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Alan Maloney

PhD Student in Exercise Physiology

Alan MaloneyAlan Maloney is a first year PhD student who works in Dr. Jill Kanaley’s lab. He completed an undergraduate degree in Sports Science and Health at Dublin City University, Ireland. During that time, he interned as a research assistant at the Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical research and the Institute of Sport and Health, University College Dublin. There, he worked alongside researchers investigating the molecular pathogenic mechanisms that underlie diabetes, vascular diseases, cancer and neurodegeneration, which made me him fall in love with and appreciate the research process. His undergraduate thesis evaluated the effectiveness of the PATHway project which aims to empower CVD patients through the use of a home-based technology intervention following their standard rehabilitation. That exposure inspired him to continue learning about the impact exercise and nutrition on the health of clinical populations. He went on to complete an M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Central Michigan University where his research focused on high intensity interval training and its influence on health. Those experiences led him to Mizzou where he plans to continue learning and to contribute the field of exercise physiology.

Awards: Campbell-Harrison Scholarship; Nutrition Science Scholarship; Martin Quilling Fellowship

Why did you choose Mizzou?

While looking into PhD programs, the research being conducted at Mizzou stood out to me and suited my interests. As an international student, I was well aware of the success and positive experience that previous internationals have had here. During my interview visit, I felt that the faculty were interested in what my interests were which really made me feel welcome and excited to become part of the great work being done here.

What is your thesis/dissertation about?

I moved here 1 month ago so I’m undecided to be quite honest! At the moment, I would like to investigate the impact that exercise and sleep, or lack thereof, has on the health of a clinical population.

Why did you choose the field you chose?

As I came close to the end of secondary school, my Mam advised me not to pursue a career for the salary and instead do something I was passionate about and as the money would follow. I listened to her. I had always wondered why there is plethora of health benefits that from exercise and nutrition habits so I decided to find out exactly why that is the case.

Have your career goals changed?

Yes. Throughout my college career, my plan was to go on to work as a clinical exercise physiologist in a cardiac rehabilitation facility. Although I enjoy helping people in that setting, from speaking to people currently in that area, I learned that there wasn’t much opportunity for career progression. Considering that, and encouragement from peers and faculty, I decided to continue my education and earn a PhD.

Where do you plan to go upon graduation?

Luckily, there will be no shortage of options and many doors will be open so I will decide closer to that time based on what I learn along the way here at Mizzou. Above all else, I would like to be in a position where I can impact the health of clinical populations in a positive way.

What did you like about Mizzou?

I really like the collaboration between different laboratories along with the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that they have to work with.

Who was your mentor?

My mentor is Dr. Jill Kanaley.