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James Smith

PhD Student in Exercise PhysiologyJames SmithJames Smith obtained a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He then obtained a master’s degree in exercise physiology from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. During his undergrad, he was exposed to cardiovascular research while working in Dr. J. Derek Kingsley’s lab and subsequently went on to work with Dr. Paul Chantler during his master’s degree. His thesis investigated the effects of high-intensity interval training on arterial health in young, healthy, sedentary individuals.

Why did you choose Mizzou?

I choose Mizzou because I was offered a full-time assistantship and was able to work with Dr. Padilla and Dr. Manrique. This was a unique co-mentorship opportunity that would expose me to basic science and clinical research and receive two synergistic, but different perspectives along the way. Columbia’s cost of living is also extremely affordable and combined with the reputation of my mentors and the university, it was a beneficial decision.

Why did you choose the field you chose?

I chose Exercise Physiology because I have been passionate and interested in exercise since I was a child. Exercise is one of the most enjoyable things in life for me and being able to pursue this career path and study it in depth sounded exciting and very rewarding. I also loved the cardiovascular responses during exercise and the physiological responses after.

Where do you plan to go upon graduation?

My plan after graduation depends on the opportunities being presented at the time. I am open-minded, but currently the plan is to apply for a tenure-track teaching and research position at a university after completion of a postdoctoral fellowship. Additionally, I am also passionate about sports performance and strength and conditioning and would explore related opportunities.

What did you like about Mizzou?

I like that Mizzou is the largest university in Missouri and is highly collaborative. With research, it seems that any idea is reachable and that there is someone to collaborate with to help achieve it or steer you in the right direction.

Who was your mentor?

My mentors are Dr. Padilla and Dr. Manrique.