Dr. Gordon Fisher

Say hello to Kinesiology Professor Dr. Gordon Fisher! 

Dr. Fisher has been working in our Department of Human Studies since 2012. He teaches courses in kinesiology, exercise science, exercise physiology, and nutrition. Additionally, he serves as an Associate Scientist on campus for UAB's Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Center for Exercise Medicine, Diabetes Research Center, Comprehensive Center for Aging, and the Nathan Shock Center.

Recently, Dr. Fisher received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate if home-based, high-intensity interval exercise training can improve cardiometabolic health in patients with longstanding spinal cord injury. After completing a pilot grant project funded by UAB / Lakeshore Research Collaborative, he received this grant, demonstrating that as few as two days per week of HIIT training exercises are safe and beneficial for individuals with SCIs.

Get to know Dr. Fisher below!

SOE: What advice do you have for students?
GF: My best advice is that it's ok not to know what you want to do with your life right now. That's completely normal. However, a college degree is really valuable, and the effort you put into obtaining your degree will pay significant dividends later in life. I would also encourage students to get to know their professors and take advantage of all the opportunities that UAB offers. There is so much to learn outside the classroom!

 

SOE: Favorite part of your job?

GF: My favorite part of my job is mentoring students. I have had the privilege to work with postdocs, doctoral students, masters students, and undergraduate honors students for the past ten years at UAB. The relationships I have formed with these students have been really gratifying. The most rewarding part is seeing them move on to achieve success in their careers. These careers include physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, clinical exercise physiologists, senior research scientists in multiple industries, and strength and conditioning professionals.

 

SOE: What do you love most about kinesiology / being a research scientist?

GF: I have always been fascinated by how the body works during exercise. My initial interest in exercise physiology came from my own experiences as a distance runner. It was tough training during the hot and humid summer months in the south, so I was very curious as to why I felt so terrible running during these summer months. During my doctoral research at Auburn University, we conducted several fun studies that compared the effects of different materials in jackets on exercise performance during hot and cold conditions. Additionally, we were part of a multisite study that collected data to develop the low carbohydrate Gatorade sports drink (now known as the G2). However, when I came to UAB to conduct my postdoctoral training, I began working with more clinical research questions that focused on the role of both diet and exercise for preventing or improving cardiometabolic diseases. Thus, my focus for the past 11 years has really been trying to use exercise and diet as a tool to improve health in individuals with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and, more recently, spinal cord injury.

 

SOE: What's the day-in-the-life of a Kinesiology professor? 

GF: For me, life in KIN is a balance between instructing graduate students in the areas of bioenergetics, cardiovascular health, and skeletal muscle. Additionally, I serve as the undergraduate program director and director of the honors program for Kinesiology. I balance these duties with my primary role of conducting research. I manage a team of graduate students and undergraduate honors students each day. These activities include scheduling research participants, coordinating appointments in the UAB Clinical Research Unit and the Lakeshore Foundation, and ensuring studies continue to move forward until completion. I also serve on the Program Committee, Professional Education Committee, and the Scientific Integrity and Leadership Committee with the American College of Sports Medicine. Lastly, I spend a great deal of time writing grants that will hopefully continue to fund our research and publishing manuscripts to share our work with the scientific community.

 

SOE: Fun fact about yourself

GF: I competed in cross country and track in high school and college. I actually still hold the record in the 2-mile and 1-mile at Ocean Springs High School. I also took time off and ran a restaurant on the gulf coast for a few years during my undergraduate studies. This experience is the reason I love to cook and entertain. Another interesting fact that I'm pretty proud of is completing a 200-mile bike ride for charity. I actually enjoyed it so much I did it twice!

 

SOE: Anything else you want to share?
GF: I have two amazing kids! My daughter, Mavi, is seven, and my son, Myles, is five. I spend all of my free time having fun adventures with them.

 

Interested in talking about our kinesiology programs or Dr. Fisher's research interested? Contact him here.