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Doctoral Grant Awarded to Alumnus

Grad receives national grant from the American College of Sports Medicine

REPRESENTING MORE THAN 50,000 MEMBERS FROM 90 COUNTRIES, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is well-positioned to recognize excellence — and they see it in Grant Laskin, ’18, M.S. ’20. The Southern alumnus is one of two recipients of a 2023-24 ACSM Doctoral Student Research Grant, each totaling $5,000.

Laskin earned two degrees at Southern, both in exercise science with a concentration in human performance. (He notes that the physiology courses were particularly impactful.)

Today, he’s a doctoral student at Florida State University in Tallahassee with a focus on skeletal muscle biology. (Skeletal muscles connect to bones, making it possible to voluntarily perform a wide range of movements and functions.)

The ACSM grant was awarded for Laskin’s research on Aerobic Exercise-Mediated Prevention against Glucocorticoid Myopathy in Aged Skeletal Muscle. He explains in layperson’s terms: “Glucocorticoids are stress hormones, which can also be prescribed to individuals to treat autoimmune or inflammatory diseases. However, prolonged exposure to the natural hormone and/or medication can cause severe muscle loss and weakness, specifically in older individuals.”

The condition, called glucocorticoid myopathy, is one of the most-common, non-inflammatory muscle diseases; about 60 percent of those exposed to high levels of glucocorticoids are affected, notes Laskin.

“My research aims to investigate where performing aerobic exercise can combat the negative effects of glucocorticoids on aged skeletal health,” he says.

Read more in the Winter 2024 issue of Southern Alumni Magazine.

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