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Jenkins to receive New Investigator Award from ACSM

  |   Michael Childs   |   Permalink   |   News Release,   Spotlight

Nathan Jenkins, an assistant professor of kinesiology, has been selected to receive a 2014 New Investigator Award from the American College of Sports Medicine.

The awards recognize young researchers who are likely to continue making significant scientific contributions to knowledge in exercise science and sports medicine. Jenkins will have his expenses paid to the ACSM's annual meeting in Orlando May 26-30 where he will be recognized at the award banquet.

Jenkins will present a paper titled, "Paracrine Effects of Adipocytes from Lean and Obese Rats on Cultured Endothelial Cells: An In Vitro Obesity Paradox."

Although excess body fat (obesity) is strongly associated with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, there is also growing evidence that there exists an "obesity paradox" whereby obesity may be associated with better health outcomes in certain circumstances, for reasons that remain unclear, according to Jenkins.

"For example, epidemiologic evidence suggests that among individuals with chronic heart failure, obese patients have better survival rates compared to normal weight individuals. In this experiment, we found that adipocytes (fat cells) isolated from obese rats secrete some factor (or factors) that produced a 'healthy' gene expression profile in cultured blood vessel cells," said Jenkins. "These results suggest that the mechanism underlying the 'obesity paradox' observed in certain patient populations may involve novel communication between fat and vascular cells."

Jenkins joined the UGA faculty in 2013. He received his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Maryland. He earned his master's and bachelor's degrees in exercise sciences from UGA.

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