Current Doctoral Students

Tooyib Azeez

Exercise Physiology

Tooyib Azeez headshot
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Vascular dysfunction in atherosclerosis

Tooyib is a Ph.D. Candidate in Exercise Physiology. He is from Nigeria where he obtained his medical degree at the University of Lagos in 2011, a post-graduate diploma in education from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 2017, and a master’s degree in Physiology from Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto in 2019. He is currently studying erectile dysfunction and vascular dysfunction associated with atherosclerosis in the integrative neurovascular physiology lab under Dr. Justin La Favor.

When Tooyib is not in the lab, he enjoys spending time indoors watching his favorite TV shows and playing chess either on board or online.

Paul Baker

Nutrition and Food Science

Paul’s Vita

Paul Baker
  • Physiological & metabolic adaptations to nutritional and/or exercise interventions in humans
  • High altitude

Paul is a doctoral student in the nutrition and food sciences Ph.D. program working under Dr. Berryman. Paul graduated with his B.S. in Exercise Science and M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky. During his Master’s, Paul obtained plenty of teaching and research experience working under excellent faculty.  The experience encouraged him to purse a Ph.D. and make an impactful difference going forward. Paul’s long-term career goal is to work as an assistant professor, teaching and performing research.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, traveling, weight lifting, paddle boarding, and long walks on the beach.

David Barney

Nutrition and Food Science

David’s Vita

  • Dietary iron absorption and endurance performance
  • Micronutrient metabolism
  • Applied human performance research

David is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, studying Nutrition Science under Dr. Stephen Hennigar. He graduated from the College of William & Mary with B.S. degrees in Kinesiology and Biology, and he received an M.S. degree in Exercise Physiology from Florida State. Throughout his academic pursuits, David has maintained an interest in applying science to endurance performance. Currently, he studies the role of inflammation from exercise in the development of iron deficiency in long distance runners. David hopes to continue down a career path of contributing to the performance of endurance athletes.

David is a lifelong runner, competing in the NCAA for William & Mary as an undergraduate and FSU as a master’s student. He continues to train competitively and works as a graduate assistant for the FSU cross country team. When he’s not in lab or on the trails, David enjoys listening to live music and cooking (like any good nutrition scientist).

Ann Centner

Nutrition and Food Science

Anne’s Vita

Ann Centner
  • Molecular aging of the vascular system (the main cause of cardiovascular disease)
  • How nutrition can be used to prevent/cure disease states

Ann received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s from the University of Georgia in Consumer Foods and Food Technology, respectively. Her Master’s degree was completed online while working full-time as a Family & Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Agent in Southwest Georgia. Her capstone was on “The Rise of Gluten-Free.” She aspires towards a career in academia, teaching students and researching, making an impact on people and the world around her.

During her undergraduate career in Athens she was a taste tester in an almond shelf-life acceptability study and ran cross country and track. In her free time, she enjoys distance running, going to the gym, and cooking.

Holly Clarke

Exercise Physiology

Holly’s Vita

Holly Clarke
  • Hydration
  • Thermoregulation
  • Relationship between hydration / metabolism

Holly is a doctoral student within the Human Sciences department, studying within the field of Exercise Physiology. Prior to attending FSU, Holly received both her Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Auburn University at Montgomery as an international student. Some of her research interests include hydration and thermoregulation, with a specific interest in the relationship between hydration and metabolism in varying populations.  Holly aspires to stay within the field of academia, looking to both teach and conduct research within a university setting.

Holly was born and raised in Norwich, a city located in England. She came to America as a student athlete, playing soccer for her previous institution during her Undergraduate and consequently coaching whilst completing her Master’s degree. She loves to watch all sporting events and is still an avid fan of her alma mater. In her spare time, Holly enjoys catching up with friends, family, traveling and reading academic journals.

