On September 21, 2018, the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine (UCEM) hosted its 6th Annual Symposium in Birmingham, Alabama at the Hill Student Center Ballroom, University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Symposium had a turnout of 183 participants that comprised scientists, clinicians and trainees from various fields of medicine. It featured four speakers, a trainee poster presentation competition, and an abstract competition. It also featured two workshops – Science Communication and REACT Clinical Trials – as pre-symposium events on Sept. 20, 2018. Attendees came from a wide range of universities and institutions across the United States, including Auburn University, Samford University, University of Montevallo, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Washington University, University of Florida, Indiana State University, University of Memphis and various schools within UAB.


Speakers

The Symposium’s keynote speakers were Fabrisia Ambrosio, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Director, Rehabilitation for UPMC International, University of Pittsburgh, and Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D., Physicist, Author & Journalist from Toronto. As an abstract competition winner, Matthew A. Romero, Ph.D. Student, Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory, Auburn University, also had an opportunity to present his research to the Symposium audience. Post lunch, the symposium featured Thomas Buford, Ph.D., Associate Director of UCEM, and Abbie Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology; Director of Applied Physiology Laboratory; Co-Director of Human Performance from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

  • Fabrisia Ambrosio, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

  • Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D., Toronto, Canada

  • Matthew A. Romero, Auburn University

  • Thomas Buford, Ph.D., UAB

  • Abbie Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Talk titles

  • Dr. Ambrosio - "Regenerative Rehabilitation: Applied Mechanobiology Meets Stem Cell Therapeutics"
  • Dr. Hutchinson - "It’s All in Your Head": Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance"
  • Matthew A. Romero - “Transposable Elements in Skeletal Muscle: The Effects of Exercise on LINE-1 Regulation”
  • Dr. Buford - “Exercise and Aging: The Lion in the Path"
  • Dr. Smith-Ryan - "Interval Training: An Evidenced Based Therapeutic Approach to Exercise"


Competitions

Abstract Competition - The Symposium featured an Abstract Competition, along with a maiden Oral Presentation Competition – wherein the Abstract Competition winner had the opportunity to present his or her research to the symposium audience. Abstracts submitted by the participants – with their research’s purpose, methods, results, conclusions, future directions, and acknowledgments – were reviewed by the UCEM Education Committee. The Abstract Competition winner was conferred a $600 travel award.

Abstract Competition winner:
Matthew A. Romero
, Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University.
Transposable Elements in Skeletal Muscle: The Effects of Exercise on LINE-1 Regulation.

Poster Presentation Competition - UCEM sponsored a trainee poster presentation competition, highlighting the research of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees, including clinical fellows and residents. Trainees were invited to submit abstracts on basic, clinical, translational, and population science that are broadly related to exercise medicine.

From the 42 participants, faculty judges selected 6 winners, and presented a $600 travel award to each of them. The winners are:

Devin Drummer, Department of Biomedical Science, UAB
The Effect of Montmorency Cherry Juice on Acute Post-Exercise Inflammation Following Whole-Body Resistance Training

Rebecca Hennessy, Departments of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, UAB
Instrumentation Validation in the Development of a Rehabilitative Virtual Reality Walking Environment


Rylie Hightower, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, UAB
MiR-486 is an Epigenetic Regulator of the Pathological Progression of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy


Kaleen M. Lavin, Ph.D., Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, UAB
Mechanisms of Motor Unit Remodeling in Parkinson’s Disease Human Skeletal Muscle

Jodi R. Paul, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, UAB
Development Of A Time-Restricted Exercise Intervention To Restore Physiological Rhythms In Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Of PD Mice


Ray A. Spradlin, College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida
Muscle IGF-I Production is Critical for Functional Recovery of Skeletal Muscle Following Disuse Atrophy


Congratulations to all the winners!


"ENDURE" Book Signing

Dr. Hutchinson’s book “ENDURE,” a New York Times bestseller, was featured at the Symposium. UCEM staff and guests had the opportunity to interact with Dr. Hutchinson and buy his book.


Pre-symposium Events

As pre-symposium events, a Science Communication Workshop and REACT Clinical Trials Workshop were conducted on Sept. 20, 2018 featuring various experts as discussion leaders.

Science Communication Workshop

UCEM’s Science Communication workshop was open to anyone seeking improvement in disseminating science to the public. The session featured Dr. Hutchinson and UAB experts in the fields of science and communication as discussion leaders.

Moderator:

  • Marcas Bamman, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology; Medicine; and Neurology; Director, UAB Center for Exercise Medicine; Director, REACT Center

Discussion Leaders:

  • Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D., Physicist, Author & Journalist, Toronto, Canada
  • Lori McMahon, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology; Dean, UAB Graduate School and Director, UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center
  • Jefferson Walker, Ph.D., Director, Research Communication Graduate Certificate Program and Instructor, Graduate School Professional Development Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham


REACT Clinical Trials Workshop

This workshop addressed challenges and opportunities for impactful clinical trials in medical rehabilitation, such as:

  • Trial design
  • Issues in recruitment and retention
  • Mobile technology integration
  • Multi-modal interventions
  • Control groups
  • Response heterogeneity
  • Rigor & reproducibility
  • Data and safety monitoring

Discussion Leaders:

  • Marcas Bamman, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology; Medicine; and Neurology; Director, UAB Center for Exercise Medicine; Director, REACT Center
  • Gary Cutter, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biostatistics, UAB; Associate Director, REACT Center; Director, NARCOMS
  • Rob Motl, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, UAB; Associate Director, UAB Center for Exercise Medicine; Director, REACT Mobile Technology Laboratory

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