MU veterinary professor endows fellowship to further research in exercise and health


Frank Booth Fellowship will provide awards to second- and third-year veterinary and medical graduate students focused on physical activity research.


Dean Neil Olson of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine says professor Frank Booth, PhD, jogs to work, between his offices and to conduct his errands. An expert on genetic motivations for exercise and activity in humans and animals, Booth has made it his life's work to research the unhealthy effects of physical inactivity on the brain and aerobic capacity. To further his mission, he gave the university $1 million to fund research into physical activity and health and to endow the Frank Booth Fellowship in Physical Activity and Health in perpetuity.

Frank Booth, PhDBooth is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine and MU Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. The Frank Booth Fellowship, which will be funded by an estate gift from Booth, will provide awards for second- and third-year graduate students engaged in research on physical health and exercise at the MU Health Activity Center. “In his 15 years at MU, Frank Booth has worked tirelessly to research exercise in animals and people and the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on health and longevity,” Olson says in a university release. "We are so grateful to Frank for his generosity, not only because it helps ensure this important area of research will continue, but also because it speaks volumes when our faculty members take such pride in our institution and believe in our work that they personally invest in it.”

Booth says his two research priorities will include studying what motivates people to be either active or inactive and research into which genes cause humans to lose their ability to remain physically active as they age. “Throughout my years of research, I have discovered the true importance of exercise and physical activity on health,” Booth says in the release. “Unfortunately, many people fail to realize how much they could improve their health by remaining physically active. My goal with this gift is to support continuing research on the effects of exercise and to help communicate the importance of exercise to overall health, including the prevention of chronic diseases.”

Booth has more than 40 years of research experience in physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic adaptations that occur during exercise. He is a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Physiology, American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, Physiological Genomics and CardioMetabolic Syndrome. He has received awards for his work at the International Conference on the Biochemistry of Exercise, from the Environmental and Exercise Section of American Physiological Society and from the American College of Sports Medicine.

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