverse population to recruit participants. Finally, the ESNL has served as an academic training site to over 70 doctoral students and post- doctoral fellows who study exercise physiology or nutrition, conducted research in the