Dr. Engelen is Professor and Chancellor EDGES fellow. Her interests are translational research on disturbances in protein and amino acid metabolism underlying muscle wasting, and the anabolic effects of clinical nutrition and exercise in the elderly and in chronic wasting diseases (i.e. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and cancer). She has published over 90 papers in this research field and has given many presentations at national and international meetings.
She studied Health Sciences (Movement Sciences) at Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. In 1994, she worked as Research Associate for a year at the Dept. of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA (director: Karlman Wasserman, MD, PhD), studying gas exchange during exercise in hypoxic and hyperoxic conditions in various lung diseases. After she her return to the Netherlands, she worked as a PhD student at the Dept. of Respiratory Medicine at the Academic Hospital Maastricht and obtained her PhD in 2000 (title thesis: “Muscle wasting in COPD: a metabolic and functional perspective”).
She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Dept. of Respiratory Medicine and subsequently at the Dept. of Surgery, Maastricht University. Her focus of research was the metabolic and functional effects of different protein and amino acid mixtures in COPD, and the effects of surgery on protein and arginine metabolism in cancer. She got a faculty position at the Dept. of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) at Little Rock in 2006. She initiated a successful translational clinical research line in children and adults with Cystic Fibrosis at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and UAMS and was director of the clinical research line at the Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity UAMS. She has been PI of many research projects in the field of COPD, CF, cancer, sepsis and aging, and she has obtained NIH grant support as PI for COPD research and as Co-I for studies in sepsis and aging. She has supervised several research assistants and lab technicians, and mentored many (under)graduate national and international students, and PhD students. She became Associate Professor with tenure at UAMS in 2012 and Professor in 2020 at Texas A&M University. Areas of research interest for her are disturbances in muscle, cognitive and gut health in chronic conditions, the altered metabolic response to local exercise that leads to muscle fatigue, and nutritional modulation and (home-based) exercise training in older adults to restore metabolism and improve health outcomes. Please click here for Dr. Engelen’s publications.