Alan Dawson

Nutrition and Food Science

Alan’s Vita

Alan Dawson
  • Nutrition interventions targeted to optimize human performance and enhance recovery from physical and operational stress
  • Dietary supplements that may provide cognitive and metabolic advantages to the warfighter

Alan is a doctoral student in the Nutrition Science program working under the mentorship of Dr. Claire Berryman. After completing his B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Winthrop University, Alan received his Active Duty commission in the US Army where he earned his M.S. in Nutrition from the US Army-Baylor Graduate Program in Nutrition. Alan was later selected to complete his Ph.D while remaining an Active Duty Army Dietitian. After earning his Ph.D, Alan hopes to lead human performance optimization research for the Army and Department of Defense.

When not in the lab, Alan can be found spending time with his wife and two sons.

Shiloah Fuller

Exercise Physiology

Shiloah’s Vita

Shiloah Fuller
  • Metabolism
  • Body composition
  • Human performance in military and endurance Athletes
  • Environmental and stress physiology
  • Sympathetic nervous system response to exercise and stress
  • Sports nutrition and supplementation

Shiloah is a doctoral student in the exercise physiology Ph.D. program working under Dr. Ormsbee at the Institute of Sport Sciences at Florida State University. Shiloah received her baccalaureate in kinesiology, as well as her masters in exercise physiology and nutrition, and completed her dietetics program at San Diego State University.  After graduate school, Shiloah went on to work for the U.S. Navy as a research physiologist and nutritionist in a biobehavioral sciences lab, focusing on human performance and War Fighter readiness. She also worked as a research coordinator on a large-scale study examining blast exposure and it physiological and psychological detriments in U.S. Navy SEALS. Her interests are body composition and performance, specifically in endurance sports and environmental extremes.

Shiloah enjoys spending time doing yoga, running, surfing, riding hunter jumper, cycling and weight training, and cooking.

Xingyi Jiang

Nutrition and Food Science

Xingyi Jiang
  • Food safety and quality
  • Protein immunochemistry
  • Food biotechnology

Xingyi is a doctoral student in Nutrition and Food Science under the supervision of Dr. Rao. She graduated from Nanjing Agricultural University in 2015 and earned her Master’s degree in food science in 2017 from Florida State University. In her master’s project, Xingyi developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of trace amount of porcine hemoglobin in meats. This assay will be able to fight food fraud and improve food quality. Xingyi’s career goal is to become a faculty at a research university.

She likes watching movies and traveling. She also likes the animals and has a fish.

Gautam Joshi

Nutrition and Food Science

Gautam Joshi headshot
  • Dietary fiber
  • Utilization of agricultural byproducts in food industry
  • Lignocellulose and polyphenols
  • Grape pomace
  • Antioxidants

Gautam is a doctoral student in Nutrition and Food Science under the supervision of Dr. Qinchun Rao. He did his undergraduate in 2014 at Tribhuvan University (Nepal), majoring in Agricultural Science. He earned his master’s degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences from Tuskegee University in 2020. In his master’s project, Gautam worked on the utilization/conversion of agricultural waste in potential sustainable biomaterials (bioplastic). He desires to continue his research in the utilization of agricultural waste/byproducts in foods. He aspires to build a career in the food industry, hoping to improve the quality of food and human health.

He spends his spare time playing cricket and soccer, traveling, learning about the history of different places, and browsing LinkedIn.

Grant Laskin

Exercise Physiology

Grant Laskin headshot
  • Cellular / molecular regulation of skeletal muscle mass
  • Resistance training and nutrition intervention as nonpharmacological treatment for populations at risk of muscle atrophy (elderly, cancer, neuromuscular disease)
  • Human performance optimization in athletic populations

Grant received his BS and MS in Exercise Physiology at Southern Connecticut State University, where his major focus was athletic optimization and the study of specific neuromuscular contributions to exercise performance. Grant has dual interests in high performance populations and mitigation of atrophic and neurogenerative disease. He is passionate about translational research and enjoys recruiting both applied models with human subjects and more basic animal / cell culture models to investigate the changes from exercise and nutrition intervention at both functional and molecular levels.

In his free time, Grant enjoys lifting weights, enjoying the outdoors, cooking and trying new cuisine, meditating, and spending time with his loved ones. His philosophy is that to “keep the gifts you have, you must be willing to share them with others,” thus encouraging an attitude of service and compassion with people in his life.

