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Sarah Deemer, PhD, CSCS

Postdoctoral Fellow
Nutrition Obesity Research Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama 35294
Full CV

Dr. Sarah Deemer joined the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center as a postdoctoral scholar in July 2017. In May 2017, Sarah completed her PhD in Kinesiology at Texas Woman’s University under the guidance of Dr. Kyle Biggerstaff and Dr. Vic Ben-Ezra. Sarah’s dissertation focused on the mechanisms by which sprint interval exercise can lead to augmented weight loss (compared to endurance training) in overweight women. More specifically, she examined the role of growth hormone and how changes in secretion of GH influenced lipolysis and fat oxidation.

During her time at UAB, Sarah has been using a mouse model (C57BL/6J) to examine the effect of dietary ketone esters (KE) on regulation of the components of energy balance and the role of brown adipose tissue in these responses. In 2019, Sarah was awarded a UAB NORC Pilot & Feasibility grant to collect abdominal fat biopsies from obese African American women participating in a weight-loss study. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of dietary macronutrients (low-fat vs low-carbohydrate) on subcutaneous adipose tissue remodeling and expression of genes involved in the regulation of adipogenesis, lipolysis, and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Sarah’s additional research interests include the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on insulin sensitivity and adipocytokine production, as well as other nutrition- or exercise-related interventions aimed at reducing the risk of development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease, particularly in minority populations.


  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Alabama at Birmingham July 2017 – present
  • Ph.D., Texas Woman’s University (concentration: kinesiology) May 2017
  • M.S., University of Texas at El Paso (concentration: exercise science) May 2008
  • B.S., University of Texas at El Paso (concentration: kinesiology) May 2004



University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2019 Post-Doc Research Day Session Winner (1st): Exogenous Dietary Ketone Esters Decrease Body Weight and Adiposity in Mice Housed at Thermoneutrality.


The Obesity Society – Early Career Research Grant Challenge Finalist: Influence of Dietary Fat and Ketone Esters on Energy Expenditure and UCP1 Expression in Brown Adipose Tissue


University of Alabama at Birmingham, Nutrition Obesity Research Center: New Obesity, Metabolism, and Energetics Ideas for the New Year Winner (“Best Presentation” & “Best in Show”)


University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2018 Post-Doc Research Day Session Winner (3rd): Dietary Ketone-Mediated Increases in Energy Expenditure are Independent of Changes in Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Respiration.


Federation of North Texas Area Universities 8th Annual Graduate Research Symposium – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Poster Winner (1st): High-intensity interval exercise does not influence overnight GH secretion in overweight sedentary young women.


  1. Castleberry, TJ, C Irvine, SE Deemer, MF Brisebois, R Gordon, M Oldham, J Ramirez, A Duplanty, & V Ben-Ezra. Consecutive Days of Exercise Decrease Insulin Response More Than a Single Exercise Session in Healthy, Sedentary Men. European Journal of Applied Physiology [E-Pub ahead of print], 2019. [link]
  2. Deemer, SE, RAH Davis, BA Gower, AP Koutnik, AM Poff, SL Dickinson, DB Allison, DP D’Agostino, & EP Plaisance. Concentration-Dependent Effects of a Dietary Ketone Ester on Components of Energy Balance in Mice. Frontiers in Nutrition 6:56, 2019. [link]
  3. Davis, RAH, SE Deemer, JM Bergeron, JT Little, JL Warren, G Fisher, DL Smith, KR Fontaine, DB Allison, & EP Plaisance. Dietary R,S-1,3-butanediol diacetoacetate reduces body weight and adiposity in obese mice fed a high-fat diet. The FASEB Journal 33(2): 2409–2421, 2019. [link]
  4. Deemer, SE, T Castleberry, C Irvine, DE Newmire, M Oldham, GA King, V Ben-Ezra, BA Irving, & KD Biggerstaff. An Acute Bout of High Intensity Interval Exercise Increases 12.5h GH Secretion. Physiological Reports 6(2): e13563, 2018. [link]
  5. King, GA, SE Deemer, DL Thompson. Adiponectin is associated with risk of the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in women. Acta Diabetologica 49(Suppl 1): 41-49, 2012. [link]
  6. Deemer, SE, GA King, S Dorgo, CA Vella, JW Tomaka, & DL Thompson. Relationship of Leptin, Resting Metabolic Rate, and Body Composition in Pre-menopausal Hispanic and non-Hispanic White Women. Endocrine Research 35(3): 95-105, 2010. [link]
  7. King, GA, SE Deemer, & DL Thompson. Relationship between Leptin, Bone Mineral Density, and Measures of Adiposity among Pre-menopausal Hispanic and Caucasian Women. Endocrine Research 35(3): 106-117, 2010. [link]

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
The trainee's projects are supported by Grant Number T32DK062710 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.

Years: July 2017 - present
Mentor(s): Barbara Gower, PhD – primary mentor; Eric Plaisance, PhD – co-mentor