A University of Wyoming professor advancing understanding of nutrition’s role in the performance of casual exercisers to elite athletes and an assistant professor seeking to improve meat quality by investigating prenatal influences in livestock have received research awards from the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES).
“I am always impressed by the quality of nominations we receive for these awards. I also find it interesting that this year’s winners utilize livestock species to study human health, and in both cases, their research has implications for both livestock and humans,” says Bret Hess, associate dean of research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and WAES director. He and Dean Frank Galey presented the awards in December in Laramie.
Enette Larson-Meyer of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences earned the Outstanding Research Award for her investigations on how diet and exercise influence skeletal muscle metabolism, energy balance, and the prevention of obesity. Her research has explored how nutrition influences the health and performance of active individuals at all stages of life and levels of performance.
She has also explored the influence of vitamin D on health and human performance and exposing animals to sunlight as a way to increase the nutritional value of pork and other animal foods.
Larson-Meyer served on the 2011 International Olympic Committee Sports Nutrition Consensus Panel and is active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine. She is author of the book “Vegetarian Sports Nutrition: Food Choices and Eating Plans for Fitness and Performance.” She joined the University of Wyoming in 2005.
Wei Guo in the Department of Animal Science received the Early Career Research Award. A major research focus of the Guo laboratory is fetal programming or how physiological characteristics of the developing fetus can be influenced by environmental events with lasting effects. Guo is studying the life course impact of fetal programming on striated (skeletal) muscle development and function.
His long-term goals are to develop therapeutic strategies for striated muscle diseases and improve meat quality and quantity in livestock. His program has attracted more than $1 million from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the American Heart Association. Guo joined the University of Wyoming in 2013.