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About Us

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Pictured from left to right from back row to front row: Justin Parel, Joe Beals, Stephan van Vliet, Noah Moore, Brandon Pagni, Benjamin Schwartz, Tommy Pickett, Isabel Martinez, Sarah Skinner, Emily Ciasto, Nick Burd, Jessica Tyspin, Steven Pochron, & Abigail Orhnstein (not pictured: Jay Johnson).


The Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research Group has an interest in nutrition and muscle metabolism. We are members of the T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Laboratory, which operates within the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to students pursing a degree in Kinesiology, our group also includes students from the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

The Physical Fitness Research Laboratory was established by Thomas K. Cureton Jr. in 1944. T.K. Cureton is commonly referred to as the “Father of Physical Fitness” and his research carried forth the pioneering efforts of the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory (1927-1947).

Our group continues to strive to conduct research in line with the T.K. Cureton’s mission with an overall goal of developing exercise and nutritional strategies to improve physical performance and metabolic health. We use a variety of methods and our interventions includes both acute metabolic studies and prolonged nutritional/exercise training interventions in controlled laboratory settings. However, we share the similar belief of Cureton that: “the true laboratories [in physical education] are the pools, playfields, gymnasiums, and camps.”

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Please see our link page for more information about the other research groups within the T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Lab.

For prospective students, please contact Nicholas Burd for potential opportunities to work within our research group.

E. naburd@illinois.edu