Ph.D., Purdue University
M.S., Purdue University
B.S., Miami University | B.A., Miami University
My scholarship focuses on the interactions among physical activity, inflammation, aging, and biomarkers of disease. It is known that higher levels of physical activity and/or exercise training exert anti-inflammatory effects in older adults. However, the mechanisms responsible for these effects are not well understood. Additionally, they are based almost exclusively on markers of inflammation in circulation, despite the fact that systemic inflammation is not necessarily reflective of the inflammatory milieu in other tissues (e.g. skeletal muscle). I believe that a number of molecular pathways, including aberrant toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme (TACE) expression/activity may contribute to skeletal muscle inflammation, wasting, insulin resistance and declines in function typically associated with aging. I further hypothesize that increased physical activity and/or exercise training can reduce skeletal muscle inflammation via reduced skeletal muscle expression and activation of TLR4 and its associated signaling proteins and ligands. A clearer understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise could provide inroads to improved preventive and therapeutic strategies targeting inflammatory-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, sarcopenia, and cachexia. Thanks to internal funding from Miami University’s College of Education, Health & Society and the Committee on Faculty Research, I was able to generate (and publish) impactful preliminary data that were instrumental in the attainment of a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). This grant has allowed me to involve numerous graduate and undergraduate students in clinical-based research. Our most novel finding to-date is that body fat percentage is correlated with skeletal muscle expression of TACE in older adults. We were among the first groups to evaluate this inflammation-regulating protein in human skeletal muscle. These findings have clinical implications related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sarcopenia.
In the News
Exercise Science. Move More. Live Longer - with Kyle Timmerman and Kevin Ballard
Everybody knows that exercise is good. But that is not the whole story. It’s not just that exercise is good. It’s also that not exercising is actually so much worse. A general lack of physical activity can lead to many diseases and even cancer.
So in this podcast episode, we speak with Kyle Timmerman and Kevin Ballard. Two accomplished exercise science researchers who have just been named Fellows in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Their work explores the mechanisms behind exercise science and how living a much healthier life might not actually be that hard for most people.
Why Even A Little Exercise Goes a Very Long Way
New studies are showing that getting the recommended amount of physical activity can be a lot easier than you may think. On this episode, guest host Amanda Valentine from the Pound This Podcast speaks with Miami University Associate Professor Dr. Kyle Timmerman about the surprising benefits even a little exercise can bring.
They also talk about all the buzz around inflammation, why it can be both good and bad, and about setting reasonable physical activity goals, adjusting our perceptions of what being healthy really means, and more.