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Skidmore College

Grant for obesity research

March 29, 2017
T.H. Reynolds
T.H. Reynolds

T.H. Reynolds, professor of health and exercise sciences, is a patent-holder (with his former student and continuing collaborator Jon Brestoff Parker '08) in diabetes and obesity research on fat cells and antioxidants. Recently he earned a three-year, $393,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further his work. The main goal of this NIH project is to explore whether susceptibility to obesity rises with age and whether antioxidants may be protective. He's also studying the signaling chemistry in fat cells: how particular signaling could promote weight gain and how antioxidants may turn down that activity.

Of course he hopes to help pave the way to effective treatments for the widespread problem of obesity. But he also loves mentoring his research students. As with previous grants, he says, this NIH funding helps "get Skidmore students involved in all aspects of a biomedical research project. They learn a lot about science in their classes, but this provides an opportunity to put that knowledge to work in the laboratory during the academic year and the summer."

This year at Skidmore, more than $8 million in government, foundation, alumni, and other funding is supporting work in a wide range of disciplines. A few of the federally funded investigations now under way in the sciences alone:

  • how sunlight changes the chemistry of airborne particles, influencing air quality and climate change
  • experiments in the cell-wall biochemistry of plants that play key roles in alternative energy, agriculture, and more
  • monitoring early cardiovascular responses to heat stress, to help save the lives of firefighters and other first responders

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