Joe Laudato

Exercise Physiology

Joe’s Vita

Joe Laudato
  • Ethanol-induced degradation of skeletal muscle 
  • Relationship between cancer cachexia and diet 
  • Skeletal muscle preservation in a diseased state

Joe is a doctoral student pursuing a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Steiner. He received his M.S. in Exercise Physiology at Kent State University under Dr. Adam Jajtner, where he investigated human performance and immunological responses to acute high-volume resistance exercise with ergogenic aids. During his time at FSU, he has shifted his research focus to the basic sciences in rodent models, observing the effects of alcohol consumption on skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Following his Ph.D he plans to continue his career in academia, and has an interest in the development of therapeutic modalities utilizing his research experience.

Is an identical twin to his brother Nick. Enjoys spending time in the weight room, at a pond fishing, or at home playing video games when not in lab.

Jake Martenson

Exercise Physiology

Jake’s Vita

Jake Martenson
  • Physiological responses to strength training and aerobic exercise
  • Strength training and aerobic exercise’s impact on cardiovascular health
  • Exercise interventions for special populations
  • Physiological implications of physical, mental, and environmental stressors

Matthew “Jake” Martenson is a 2nd-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology.  After earning his BS in Biology at Mercer University, he went on to complete his MPH at Mercer University and his MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida.  Jake ultimately desires to obtain a faculty position at a research university or work for the Navy as a Research Physiologist.  With a background in public health, he possesses a broad interest in exercise physiology and it’s relevance to human health and performance.

Jake has a lifelong love of wildlife- especially reptiles and marine animals.  He volunteered at a reptile sanctuary for 4 years in Tampa, FL and worked hands-on with alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and large species of lizards.  Two years ago he traveled to a remote location in Mexico to swim with wild crocodiles.  He also loves snorkeling and scuba diving.

Cesar Meza

Exercise Physiology

Cesar’s Vita

  • Metabolic and cardiovascular pathophysiology of obesity and insulin resistance
  • Exercise as a therapeutic approach to mitigate cardiometabolic disease

Cesar is a doctoral student in the Exercise Physiology program working under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Hickner. Cesar earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Kinesiology at The University of Texas at El Paso, where he conducted clinical and biochemistry techniques to investigate the effects of exercise and diet interventions on peripheral insulin sensitivity and skeletal muscle metabolism. After completion of his Ph.D., Cesar plans to pursue post-doctoral training and a research career in academia to study the role of exercise on energy metabolism and insulin resistance.

Amy Mullins

Nutrition and Food Science

Amy’s Vita

Amy Mullins headshot
  • Amy Mullins Is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, at Florida State University, pursuing a degree in Nutrition Science under the direction of Dr. Bahram Arjmandi.  Amy has Bachelor’s degrees in Health Science Education (University of Florida) and Food and Nutrition (Florida State University), and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics (Florida State University).  She is a Registered Dietitian and Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Educator with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension Service (UF/IFAS) where she develops and implements community programs focused on nutrition, chronic disease prevention, general health/wellness, and food safety.  Amy’s research focus is in the area of bioactive phytochemical components of plants and nutritional intervention for prevention and management of chronic inflammatory mechanisms.

Sandi Olson

Nutrition and Food Science

Sandi’s Vitae

  • Micronutrient metabolism
  • Race disparities and health outcomes
  • Interdisciplinary methodology

Sandi is a student in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, studying Nutrition Science under Dr. Stephen Hennigar. Sandi graduated from FSU with a Bachelor’s in Dietetics (2011) and a Master’s in Social Work (2014). Before returning to CHS, Sandi was a clinician in the Tallahassee area working with families and individuals experiencing homelessness, severe mental illness, and/or substance use. She spent three years as a research assistant in the College of Social Work, examining social determinants of health. Thus, Sandi is interested in integrating a multi-and interdisciplinary approach for enhanced health outcomes among vulnerable and marginalized populations. Her next steps are to examine race disparities and the mediating effects of nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron-deficiency) and social determinants (e.g., stress, food insecurity, concentrated poverty, systemic racism)

