Open House: Exercise Science Research Center

Dedication Seminars of Center's New or Renovated Spaces

Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

From left, Karyn Esser of the University of Florida and Brian Unberger of the University of Michigan

The Exercise Science Research Center will host an open house Oct. 21 to celebrate new and expanded lab spaces. The event will include tours, a reception and dedication seminars featuring two distinguished speakers in the field. The center has added gait biomechanics and expanded its wet lab capabilities for work in muscle biology.

Muscle Biology

In Muscle Biology, we will have Karyn Esser, Ph.D. Dr. Esser is associate director for basic studies at the University of Florida Myology Institute. Her lab pioneered research in the role of circadian rhythms and the molecular clock mechanism in skeletal muscle homeostasis and health. Esser is currently the principal investigator of multiple NIH-funded grant awards. She has been named chair of the recently integrated University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Physiology and Aging.


In Biomechanics, we will have Brian Umberger, Ph.D. Dr. Umberger is program chair in movement science and director of the Locomotion Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology. He is a recent president of the American Society of Biomechanics, whose research focuses on bipedal locomotion including gait disorders and the evolutionary basis for human bipedalism. He also holds affiliate appointments in the U-M Robotics Institute and the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering.

Schedule for Oct. 21

The article "Exercise Science Research Center Hosting Open House to Highlight New and Expanded Labs" has details. Program times are Central Standard. The day's programs are being conducted in-person at these two locations:

At the HPER building

Noon — Tours of the Exercise Science Research Center in the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) building. Tours self-paced, but graduate students available to assist.

At the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center

1 p.m. — Reception — Room 103 and adjoining foyer

1:30 — Symposia begins — Room 104 (auditorium)

The program also will be presented as live webinars at the following Zoom link:

👉 Livestream for Exercise Science Research Center Open House seminars 👈

  • 1:30 — Welcome and Introduction — Nic Greene, Ph.D, U of A professor of exercise science, interim director, ESRC
  • 1:40 — "History of the ESRC" — Tyrone Washington, Ph.D., U of A associate professor of exercise science
  • 1:50 — "Circadian Clocks and Muscle Health: Keys for Systemic Health" — Karyn Esser, Ph.D., chair of the University of Florida department of physiology and aging
    • Introduction — Kevin Murach, Ph.D., U of A assistant professor of exercise science
    • Moderator — Dr. Washington
  • 2:35 — Refreshment Break — Room 103
  • 2:55 — "Bipedal Locomotion: From Comparative to Clinical" — Brian Umberger, Ph. D., chair of the University of Michigan movement science program
    • Introduction — Abigail Schmitt, Ph.D., U of A assistant professor of exercise science
    • Moderator — Kaitlin Gallagher, Ph.D., U of A associate professor of exercise science
  • 3:35 — Closing Remarks — Dr. Schmitt and Michelle Gray, Ph.D., interim department head, COEHP Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation



  • Kate Mamiseishvili, Ph.D., interim dean, College of Education and Health Professons
  • Matt Ganio, Ph.D., interim associate dean of academic and student affairs, COEHP
  • Lewatis McNeal, Ph.D., associate dean for administration and diversity, COEHP
  • Michelle Gray, Ph.D., interim department head, Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, COEHP
  • John English, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research & innovation
  • Brian Primack, M.D., Ph.D., former dean of COEHP
  • Wesley Stites, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

ESRC Directors

  • Barry Brown, founding director, 1969-~1980
  • Mike Daniels, ~1980-1984
  • Charles "C.E." Riggs , (1946-2021), director 1984-1993
  • Ro DiBrezzo, 1993-2000
  • Inza Fort, 2000-2001
  • Dr. DiBrezzo, 2001-2012
  • Matt Ganio, 2012-2017
  • Michelle Gray, 2017-2021
  • Nic Greene, 2021-present