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News: Carter recognized with OPE’s Most Esteemed Postdoc Award

October 5, 2016

Stephen  J. Carter, PhD

Stephen J. Carter, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, is the recipient of the Most Esteemed Postdoc Award presented by the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE), in acknowledgment of his impressive number of peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Under the collective guidance of co-nominators Laura Q. Rogers, MD, Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and Gary R. Hunter, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Studies, as well as Lyse A. Norian, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Dr. Carter has published nine articles (of which he is first author on six), contributed to 10 national meeting abstracts, and successfully launched a pilot randomized controlled trial of his own design (i.e., obtained intramural funding for the project, navigated rigorous scientific review by the cancer center working group and protocol review committee, obtained IRB approval, and initiated participant recruitment/data collection) since joining UAB in June 2014. His exceptional work ethic extends to also giving multiple course lectures in graduate-level exercise physiology, being an active apprentice on multiple NIH grant proposals, reviewing numerous journal articles, mentoring two undergraduate students, performing data acquisition for a supplemental study to an ongoing U01 grant, and completing statistical analyses for several manuscripts in preparation or already submitted.

“Certainly it’s wonderful to be recognized for all the hard work and perseverance, but I would be remiss not to emphasize that this achievement would not have been possible without the vigorous support of my mentors. Ultimately, I think it’s easier to put in long hours and bear the pains associated with research when your mentors believe in you and your ability. I came to UAB with the sole purpose of learning to become a better, more capable physiologist and feel this award demonstrates I’m heading in the right direction,” shares Dr. Carter.

The overarching theme of his research agenda is at the intersection of autonomic function, cardiovascular physiology, and cancer-related fatigue. Dr. Carter is especially interested in the influence of exercise training on cardioprotection and anti-tumor immunity among breast cancer survivors. His current pilot/feasibility project is focused on enhancing the cardio-metabolic profile of breast cancer survivors with limited mobility. To date, this will be the first investigation, in any cancer population, to combine simulated-altitude (i.e., hypoxia) with exercise training for the purpose of improving functional reserve to support greater engagement in free-living physical activity.