When not in the lab, I am an avid learner and reader. My husband and I are self-proclaimed food enthusiast; we can always be found in the kitchen or locating the sweet spots of Tallahassee. I also have an unabashed obsession with my 3 cats: Scout, Finch, and Harper

Hyerim Park

Exercise Physiology

Hyerim’s Vita

Hyerim Park
  • Microvascular control mechanisms
  • Vascular function with aging, microgravity and type II diabetes
  • Cardiovascular adaptations to exercise training

Hyerim is a third year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology. Hyerim received her B.S. and M.S. degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. During her master’s program, she worked in an exercise physiology laboratory and carried out research into exercise-induced physiological responses based on cellular and molecular mechanisms. She is currently interested in studying the effect of exercise and aging on microvascular control mechanisms and the vascular adaptation with microgravity as well as type II diabetes. Her ultimate goal for pursuing a Ph.D. is to develop into a professional and independent researcher specializing in this area of study. After completing the doctoral program, she hopes to continue conducting creative and novel research in the field of science.

In her spare time, Hyerim has passions for traveling and watching movies. When she stays in her home town, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Oluwatoyin Sangokunle

Nutrition and Food Science

Oluwatoyin’s Vita

Oluwatoyin Sangokunle
  • Pulse Chemistry
  • Functional Properties of Pulse Starch
  • Nutritional Classification of Pulse Starch

Oluwatoyin Olaoluwa Sangokunle earned his bachelor’s degree from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria in 2015 with a major in Food Science and Technology. He continued his education at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University and completed a Master’s degree in Agricultural Science – Plant Science in 2017.

He worked as an independent researcher in carrying out a feasibility study on the production of dietary antioxidant by in-vitro cell culture of American Native grapes to provide sustainable resources for Food, Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Industries.

‘Ola’ joined Dr. Shridhar K. Sathe’s (now deceased) laboratory as a doctoral student in fall 2017 where he is currently working on functional properties of pulse starch. He processed commonly consumed dry beans to isolate, characterize, and compare starch functional properties under the treated conditions.

Ola is currently serving as president of the executive members of the FSU College of Human Sciences, Graduate Student Advisory Council. He planned to complete his program by spring 2021. He desired to work in food companies, research and development, or academia.

In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, reading Christian literature, and hanging out with my wife.

Gabriel Leite Santos

Exercise Physiology

Gabriel Santos headshot
  • Sepsis-induced myopathy
  • Exertional heat stroke
  • Heat stress

Gabriel earned both his undergraduate and master’s degree in Physical Education at the Federal University of São Francisco Valley. Currently, he is a doctoral student in the Exercise Physiology program under the supervision of Dr. Orlando Laitano, investigating subjects such as sepsis induced myopathy and heat stress/stroke.

Gabriel is native from Brazil’s northeast region. When he is not in the lab, he enjoys cooking, playing guitar, and going out for a good running or swim session.

Chris Schattinger

Exercise Physiology

Chris’ Vita

Chris Schattinger
  • Effects of Strength Training and Protein Supplementation on Special Populations
  • Effects of Pre-Sleep Protein Consumption on Special Populations
  • Effects of Diet, Exercise and Supplementation on Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy and Weight Loss
  • Effects of Diet, Exercise and Supplementation on the Reduction of LDL Cholesterol

Chris received his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina in May 2015. While there, he completed undergraduate research under the guidance of Dr. Ray Thompson investigating the effect of cadence on respiratory measures during incremental cycle ergometry to max. Chris earned his M.S. from Florida State University in August 2017. Under the guidance of Dr. Lynn Panton, he investigated the effects of pre-sleep protein consumption on morning measures of appetite and metabolism in sedentary pre- and postmenopausal women. Chris continues to work under Dr. Panton and hopes to complete his dissertation on the effects of strength training and protein supplementation in special populations.

In my spare time I enjoy strength training, reading, attending music festivals, and hiking. I’m really good at giving people nicknames.

