Smith, Wesley

Clinical Assistant Professor, Undergrad Program Director for Exercise Physiology
Kinesiology and Sport Sciences
University of Miami, Ph.D. Exercise Physiology, 2007
Aging, Nutrition, Muscle Physiology, Cardio-vascular Physiology

Dr. Smith joined the faculty at the University of Miami in 2007, and is currently the chair of the undergraduate exercise physiology program and the director of the graduate program in nutrition and human performance. In 1997 he graduated from Salisbury University Summa Cum Laude with a BS in exercise physiology, and received the Salisbury University Athletic Department Athletic Achievement Award and was named Top Male Physical Education College Student in Maryland by MAPHERD. Dr. Smith went on to attend the University of Florida and earned a MS degree in Exercise Physiology and continued on towards his PhD were he won the Lee and McCachren Doctoral Student Scholarship. While at the University of Florida, Dr. Smith was awarded the University of Florida Teacher of the Year for teaching lab sections of the Human Anatomy course for the College of Human Performance. In graduate school, Dr. Smith’s research was focussed on aging and skeletal muscle; he also performed research using an in vitro heart model to study ischemia-reperfusion induced myocardial injury and oxidative stress. His Masters Thesis, “Alterations of contractile force and mass in the senescent diaphragm with beta-2 agonist treatment,” was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Dr. Smith transferred to University of Miami in order to concentrate his research interests on geriatric exercise physiology and physical vulnerability in seniors using a more applied approach. Through research, Dr. Smith was dedicated toward the betterment of muscle testing in the elderly and exploration of new exercise strategies specifically designed to combat age-associated functional decline. In this regard, Wes has developed a cost-effective, easy to use field test, which can quantify lower body muscle power in seniors. This data was presented at the 2007 American Geriatric Society conference was published in Clinical Interventions in Aging. Dr. Smith used the research as his dissertation and completed his doctoral degree at the University of Miami where he was the two-time winner of the Exercise and Sports Science Department’s Outstanding Doctoral Student award. After being hired as a Clinical Assistant Professor, he concentrated his efforts on converting the exercise physiology program to a more applied academical model for pre-medical students and fostered a rapidly growing graduate program in nutrition. He wanted to enhance these academic programs by wielding a unique and applied form of research called Guardrails, which is a patient-centered, integrative health optimization system. This service-based method of research has 3 goals: 1) serve patients and optimize health care systems; 2) assist students/graduate students in learning from practical application and patient interaction; and 3) provide evidence for the efficacy of physical activity, nutrition, and wellness programming in the health care environment. The Guardrails research is conducted on the efficacy of in-office testing and programming and how it influences lifestyle change and the consequent disease risk. The results may provide widespread implications for enhancing the currehealthcare paradigm.

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