Clayton Cruthirds, MS is a Ph.D student in the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity of the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University. He studied biology at the University of Missouri and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in May 2013. As part of his education he performed research for two years under Dr. Frank Booth in the Department of Biomedical sciences. Dr. Booth’s lab uses a rat colony that is selectively bred for either high or low wheel running in order to study the effects of exercise on various physiological systems. His projects ranged from quantifying muscle mRNA expression after chronic exercise training to the vasodilation response of an oral ATP supplement. These projects, among others, were performed under the supervision of Drs. Mike Roberts and Joe Company at the University of Missouri.

After his graduation from the University of Missouri he joined the research group of Dr. Tim Lightfoot at Texas A&M University as a master’s student. During his two years in this lab he worked with mice looking into the genetic basis for physical activity. His thesis project focused on the effect of housing density and wheel number on daily running in SENCAR mice. That is, how would housing multiple mice and multiple wheels in the same cage alter distance, time, and speed ran over a six month period.

After he obtained his Master’s degree in May 2015 he entered the research group of Drs. Nicolaas Deutz and Marielle Engelen in the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity (CTRAL), at Texas A&M University. His studies will primarily focus on the effect of both acute and chronic exercise on protein metabolism in various clinical populations such as those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Functional performance as well as muscle quantity are of great importance to these populations. The combination of nutrition and exercise will give great insight into how protein metabolism is altered these individuals.