Saiful Anuar Bin Singar

Nutrition and Food Science

Saiful Singar headshot
  • The effects of functional food and phytonutrients on cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and cognitive health and function
  • The effects of sports nutrition and supplementation on sports performance, recovery and body composition
Saiful is a doctoral student studying nutrition science under the mentorship of Dr. Bahram Arjmandi. Saiful earned his Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Pennsylvania State University and University of Delaware, respectively. Saiful has a passion for nutrition and teaching, and he aspires to build a career within academia, hoping to make an impact on nutrition research and educate students on nutrition science and diet.

Saiful is an international student from Malaysia. In 2015, Saiful received a scholarship from a Malaysian government agency (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) to pursue his undergraduate degree in the US. In his spare time, Saiful enjoys spending time with his friends, trying out new restaurants, working out at the gym, and running.

Chester Sokolowski

Exercise Physiology

Chester Sokolowski
  • Resistance Training
  • Body Composition
  • Nutrient Timing
  • Disease Prevention
  • Metabolism
  • Sports Nutrition and Supplementation

Chester is currently pursing his doctoral degree in exercise physiology under the direction of Dr. Jeong-Su Kim. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degree from The University of Georgia in exercise science and exercise physiology respectively. Chester began his research career as an undergraduate where he investigated sex differences in muscle recovery post injury. During his masters he explored the association animal and plant protein intake have with muscle quality as well conducted work on bone health in late adolescents. His research interests are derived from his lifestyle choices as a bodybuilder and his love for his mother as he is interested in how resistance training and nutrition can alter body composition, metabolism, and attenuate disease risk, particularly in older female adults.

Chester is an avid fan of HTGV, cooking, and eating. He considers himself a “foodie” and loves exploring new restaurants. When Chester is not eating he is either studying, performing research related activities, or in the gym picking things up and putting them down.

Chunya Tang

Nutrition and Food Science

Chunya Tang headshot
  • Food safety and quality
  • Protein immunochemistry
  • Protein functionality

Chunya is a doctoral student in Nutrition and Food Science under the supervision of Dr. Qinchun Rao. She graduated from Jiangnan University in 2019 and earned her master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science in 2021 from Florida State University. In her master’s project, Chunya focused on plant protein functionality. Chunya’s career goal is to become a faculty at a research university and assist students in developing their potential future.

Chunya enjoys listening to music, boating, traveling, and cooking in her spare time. She has practiced the violin for 20 years and this will be her lifelong love.

Abigail Tice

Exercise Physiology

Abby Tice
  • Physiology of skeletal muscle
  • Chronic diseases and chronic stress
  • Environmental science

Abigail came to FSU from West Virginia University, with a masters degree in Exercise Physiology to work with Dr. Jennifer Steiner. She completed her masters degree on the Effects of Obesity, Chronic Stress, and Exercise on Pancreatic Health and will be working with skeletal muscle and acute and chronic alcohol while at FSU.

Abby is a weightlifter and enjoys anything that involves the outdoors. She loves all dogs and enjoys photography.

Yaqi Zhao

Nutrition and Food Science

Yaqi Zhao headshot
  • Food allergen detection
  • Protein immunochemistry
  • Food safety and quality

Yaqi is a doctoral student in Nutrition and Food Science program under the guidance of Dr. Qinchun Rao. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Food Quality and Safety at Jinan University (China) in 2019, she completed her master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science at Florida State University in 2021. Yaqi worked on the development of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of finfish tropomyosin for her master’s project, which has the potential to fight seafood fraud and improve food safety. She desires to continue her research career in academia.

Yaqi enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to music, and watching movies. She also likes playing the keyboard and guitar.

Xiangyu Zheng

Exercise Physiology

Xiangyu Zheng headshot
  • Exercise physiology
  • Acute response and chronic adaptation of the cardiovascular system to resistance training
  • Personalized exercise prescriptions through genetic research tools
  • Blood flow restriction training
  • Microgravity training
Xiangyu did his undergraduate study at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. Then, he went to George Washington University for one semester in Environmental Engineering. After that, he changed his major and did his Master of Science degree in Applied Exercise Physiology at Springfield College, MA.

Tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. Hope, does not disappoint us.